Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) - Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson)

Hailing Frequencies Open: Does it matter if successful movies don't have strong female characters?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a huge hit and, not surprisingly, it fails the Bechdel test. Does it matter?
For those not aware, the Bechdel test was introduced in Alison Bechdel's comic strip in a 1985 strip as a way to gauge the level of female equality in a movie.
  •  It has to have at least two women in it
  •  They talk to each other
  •  They talk about something besides a man

Historically, successful movies don't pass the test although this is changing. According to bechdeltest.com the movie only gets a one out of three. It has three women in it - Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), and Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) - but they don't talk to each other about anything besides a man.

While Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is the strongest female superhero out right now, does it matter if successful movies fail the test?

Does it matter if a movie has strong female characters? If a movie has a strong heroine, does it matter if it fails the Bechdel Test? Does the Bechdel Test mean anything? Will this change?

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Pat Dilloway said...

Commercially it doesn't matter and I doubt it matters that much to most guys. It would be nice if we could get up to that point where it wouldn't even be a big deal if a movie passed that test.


If you pander to that test then you must pander to all...one day we shall have equality, and it really won't matter. I might be hoping and reaching too far, but if you don't you're going to live in a negative bubble.

jeremy said...

what it needed is a sexy charlie's angel photo shoot, somewhere in the film... i am saying the black widow, hill and agent 13... kicked some serious tail.

Maurice Mitchell said...

It's sad but true Pat. I agree that hoefully this test won't be needed in the near future.

Maurice Mitchell said...

They rocked the house Jeremy. They just didn't talk to each other while doing it. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

It's better to live in a positive bubble David.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jeremy's comment is funny!
Guess I need to watch the movie again. Thought Widow and Agent 13 had exchanges other than about men.
I had a whole novel without any women. And the second one only had one. Epic fail.

Tony Laplume said...

I don't go around looking for this. But of course it would be better if women got to be less man crazy in movies.


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