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Media

Sexism rating

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Dec 15, 2013 | From the print edition

Films>> Sexism • Sweden

A scene from The Princess BrideFrom the land that gave the cinema world Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman comes a plan for pressuring filmmakers to correct decades of gender stereotyping and sexism. Four independent Swedish cinemas, in collaboration with the state-funded Swedish Film Institute, have begun rating the films they show on whether they pass the Bechdel Test.

The ratings exam is named after American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who introduced it in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. It poses tests for weeding out sexist entertainment by requiring films to have, “at least two named female characters, who talk to each other in the film, about something other than men”. Films found lacking in gender equality are Shrek, Braveheart, Slumdog Millionaire, The Princess Bride, all Star Wars movies, most 007 films, the Lord of the Rings trilogy and all but one of the Harry Potter movies.

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