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Sweden cinema gender rating
Sweden is set to start rating films by gender bias.
The new system will rate films with more female characters who talk to each other about topics other than men, higher.
The system has been dubbed the Bechdel test after US cartoonist Alison Bechdel.
Four cinemas in the country have already launched the test and state funded Swedish Film Institute has come out to publicly endorse it.
An anonymous commentator on Verge.com says:
This makes no sense. Many of the greatest movies I've ever seen won't pass this test, since there's no women in the story. For example, Das Boot, a movie about a bunch of seamen doesn't have any meaningful female characters.
Swedish film critic Hynek Pallas on the guardian agrees by saying:
"There are far too many films that pass the Bechdel test that don't help at all in making society more equal or better, and lots of films that don't pass the test but are fantastic at doing that,"
Leagle_Egal arguing this misses the point by saying on reddit.com:
"The test, as it's used now, is not meant to show whether or not a single movie is sexist or under represents women. It's supposed to show how women are underrepresented in the industry as a whole.
mmph19 on theguardian.com says:
"When I was a teacher I noticed stories were not of much interest to the most male students if the central characters were female. On the other hand, female students were just as engaged regardless of the gender. Why? I suspect that it has to do with the relationship each of us has to power. Even in fiction readers are more interested in characters if they assume will be able to affect change or be the 'heros' in the final outcome. Writers write to be read, publishers publish to make sales and readers read what is in their domain. So if male protagonists seem to be the norm, it confirms the belief that males have more power than females."
DanoX says this is all about sticking it to Hollywood on verge.com:
"These days Hollywood is stealing or borrowing a lot of modern Scandinavian TV shows and movies. Most of these stories involve strong women compared to American productions. Most of these stories date back to Viking times. Maybe Scandinavians are fed up with crappy American productions."
Another commentator also on verge.com says:
"See while this is all well and good, a movie passing test doesn't mean that females won't be portrayed in a manner that doesn't enforce negative gender stereotypes. To grade a movie solely on the Bechdel test doesn't seem thorough enough, and most of my feminist friends would agree."
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