Sweden's New Rating System: Is the Movie Sexist?
Cinemas experiment with the 'Bechdel test'
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2013 5:20 PM CST
Jennifer Lawrence portrays Katniss Everdeen in a scene from 'The Hunger Games.' The movie passes the Bechdel test.   (AP Photo/Lionsgate, Murray Close, File)

(Newser) – A handful of movie theaters in Sweden have rolled out a new rating system to let viewers know whether a movie is sexist, reports the AP. The simple test: Does it have at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man? If so, it gets an A. For the record, the Hunger Games passes, but Star Wars fails, as does the Lord of the Rings trilogy. If the test sounds familiar, it might be because it's been floating around since 1985 when it got introduced as "The Rule" by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, notes the Verge.

In fact, this "rule" is now called the Bechdel test, and it has its share of critics who call it too simplistic. "For social change, the A-rating is a noble but clumsy move, and probably won’t alter the cinematic landscape," writes Nick Venable at Cinema Blend. "If only we could start rating films based on their writing, acting, direction and overall quality instead of all this politically-fueled stuff." Still, the bigger point is to raise awareness and to ultimately "see more female stories and perspectives on cinema screens," says the director of one of the four Swedish cinemas on board. It's not an official rating by any means, but the state's Swedish Film Institute supports the move.

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Showing 3 of 77 comments
Nov 8, 2013 3:56 AM CST
Unfortunately the glitzy world of Hollywood still hasn't gone beyond the notion that women are anything more than boobs on legs (high heels preferably !). While Swedens attempt may sound boorish it's at least a sign put up by the government that it will not put up with Hollywoods reprehensible conduct.
Nov 7, 2013 4:55 PM CST
Most people can figure out what a movie is about beforehand. Ask friends and check the internet. North America has too much censorship when it comes to movies. In order for most movies to make money, they can have implied violence with very little blood. Young viewers come away from those movies with an unrealistic expectation of the result of violence.
Nov 7, 2013 9:59 AM CST
I like women !!