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Mo Movie Measure

So I wanted to keep a bit of a tab on what passes and what fails.
To pass the movie has to fit the following criteria:
1) there are at least two named female characters, who
2) talk to each other about
3) something other than a man.

Stargate: Ark of Truth.
This movie passes, but only barely. There are 3 named woman characters, Sam and Vala don’t interact. The only interaction between two women is between Vala and her daughter Adria, as they are talking about how Adria has a ‘god-complex’ and wants to take over the world, they pass. Oh, and Adria doesn’t get named until she has had a few scenes, I assume this is because most people watching the film will have seen the TV series and know who she is.

That Old Feeling.
This movie fails which is rather unsurprising. There are 3 main women characters and 4 main men characters. Seeing as they spend most of their time separate, that makes it difficult. Also the movie is about marriage and relationships.

Dukes of Hazzard.
Fail Fail Fail. Need I say more?

Juno.
My sister informs me that Juno passes cos Juno and her best friend Leah talk about her pregnancy and the options she has like abortion or adoption. Juno also talks to Vanessa about her pregnancy and whether she will give up the baby.

I just discovered a problem with updating this: everyone will discover my terrible taste in movies. I’m not going to bother to defend myself, so here goes:

Bratz:
This passes. Because most all of the characters are girls except for 3 love interests and 2 fathers (that I noticed). Mostly they talk about friendship and the like. I think that, even so, it passes in the opposite direction because there is a scene where a love interest talks to a teacher about music.

Chicago:
Passes. The women inmates and ‘Momma’ talk about trials and careers and all sorts of things.

Mamma Mia:
Fails. I discussed this with Allison, and the general consensus was that it fails. There is maybe a line or two about Sophie’s future, but it was mainly in the context of potential fathers and future husbands.

Serenity:
Fails. I can’t believe it fails. Let’s review, of the main characters we have Mal, Simon, Jayne, Wash (all male), River, Kaylee, Inara and Zoe (all female) on the ‘good-guys’ side and The Operative (male) on the ‘bad-guys’ side. Which means that (once Inara joins them) there is an even split on the ship, and there is little gender-stereotyping in who has what job. The only thing that gives it that male dominated sci-fi feel is that the bad guy is male, as are the twins who give them jobs, Mr. Universe, Shepherd Book, the doctors ‘looking after’ River and most of the people who get beat up (including reavers). The person giving the report on the Pax is a woman, but other than that, women don’t really show as extras, cept for the exotic fan-dancers and Mr. Universe’s lovebot.
So aside from a fairly good job of putting lots of women in roles other than that of damsel in distress or token female, which is so common in sci-fi, Joss Whedon is a self-confessed feminist, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything but in other stuff as well as this I think he does a very good job of not simplifying women, or buying into gender stereotypes. That long and un-grammatical sentence is the reason I am surprised that Serenity failed.

Stargate: Continuum:
Epic Fail. Two female characters, Sam and Vala with a bit-part by Nirrti.

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Comments on: "Mo Movie Measure" (4)

  1. Yes, you do have an interesting taste in movies…. :o) That’s an interesting set of criteria for a movie. Is there a male equivalent? Like two/three named males talking to each other, about a woman of the lovin’ not the lovin’ and leavin’ kind, or something like that??

  2. groovyjoss said:

    I think that most movies pass the male equivalent. Perhaps chick flicks are likely not to. Bratz only passes the male version because of one conversation.
    Most sci fi passes the male version with flying colours and the female version not at all or only barely.

  3. Kiss the Girls features a very strong lead female characters, who manages to balance her professional life (she’s a medical doctor), with self-defense training, cooking, being a homeowner, and even having time to spend with small children at the library.

    The Long Kiss Goodnight has another female characters, but I don’t remember if she gets to talk much with other women. Erin Brokovich does, though.

  4. Aileen Wuornos said:

    Bandidas is another good one, about Mexican bankrobbers 😀
    Monster as well… Coraline, uh. I’ve got a bunch more but I can’t think of them right now.

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