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Should Gender Equality Play a Part in Movie Ratings?

By Cindy Davis | Pajiba Love | November 6, 2013 | Comments ()


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Happy hump day, y’all. Wednesdays are for dragging your butt out of bed just to see the faint glimmer of Thursday before Friday’s glorious re-entry. Start the weekend countdown in 10, 9, 8…


Damn. I thought he was born with a crossbow in his hand, but looks like it took
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus a while to get the hang of that thing. (via Unreality)

While Goggins and Olyphantypants have been keeping themselves busy with guest spots on Sons of Anarchy and The Mindy Project, the boys will be back in Harlan County where they belong, beginning January 7th. (Warming Glow)

And at least until Justified returns, I’m calling Sons of Anarchy the best show on television right now. (Uproxx)

Kristen Bell sweetly confessed that when she was pregnant, she worried whether she’d love her baby as much as her dogs. I guess so, because she’s threatening to cause major physical harm to the first paparazzo who tries to take Lincoln’s photo. (Celebitchy)

Looks like David Arquette will have to shield a little one too; his girlfriend, Christina McLarty is pregnant with his second child. (Dlisted)

And maybe Ann Hathaway? (Celebitchy)

HIddleston Break: Because one Hiddleston dancing video is never enough.

Perhaps showing a little coochie at premieres is the latest thing, but maybe Jaimie Alexander could have saved it for when her boyfriend’s daughter wasn’t around. (Go Fug Yourself)

Should gender equality play a part in movie ratings? Sweden seems to think so—they’re incorporating the Bechdel test into their system. (The Mary Sue)

Hans Zimmer talks scores…movie music, that is. The Academy Award winning composer shares stories on everything from 12 Years a Slave to Inception; from The Dark Knight Rises to My Beautiful Launderette. Fascinating. (Vulture)

Speaking of Academy Awards, there are 19 submissions for this year’s Best Animated Film, including Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 and Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. (Slashfilm)

Winter is coming…and elks just wanna have fun. (via io9)

Kindles are great for travel and reading multiple books at a time, but there’s just something about browsing a physical bookstore. It’s one of my favorite Sunday pastimes. (Buzzfeed)

You mean those boys that wore Zimmerman and Martin costumes weren’t the worst? (Uproxx)

Was Yoda a dickbag? (Yahoo via Underscoopfire)

I don’t know how you manage to suck every last bit of sexy (and life) from both Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson, but Scorsese did it. Here’s his new short film aka Dolce & Gabbana advertisement. (YouTube)

Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is still trying to wake up.


New Scene From 'Catching Fire' Proves That Jennifer Lawrence Is Still Stuck In A Love Triangle With Two Pieces Of Driftwood | It's Dusty In Here! What We Learned From Last Night's Surprisingly Emotional 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'


Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.


Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Joseph Howe

    Why is it the government's role to define values and gender roles with ratings? Decide for yourselves people, we don't need to be shepherded through life.

  • Hiddleston dancing = exploding ovaries (and I don't even have any, plus happily straight). Dude can do no wrong.

    When will there be a Hiddleston vs. Sam Rockwell dance-off?

  • Edwina the Magnificent

    Oh, Daryl! I'm not going to watch that video until I get home, just the preview is making me a little giddy.

    !!!!!LOOK AT THOSE ARMS!!!!!

  • rio

    Well the dress is kinda tacky but she makes it look surprisingly classy, also, young lady, you look like Wonder Woman, why the heck are you doing with Peter Facinelli? that melted face of his might distract the world from his douchiness but should you know better.

  • I agree that Jaimie Alexander looks amazing (both in that dress and at all other times), but that dress is perhaps not what you wear when out with your guy's 16yo daughter.

  • The funniest thing about that elk video is the people. "No I'm not gonna shoot it!"

    That was my first thought too.

  • e jerry powell

    I just wanted to see the elk do some serious gymnastics. At least some backflips.

  • BWeaves

    Which implies that that was actually an option.

  • kushiro -

    Finally, a movie rating system where Glengarry Glen Ross fails, but Jenny McCarthy's Dirty Love gets an A!

  • I don't know if SOA is the best show on TV at this moment, but its clearly the craziest, most can't-miss show right now.

  • luthien26

    For the love of all that's holy, stop it, Hiddles! Just when I think I can't love you more you DO SHIT LIKE THIS. My heart can't handle it. :)

  • NateMan

    Heart or nether regions? Because for most people it seems nether regions.

  • luthien26

    Heart, definitely heart! *ahem* Yes, heart.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    I call for a Sam Rockwell VS. Tom Hiddleston dance-off to settle the score.

    And I'm just gonna leave this here...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    I like what Sweden is doing. They already tell us how much sex and swearing are in a movie, so why not gender equality? It's actually something I care about and I know many others who do as well. It might even help improve the situation. I've seen arguments that this is taking things too far and is no indication of quality of female characters, but that's just wilfully missing the point. It's not like knowing there's mild drug use in a movie tells me anything about the quality of said drugs!

  • Dennis Albert Ramirez

    the only reason i think the Bechdel test is an odd thing to add to a movie's rating, is that, does failing the test increase a movie's rating, say from PG to PG-13 (to use the MPAA rating)? i mean i get why cursing, sex and violence increase a movie's "maturity threshold", even though i also think the standards are applied arbitrarily and inconsistently.

    but in the case of the The Avengers, the movie fails the test even though the women are still portrayed progressively and positively. would the failure of the test be an argument for an R rating?

    perhaps a better approach is aside from the current system of rating a movie on i suppose moral offense, you have a separate system that rates a film's progressiveness, or like a "this film also passes/fails ___ test", but is framed as like, a starting point for discussion. I think the Bechdel test is good way to start a discussion of the quality of Film, not not necessarily the quality of A film. then you could also include tests about diversity and other social conventions as a discussion point companion to the current morality-based rating, as again, even failing a diversity test doesn't mean the film can't be progressive or whatever

  • Dennis Albert Ramirez

    i should add then when i mean "the quality of Film", i actually mean "the progressiveness of Film", as to not defeat my own point ;)

  • NateMan

    See, and I think it's a bad idea. It's not that I don't think more movies should pass the Bechdel test - because I do - I just think that, many times, it's no actual qualitative measure of a flick. A movie with 2 absolute crappy portrayals of women speaking together about something other than a man gets an A, while movies with strong female characters who DON'T speak to each other get a failing grade on this particular scale? Was Iron Man 3 in any way 'better' than Avengers by having a conversation between Pepper Potts, a glorified secretary and passionless love interest, and Maya Hansen, a neurotic and crazy bitch driven mad by Tony Stark's semen (exaggeration for emphasis)? Whereas Black Widow might not have ever chatted with Maria Hill, but at least came off as a full and complete person? I should add that I quite enjoyed IM3, and that I mostly liked Maya's portrayal as well. Except when she was all crazy in the hideout, because that was just not great.

    Nah... I think the Bechdel test is important. I think it should be applied more often. I think women characters in mainstream media need to be better defined and created. I don't think it should be used as any sort of measuring stick in the actual value of a movie, however, apart from how the viewer actually feels about it.

  • OpieCurious

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Bechdel test is about gender diversity, not gender equality. The idea is to capture a range of non-"reactions to men" experiences, whatever the quality.

    In the real world, no traditionally weaker group -- women, racial minorities, the poor, whatever -- have lives that exist only in reaction to the stronger group. If you depict them and fail to depict that, you actually have made a weaker movie than you otherwise would. A movie of otherwise similar quality that does pass the test does more to suggest life's richness than one that doesn't. Isn't that why we watch movies, essentially? To witness the richness of life? That richness comes out in laugh-out-loud humor, debilitating pain, determination in the face of the impossible, and a thousand other things. One of those things is diversity of experience.

    This doesn't mean a movie can't be good while failing the test, or terrible while passing. But in real life, men can't be part of conversations between women that don't reference men; if we're in the discussion, we are a reference in some small way. How amazing is it that in movies we could? It ought to disappoint when directors deny us this privilege. Sure, the conversations are stylized, designed to entertain, but that's something! And we can think about exactly the point you made: how well are these women doing at being fully human? Would that every movie gave us the opportunity to consider it. But as long as they exist only reacting to men, they can't ever depict the fullness of women's lives.

  • NateMan

    I just wanted to say that's a great reply. I still disagree, but it was well thought out and I appreciate you taking the time.

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