Women and Genders Essay

Submitted By roshmosh
Words: 1844
Pages: 8

In 1985, Alison Bechdel introduced the Bechdel test in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For that was created by Liz Wallace (Alice). This test is used to identify gender bias and tests the female presence in fictional media (Alice). In order for a media content to pass the test, it has to feature at least two female characters, who are named, who talk to each other about something other than a man (Alice). Although these rules sound like simple standards to meet, many fictional media do not pass this threshold of representing women. In this essay I will be evaluating the movies The Hunger Games and The Dark Knight Rises using the Bechdel test. Additionally, I will be analyzing the main female characters in the films using theories learned in class. I believe that the main female characters in these films represent excellent feminist heroines.
The Hunger Games is set in a distant post-apocalyptic future, in which 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen is living with her mother and little sister, Prim. They live in a small house in a place called Panem; which is the 12th district that is controlled by the totalitarian Capitol. Traditionally, each year, one boy and one girl from ages 12-18, from each district, are randomly selected to participate in the televised Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a televised battle to the death for the Capitol's amusement and is a brutal reminder of the districts' failed rebellions (Silva). During the Games, the 24 children must try to kill each other and the last person standing is rewarded by the Capitol with a feast of food. Along with Peeta Mellark, Prim Everdeen, who is only twelve years old, is chosen as one of District 12's representatives. However, Katniss heroically volunteers to be the tribute in her sister's place. The tributes are publicly displayed to the Capitol during several interviews as well as the Games and they have to attempt to appeal to the television audience in order to obtain "sponsors". During the Games, Katniss relies heavily on her hunting and survival skills and forms an alliance with another female tribute, Rue. Since the audience loved Katniss and Peeta’s relationship, the rules of the Hunger Games changed throughout the Games, allowing the two tributes from the same district to win the Hunger Games as a couple. In the end, Katniss and Peeta succeed in being the last two surviving tributes. The Dark Knight Rises is the final movie of the Batman trilogy. The plot takes place eight years after the previous sequel, in which Batman has disappeared and Bruce Wayne is a recluse. The movie introduces a new character, Selina Kyle, who is a thief and steals from the rich. . Another character introduced is Miranda Tate who is Wayne’s business partner. The city of Gotham is terrorized by a man named Bane; this attack encourages Bruce Wayne to become Batman again in hopes of saving his city. However, he soon discovers that he cannot defeat him alone. After discovering the true identity of Miranda Tate, Catwoman and Batman work together to defeat the evil and succeed accordingly.
In The Hunger Games there were many named female characters that converse with Katniss Everdeen about something other than a man. Katniss has conversations with her mother, Prim, guide Effie Trinket, Rue, and with just about every other character in the movie. Therefore, the film brilliantly passes the Bechdel test. The racial Bechdel test is an interesting version of the original Bechdel test that I will also apply to The Hunger Games. The racial test asks whether or not there are one or more characters of colour present in the film, and whether they talk to each other about something other than a white character (Johnson). The Hunger Games includes more than one character of colour, such as: Rue, Cinna, and Thresh, who are important contributors to the story. However, these characters do not interact or talk to each other during the film. However, this is justified since the movie is experienced…