The patriarchy’s effing vast, start changing it with The Bechdel Cast.
Credit for this week’s PotW goes to my cousin (and friend) Kaity. Around Thanksgiving she asked me if I wanted to go to a live recording of this podcast in December because it seemed like something I would like. I agreed to go and started listening to the podcast to familiarize myself with it, and before I could stop myself I was laughing out loud at my desk during work.
The Bechdel Cast was created by two Los Angeles based comedians, Jamie Loftus and Caitlin Durante. Every week they bring in a guest and discuss a movie–any movie–as it relates to the Bechdel test and beyond.
If you’re not familiar with the Bechdel test, it’s a test developed by writer/cartoonist Alison Bechdel that helps assess how well women are represented in a movie by asking three questions:
- Are there at least two named women in this movie?
- Do they talk to each other?
- Do they talk to each other about something other than a man?
If a movie meets all three criteria, it passes the Bechdel test. Obviously, this is the lowest possible bar for female representation, but once you know it you’ll be surprised how many movies don’t pass.
Jamie and Caitlin are hilarious, insightful, and incisive as they cut into your most beloved films with a feminist razor and tear it to pieces. They’re never preachy or sanctimonious, but they do make important observations about the media we’re consuming and the messaging inherent in it.
At the live show I attended with Kaity, they discussed Elf and had Mara Wilson as a guest, which was an absolute delight. I’m pleased to report that both Jamie and Caitlin were sweet, funny, and kind in person, and that their combination of ridiculousness and whip-smart analysis was just as enjoyable in person as it is on their podcast. I’m looking forward to attending more shows and to listening to their podcast as long as they deign to bless us with it.
Recommended Episode: Because it’s almost Christmas, I’m going to recommend Love Actually with Debra DiGiovanni, but be prepared to kind of hate the movie when they’re done with it. DiGiovanni is a fantastically funny guest and their commentary on this movie had me rolling with laughter.
Listen if you like: My Favorite Murder, Broad City, drinking Smirnoff Ice and talking about feminism