I guess if an author at Bitch Ph.D. hadn't heard of The Bechdel Rule till this week, I shouldn't be ashamed that it was new to me, too: "The rule is that movies should have 1) at least two women, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than a man."
The guideline's name is disputed: See some background here. (It's also been referred to as the Mo Movie Measure, which also doesn't accurately reflect its origins.) Anyway, it may help pin down why, if you have feminist inclinations, you most likely left the theater last time feeling vaguely dissatisfied.
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Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
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Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.