So here’s my plan. I plan to create a star rating system based on the presentation of women in films and then rate every film I watch. In an ideal world this will result in a resource which people can refer to, so instead of seeing if a film is a 15 or an 18, you can see how many stars it got in its representation of women.

Eg. Film Watcher: “Hey, I’d really like to watch a film tonight, being a film watcher and all, but, you know what I’m not in the mood for – domestic violence. Today is not a day I want to watch a woman get hit by her husband. I’m not feeling it. Even if the film makers are clear he’s a Bad Guy and he gets his comeuppance. Even then. And you know what else I don’t want – strip clubs. Endless scenes inexplicably in strip clubs, where men apparently go to meet each other, and not to watch naked women, they are not interested in the naked women, they are only interested in their important meetings, coincidentally held in strip clubs.”

Film Watcher this blog is for you. If you are thinking any of these things then you can consult my posts and see my opinion of the presentation of women in (hopefully soon) many many films.

The stars do not tell you how good the film is. They do not even tell you what I think of the film. This idea is heavily based on the idea of the Bechdel test (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bechdel_test) but it is far more (and perhaps needlessly) complicated. It is for the times when the Bechdel test is fooled. When films scrape through with a brief conversation between 2 women who are both constantly objectified, needlessly sexualised and hopelessly stereotyped. And to pick up on those films who fail the Bechdel test but who contain wonderful female characters nonetheless. However, while the Bechdel test is basically empirically provable my star rating system involves endless judgement calls, in both the ratings of individual films and the composition of the system itself. So feel free to argue with me as much as you should desire.

I’ve also added a representational Bonus Point system. So the inclusion of women from marginalised groups, the discussion of feminist issues and a female writer or director will gain the film a point. I am very aware that I don’t belong to any of the marginalised groups I am discussing and so any feedback on this front would be particularly appreciated. I will also happily take suggestions so if you give me a film I’ll rate it.

So, work in progress, but I hope you like it


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