This Movie Has Been Rated S for Sexist | Smart News | Smithsonian
Current Issue
November 2014 magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

Keeping you current

This Movie Has Been Rated S for Sexist

Even with the bar set incredibly low, most movies fail this simple test for sexism

smithsonian.com

Photo: Flickr user Saire Elizabeth

Hollywood isn’t exactly know for treating women well, but lately they’ve been doing even worse. As SmartNews has written, female representation in film isn’t doing so hot:

According to a recent study, the representation of women is now at its lowest in five years….The study looked at the top 500 grossing films from 2007 to 2012. In 2012, women represented less than one-third of the speaking characters. For every one female on screen, there are two and a half men. And when women were on the screen, a third of them were in skimpy, sexualized clothing. And 2012 was one of the worst years. Over 50 percent of female teens on screen in 2012 were shown in sexy clothing. So were nearly 40 percent of women between 21 and 39.

Sweden, it seems, is sick of the hollow roles, the solely sexy starlets, the mute muses. With the support of the Swedish Film Institute, four movie theaters have come out with a new rating system that ranks whether a movie is sexist or not,  says the Associated Press.

Now, the bar isn’t being set particularly high, mind you. In order to be deemed “not sexist,” all the movie needs is to pass the Bechdel test—two named women characters that, at some point throughout the movie, talk to each other about something other than a man. Easy, right?

Nope. Many, many movies do not pass this test.

The AP:

“”The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social NetworkPulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test,” said Ellen Tejle, the director of Bio Rio, an art-house movie theatre in Stockholm’s trendy Sodermalm district.”

More from Smithsonian.com:

Female Representation in Film Is the Lowest It’s Been in Five Years

Tags
About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

Read more from this author |

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus