I often do not see societal limitations that are right under my nose.

I was recently made aware of the Bechdel Test, a sort of lowest-common-denominator test of a movie’s portrayal of women. I say “lowest common denominator” because to pass the test, all that is required of a movie is that:

1) there are at least two named female characters, who

2) talk to each other about

3) something other than a man.

These would not seem to be high bars to jump in terms of female portrayal, but one can see from an analysis of movies that a surprising number do not pass even this most basic test.

It might be obvious from my blog title and its content, that I have a burgeoning interest in what I might call “full humanity.” Thus I’m interested in the circumstances which create enough space for people to recognise their own capacities, gifts and lenses and to bring those to the table of life. It is an interest grounded in the hope that we can continue to transcend societal limitations that are based only on the premise “it’s just the way I expect you to be and the role I expect you to fill.”

Yet when I learn about things like the Bechdel test I am reminded that I often do not see societal limitations that are right under my nose. In my white, male, middle class way I don’t always appreciate the number of “the way it is” expectations that exist. Thank goodness for provocations like the Bechdel Test as we continue this unending journey towards hearing the true voice of “every-person.”

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