+
More

An analysis of 1,500 films resulted in 1 disturbing conclusion.

The good news? There's definitely room to improve.

Of the many ways to measure diversity in film, one of the most informative originated as a joke in a comic. The Bechdel Test, as it's come to be known, originated in the 1985 comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," written by Alison Bechdel, the test's namesake.

For a film to pass the Bechdel Test, it has to meet three criteria:


There have been 16 Bechdel-passing films that have grossed more than a billion dollars worldwide.

Last year, FiveThirtyEight took a look at the financial implications of films passing the Bechdel Test. Was it possible that films that failed the test simply outperformed those that passed? Was the reason for this lack of diversity economic? No. In fact, FiveThirtyEight found that dollar for dollar, Bechdel-passing films outperformed those that didn't.

Data-sharing site Silk analyzed 1,500 films released between 2010 and 2014 using the Bechdel Test criteria. Silk then incorporated data from bechdeltest.com and an Annenburg School study for reference and historical purposes.

In 2014, just 55.4% of all films passed the Bechdel Test. This is down from 2013's 67.5% and 2012's 66.4%.

This interactive chart visualizes Silk's data by year and Bechdel status:

To use, hover your mouse over the data to see it broken down by year.

Still, just because a movie meets the Bechdel Test criteria doesn't necessarily mean that it's some sort of feminist powerhouse.

Take "Cinderella," for example.

Despite the plot of the "Cinderella" story centering almost entirely around the idea that the only way for women to find success and happiness is to marry a rich, charming prince, nearly every movie adaptation has passed the Bechdel Test with flying colors. Will the 2015 adaptation pass the test? Likely! Still, it's not exactly the next coming of "Our Bodies, Our Selves," and that's OK!


Even some films with strong female characters fail the Bechdel Test, further illustrating its imperfection as a measurement of feminist credibility.

For instance, the original "Star Wars" trilogy fails the Bechdel Test, even with badass, independent Princess Leia. The same goes for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2," which fails despite the presence of Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Professor McGonagall, and Bellatrix Lestrange, all of whom are richly developed characters.

Just think of how much greater these awesome female characters could have been had they been given the same number of conversation topics and opportunities to talk with each other about things other than members of the opposite sex as their male counterparts were.

Breaking down female stereotypes in media will take more than meeting the bare minimum Bechdel Test criteria.

So long as the film industry continues to be made up primarily of white men, diversity will remain in short supply.

  • In TV, less than 15% of directors are women.
  • In film, men make up nearly three-quarters of leading roles and write nearly 9 out of 10 scripts.
  • In the 87 years the award has been given out, only one woman has won the Academy Award for Best Directing.

Some have proposed ways to improve upon the Bechdel Test, namely the Mako Mori and Sexy Lamp Tests.

The Mako Mori Test came from Tumblr user Chaila and is based off of a character from the movie "Pacific Rim."

The rules of the Mako Mori Test are nearly as simple as those of the Bechdel Test.

The rules of the Sexy Lamp Test, created by Kelly Sue DeConnick, are even more simple.

These tests are imperfect but excellent starting points for conversations about why the film (or any) industry is the way it is.

Questioning who we are, looking at implicit bias, and working to see the world from fresh perspectives is great advice for anyone in any field. Questioning and challenging the status quo — which in this case, means asking why the entertainment industry is so very white and so very male — is the first step toward personal growth and innovation.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Celebrity

U.S. Soccer star expertly handles an Iranian reporter’s loaded questions about race.

Tyler Adams’s response proves exactly why he’s the captain of the US soccer team.

Tyler Adams expertly handles Iranian reporter's question

Reporters are supposed to ask the right questions to get to the truth but sometimes it seems sports reporters ask questions to throw you off your game. There's no doubt that this Iranian reporter who was questioning Tyler Adams, the US soccer team captain at the press conference during the World Cup had an agenda that didn't involve getting to the truth.

It's not clear if the questions were designed to throw the young player off of his game or if the goal was embarrassment. It really is hard to tell, but Adams handled the unexpectedly harsh encounter with intelligence and poise when some may have found it justified for him to get angry.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pets

Idaho pet squirrel amazingly thwarts a would-be burglar in resurfaced viral video

The suspect was identified by the scratches the squirrel left.

Idaho pet squirrel thwarts a would-be burglar.

Ahhh, yes! The attack squirrel. Every home should have one, or at least, that's what an Idaho man whose home was protected by his rescue-squirrel-turned-pet might think. Adam Pearl found Joey, his pet squirrel, in his yard, abandoned as a baby and unable to fend for himself. Pearl took him in and bottle-fed him until he was big enough to eat on his own.

The unique pairing continued for 10 months until a man looking to burglarize Pearl's home got the surprise of a lifetime. He was attacked by the squirrel! The fluffy-tailed critter thwarted the man's plan to rummage through Pearl's belongings.

One can only imagine the confusion and terror of being attacked by something that would've gently eaten out of Snow White's hands. The burglar was apparently after the homeowner's guns and likely wasn't expecting a squirrel to go, well, nuts on him. It gets even better though.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
via Pexels

Three different types of blood donations.

The AIDS epidemic that began in the early '80s cast a stigma on all men who have sex with men, regardless of their HIV status. The idea that gay and bisexual men were somehow dangerous to the general public because of a health crisis in their community added to the stigmatization that already came with being LGBTQ.

In 1983, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned all men who have sex with men from donating blood. This rule stood until 2015 when the FDA lifted the lifetime ban for gay and bisexual males and limited it to men who had homosexual sex within the past year.

In 2020, the FDA eased restrictions on men who have sex with men again, due to a blood shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The abstinence period was shortened from a year to three months.

Keep ReadingShow less