Men’s Rightser on the Bechdel Test: “Why do Women need to talk to each other ? I don’t get it.”


Talk amongst yourselves.

So some Swedish movie theaters have decided to institute a new rating system to let viewers know whether or not the films they show pass the Bechdel Test — that is, if at any point in the film two female characters have a conversation about something other than a man.

Over in the Men’s Rights subreddit, a fella with the classy handle classypedobear takes strong exception to this terrible affront to human decency. His argument?

classypedobear 28 points 1 day ago (37|9)  This test is BS, simply. I think what they are trying to accomplish is noble but that is where the good stops.  Why do Women need to talk to each other ? I don't get it. I have plenty of female friends who get along better with males. If two women hav a conversation about their kitten or their baby ? I think it's even worse.  Bad idea overall


Thanks, AgainstMensRights subreddit!

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon,, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on November 7, 2013, in all about the menz, antifeminism, kitties, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, patronizing as heck, reddit and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 236 Comments.

  1. Ps. Which is exactly why having a movie that does have a poorly written cishetmale who is white shouldn’t be something that gets people riled up – there are plenty of positive examples to counteract the occasional shitty one.

    Anyone is free to point out a weakly written character. But pretending like it somehow makes the tsunami of “minority” representation void is just missing the point entirely.

  2. [quote] [quote]It refers to a personal ability or mode of behavior that pushes you through hardship, physical or mental. Usually expressed as “you have sisu/it was done with sisu”.Some people might give more specific definitions, but those might not be commonly agreed on. Some people like to pretend sisu is something Finns are especially good at, or something foreigners cannot understand.[/quote]

    I’m fascinated by the words in different languages that relate to their cultural identity (eg, virtus in Latin, sophrosyne in ancient Greek). American English has no such word that I know of. Because we have no culture.[/quote]

    Another Finn here, I think “vigour” is a good translation for “sisu”:

  3. Sounds like “grit”. Or wherewithal, if you want to be fancy.

  4. Good, did you actually SEE Kill Bill? The women in the film don’t actually spend all of their time talking about Bill.

    Here’s the screenplay:

    Yes, I saw Kill Bill. No, I have never given the movie the Bechdel test and I have never combed through the screenplay. Likewise, I never said that the women in the film spend all of their time talking about Bill.

    I pointed out a movie that “clearly” passes the Bechdel test and compared it to movies that don’t clearly pass the test (though they may pass the test with a closer look) and pointed out something common between those that don’t, that being the presence of female protagonists dealing with male antagonists.

    The film passes the Bechdel test by the second scene in which the main character and one of her female enemies stop fighting to talk to the woman’s daughter. Bill comes up later in the conversation, but the two women have a history of their own that they talk about.

    Ok, thanks for the info.

    Interesting selective memory on your part

    What “selective memory” are you talking about? If I stated that certain movies don’t pass the test and one actually does, then that would mean that I was in error.

    I don’t understand the snide response. Nothing I have stated here is in opposition to anyone else. I contributed a point of view to the discussion. Someone below asked why there are not more female antagonists in movies and my answer would be “good question”. Maybe society is more comfortable with portraying men as evil. I don’t know.

  5. I don’t understand the snide response.

    We know, Good. We know. Now who’s your favorite Disney villain?

  6. Have you two Finns ever done anything that required sisu?

    (I have to spend five days in Texas with my in-laws; that might qualify…)

  7. I’d say that getting through any of Good’s comments without nodding off requires both sisu and coffee.

  8. Ew, unfun, katz. Where in Texas?

  9. Fort Worth.

    My in-laws are mostly strange yet cool (one of them believes she has prophecy powers) but it’s the flying part and the Texas part.

  10. Ah, yeah. I lived about half an hour north of Dallas for a year. I have no desire to ever return.

  11. Favorite Disney villain? Maleficent. Because she turns into a dragon in kingdom hearts and is one of the harder baddies to beat. (Lots, and lots, and lots of running and ducking and swearing about Donald being old cold AGAIN)

  12. Yeah, poor Donald. Dude couldn’t soak damage worth a DAMN. (And I don’t actually have a favorite villain. I’m not really a villain kinda guy.)

  13. @LBT, I had the same thought about how the second criterion (the men are not expected to overcome adversity) of the Vintermann test would put the men on the sidelines of any conflict or drama. Though maybe Mr. Vintermann likes his movies entirely adversity-free; just two hours of Middle Class Joe going to his cushy, well-paying job and being served dinner by his obedient wife and going on the occasional uneventful resort vacation.

  14. *Sigh* was reading the Mary Sue blog, and they had a post on the Bechdel test approval mark on Swedish theatres. And lo and behold, predictably enough the blog poster as well as pretty much all the commenters goes “it’s such a useless test because a movie could be sexist and pass and it could be feminist and fail”, WHICH NOBODY HAS EVER DENIED, and then the commentators start naming various movies that has a strong female character but still fails Bechdel as some kind of proof of how useless the test it is. Like the Avengers. “Look, the Avengers had Black Widow, an ass-kicking female hero, but it fails Bechdel, which proves that Bechdel is a useless test”. Hey, I loved the Avengers movie too! And I love Black Widow! But can’t you seriously see that it’s no coincidence that there are a bunch of male heroes while only one female hero? That it’s so easy to come up with examples of movies that have ONE admittedly ass-kicking female hero in an otherwise male cast, but really fucking difficult to come up with a movie where it’s the opposite of that?

  15. “Have you two Finns ever done anything that required sisu?”

    Hmm… I managed to gratuate? Then there’s the long winter that requires some sisu for you to get through. It’s so dark and cold and so much snow shoveling… Imagine months of not seeing the sun except in small glimpses during the lunch break. It’s dark when you get up to go to work and it’s dark again when you get back home. After a while you’ll need sisu to get out of the bed!

    “Speaking of Finland: Have you seen this Tumblr?

    Oh sure, i scrolled through a couple of pages when it first started making waves. It’s probably funnier to non-finns though.🙂

  16. How’s the weather in Finland these days?

  17. @Viscaria It’s been alright, right below zero but no permanent snow yet. I hope the snow comes soon though, cos it makes it so much lighter and somehow not so cold. I don’t know if that makes sense, but the frost feels worse when the ground is bare. Gotta get that christmas feel🙂

  18. Argenti Aertheri

    Wait…it’s, uh, -3°C here. It’s no colder in Finland?

    Thank you for proving that I’m not just whining and it is legitimately cold here currently. (Here just east of NYC, US…here is not that far north in other words)

    Tangentially, pecunium? Has it been hovering between barely 40 and HOLY FUCK IT’S COLD there too? Looks like we might break 50 over the weekend, I might be comfortable without being buried in blankets! You should see me in the winter, or rather, see the bundled up ball of fabric with me in it, if I’m going to be out for any length of time when it’s below freezing — socks, leggings, tucked into another pair of socks, jeans, not pulled up until undershirt is tucked in, sweater, possibly a t-shirt under it depending how HOLY FUCK IT’S COLD we’re talking, jacket, top button buttoned AFTER wrapping in scarf, hat, other scarf, shawl, frankengloves, and, of course, my boots — things you master when taking the bus in Pittsburgh when it’s 20 and wind straight off the rivers. (If it’s truly inhumanly cold, I’ll pull out my costume stockings even…see, if I get good and properly shivering cold, every muscle in my back locks and I’ll be in pain for days, I’d rather look absurd and be able to reach my socks without wincing)

  19. Argenti Aertheri

    Winter, I am not a fan of it.

  20. I also dislike winter. It’s not getting down to the 40s here until after midnight yet, still not happy about it.

  21. The last couple days have been really bad for weather. -15C and then -20C (in the morning — it warmed up) witha windchill of -26 both days. Phone says -7 today though, so yay!

    Yes, I did ask you about the weather to whine about my own. I figured, it’s gotta be worse in Finland, right? And then we would commiserate together.

  22. Minus 31 effing degrees celsius this morning. My car started, though. Yay. Now if only they could get the heat working correctly at work, I’d be much happier. Not as happy as I’d be if it wasn’t effing winter.

  23. Hmmm, WP ate my comment, lets try again.

    I, on the other hand, am ecstatic that it finally snowed down here (only about -9C this morning); I still can’t get used to this whole ‘no significant snowfall until Nov/Dec’ bullshit we get down here in the plains. I grew up with winters that go from Sept-Apr and dammit, anything else is downright unnatural.

  24. I have never been so glad for my recent development of a cold tolerance. I can now handle temperatures down to freezing without a coat, just a sweatshirt. Shame I lost the summer heat tolerance in exchange, though…

  25. I am glad the Furrinati likes sleeping under the covers. Warms the bed right up.

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