The Bechdel Test is a simple way to measure the activity of female characters in Hollywood films and how well rounded or lack of being well rounded those roles are. It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. The Bechdel test asks if the film has at the mimum of two women in the film, furthermore, it asks if these women talk to eachother about something other than men. The studies on the Bechdel test have found that many of the films that make it big in Hollywood actually fail this test. In fact, on average the movies that fail these tests are have said to profit much more even when they have comparable movie budgets of those who pass the Bechdel test.
For this blog, I decided to watch the “Black Swan”. This has been one of my favorite movies since it came out early 2010. “Black Swan” is a thriller directed by Darren Aronofsky. The main actress’ in Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. The movie is essentialy about the auditions and production of the Swan Lake, a ballet written by Tchaikovasky, that takes place in New York City at a cutthroat and high-status ballet academy. After seeing in class all of the movie that didn’t pass the Bechdel test I was slightly skeptical if the Black Swan would pass or not. To my surprise, the movie actually did pass the Bechdel test. It passed because the main character Nina Sayers (played by Natalie Portman) has many conversations with her strict and cruel mother Erica Sayers (played by Barbara Hershey. These conversations are not abut men, they are about how Nina will perform in her next performance, how she did during practice, and how much weight she needs to loose for a certain role. Although the movie passes the Bechdel test I would still consider it to be gender biased. Nina is the film is portrayed as weak and timid she works relentlessly to earn the approval of her male coach her also plays on her weaknesses and tried to pursue her sexually. To gain his approval, she flirts back with her coach to try to earn a spot in the academy. The outcome of the test surprised me since the leading female is actually very weak and scared for the majority of the movie.