Swedish Cinemas Add Bechdel Test For Gender Bias As New Movie Rating

hunger games censored

Most movie buffs have probably have heard of the Bechdel Test (and the ludicrous number of movies which fail it) but several Swedish cinemas are about to take it to the next level, by informing the general moviegoing public of a film's potential gender bias, just as they would its level of violence, nudity and appropriateness for different age groups.

The Bechdel Test is straightforward. In order to pass it, a film must contain at least one scene with two female characters talking to each other about something other than a man.

Seems so easy, and yet, as Sweden's Bio Rio theater director Ellen Tejle points out, "The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test."

Bio Rio is one of four theaters in Sweden which introduced the new rating last month, according to The Guardian. A movie gets an A rating if it passes the test. The Hunger Games, for example, gets an easy A.

It's not a perfect system (just because a movie passes the test doesn't automatically mean it's pro-gender equality, for one, and there are more details about opposing arguments at the source) but I think it's a fantastic idea and could go a long way in raising awareness of how women are portrayed and reflected back at society through films and the media.

About Linda Ge