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bechdel test – ever heard of it? thought not. it’s a benchmark for films that was created nearly 30 years ago. for a film to pass the bechdel test, it must meet 3 criteria: the film must have at least 2 female characters, who talk to each other about anything at all except men.

sounds simple, right? then you might be surprised to find out how many films fail this test, these to name but a few:

– Monsters University

– the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy

– Lara Croft

– all but one of the Harry Potter films

– the original Star Wars trilogy

in 2013, only 36% of films passed this test. to be clear, passing doesn’t mean the film is good or bad. failing the test doesn’t mean the film is evil or anti-woman, or that passing makes it some sort of strongly feminist movie. it’s more to get people thinking about gender and how it’s presented in film. 

a lot of these films fail as the many do have strong female characters but these women never actually speak to each other. it makes me wonder what is the point of them being there.

i grew up with 3 younger brothers and 2 very strong female role models in my mum and nana. in school, i caused trouble when i started a petition to allow the girls to wear trousers. i was the only girl on the boys cricket team. i was bought up to question and challenge and explore everything around me. that includes the times when i was treated differently because i was a girl.

as a young woman today, i’m constantly bombarded with women being portrayed as objects in the media –  women having no opinions, no voice, no role except to cook and look pretty. i’m not suggesting that the bechdel test is the be all and end all. there are plenty of hugely sexist films that pass the test with flying colours. i think it’s more about awareness of the portrayal of women in films. if i have a daughter, i want to bring her up as i was – to stand up for herself and others, especially women, and to not be afraid to challenge the status quo. because for the world to continue to treat women as inferior to men, isn’t right. it just isn’t.  

 

 

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so i’ve been doing this #100happydays thing. today is day 6. when i first started i thought: “post something that makes me happy every day? easy!” and so far it has been.

but today is one of those days it hasn’t been easy. just a bad day all round.

but surely in the world i live in, there must be one thing that has made me happy? one teeny thing.

maybe gin’ll do it. 

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i’ve just read a fantastic article from the financial times. now i’m not normally one to read the FT. i’m more of a BBC news girl. but this article on inspiring women from 2013 intrigued me.

Imagethe issue had interviews with Malala, the Pakistani girl who has been speaking out about womens education since she was 10. 10! that puts me to shame. it profiles the UK’s best female footballer, who had to pretend she was a boy to get noticed in her football team as a child. Mishal Husain, a well-known face of British news spoke about the everyday sexism she faced in her role. Even Bridget Jones got  a mention.

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all of these women have made their mark in one way or another. all of them experienced misogyny and sexism along their journey. some more extreme than others. but the most telling stories of them all, i think, was the interview with Julia Gillard. Julia Gillard was the Australian prime minister up until recently. few politicians have received such personal abuse as Gillard, whose political term ended amid accusations about the role of women in Australian society and the treatment of women in top jobs. watch the video below. she ends the interview with these words on her role as a female PM: “crashing through a glass ceiling is always painful, especially for the first to go through, but having crashed through it, i think it’ll be easier for the next woman who comes along.”

here’s to all the powerful and inspiring women who made 2013 a great year.

i’ve signed up to #100happydays. challenge is to post 1 photo a day of something that makes you happy, for 100 days. simple right? you try: http://www.100happydays.com 

here’s day 1:

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i’ve been neglecting my blog. well not just neglecting, outright ignoring if we’re honest. so, i’d like to try and change this.

over the last year, there have been lots of things i’ve had opinions on. and i’ve missed sharing them. let’s give this another go.

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simple.

today i decided two things.

1 – i want to run the london marathon.

2 – i’m giving up swearing. 

i feel i have achieved a lot today.

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IPQC ❤