Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Unexamined Privilege Episode

Sorry to mislead you but I don't think this particular blog post is gonna be about an Unexamined Privilege Episode, but I do LOOOVE that term, I came across it in Jennifer Kesler's blogsite 'What Privilege' which features articles about Unexamined Privilege Episodes and unearned privilege and taking privilege for granted and I'm finding it hard to explain but here's a link.

Anyway, let me tell you about my weekend. On Saturday we had yoga class with my mum, Akbar came and so did Dan. Pami from work came as well but she was really late, probably due to the 222 bus service from Hounslow (emphasis on the SLOW. RIGHT? YEAH!).
On Sunday night we went to Dan's. We brought chips and tortilla wraps and courgettes and houmous ('we' is CMW, BTW) and eventually the oven made it hot and we ate it. We watched 'The Boat That Rocked' Which is a terrible film. I mean disappointing but I don't say disappointing because almost all films disappoint me, even the ones I think will be shit turn out to be shitter.
That sounds like I'm really critical. I am... but I don't actually have high standards for films, not really. Even if I know it is going to be shit, I always think I will be entertained. This is because I forget that the film industry is still quite a sexist industry and hardly any films pass the 'Bechdel test'.
In order for a film to pass the Bechdel test, at least two NAMED women in the film must have a conversation... with each other.... about something other than... a man. (MORE ON THIS)
Sounds pretty basic right? Apparently not.
I am pretty sure The Boat That Rocked featured its female characters heavily in its promotional material (which tricked me into thinking it would just be... normal and nice) but this film does not by any stretch of the imagination pass the Bechdel test. There's even a LESBIAN in it and she only says one word to a female in the whole film and it's 'lovely'.
I don't conciously try to apply the Bechdel test to films as I am watching them*see analogy below, it's just painfully obvious when a film is a cockfest and this, my friends, is a cockfestival. It's also obvious when almost all the female characters in a film are 'doormats or prostitutes'. or I guess 'Victims or Bitches' would be more accurate, it's the Bond girl dualism. I'd love to see that quiz in MIZZ magazine, 'Hey girls, which female movie character are you? Victim or Bitch?' (Mizz is one of the more aspirational pre-teen-magazines, obv.)
I guess if you're a (white) guy and you don't see anything wrong with these films because, hey, they paint people like you in such a great light etc. etc..... we might call that an... Unexamined Privilege Episode. YEAH! I worked it in, I'm a weaver, I weave.

I'm actually really wired on coffee right now. I can only write/think in really short sentences before my attention span shorts out.

* Imagine... all your friends are playing a game, but you aren't allowed to play. You're only allowed to watch. This might be entertaining, if it's a fun game to watch. On the other hand, it might be one of those games that's only fun to play, and not fun to watch (because it's a badly made game with a weak script... I mean... weak... rules...). This means that you won't be entertained, and you won't be having fun, you may just feel left out. this is what it is like for a woman to watch films which don't pass the Bechdel Test.

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