I had first encountered the term BECHDEL TEST as a literature student ,today as I am writing about WOMEN IN MEDIA AND FILMS I incidentally happened to read about the same on another blog as well, I realize nothing much has changed in more than over a decade.So for starters the test is used to identify gender bias in all kinds of media and any piece has to pass three criteria to pass the test:
(1) It has to have at least two women in it,
(2) who talk to each other,
(3) about something besides a man.
Just take out two minutes and put your favorite TV serial or Hollywood/Bollywood movie to this test.There are just a handful which will make the cut.This is not just about various art forms but I am sure a lot of real life would also fail the test.
So let me enumerate some of the ways in which we depict women in MOST of our films and media:
- If she dresses the way she wants (read unconventional) she must be the vamp.Good women( read docile,obedient,chaste) dress up conventionally with a veil on their heads and more importantly their minds.
- Women who choose work or career ( read over-ambitious) are dangerous to the social fabric( read existing power structures of patriarchy) and hence need to be labelled BAD.
- Women are truly happy only when they are loved and cherished( read married or brought up to be only happily married). Divorced,separated,single-women are not the norm.
- Women who speak their mind end up lost( read humiliated,alone or worst still raped or killed).
- Only sons/husbands/fathers can protect,lead,decide.Daughters,wives and mothers do so only when men are not there due to whatever reason.
- All women have a duty to look pretty , be obedient and preserve family values( read be objectified and be SILENT.
This is an entry for this women's day contest on INDUSLADIES.