Wonder Woman is 2017’s top-grossing summer movie, raking in
Think, just for a second, about the superhero films featuring female leads. Women aren’t really equally represented—and, unfortunately, that’s not specific to the superhero genre.
The Bechdel Test
The Bechdel Test dates back to 1985 and sets a very low bar for evaluating women’s representation in films. The test has three simple criteria: “(1) it has to have at least two [named] women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.”
British event organizing company Twizzle compiled a list of the last 25 Marvel and DC comic movies and ran them through the Bechdel Test. Less than half of the films passed the modest test.
The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in MediaTwizzle researches and advocates for “gender balance” and “challenging stereotypes” on screen.
“In the time it takes to make a movie,” Davis says, “we can change what the future looks like. There are woefully few women CEOs in the world, but there can be lots of them on screen. How do we encourage a lot more girls to aspire to lead? By casting droves of women in STEM, politics, law and other professions today in movies.”
A Brighter Future
Ashley’s mother, Christine Keller, is doing her part to provide a positive role model to little girls too. Keller published the book Danica Dreamer in 2014.
“Danica Dreamer is a smart, adventurous and curious young girl with a wild imagination and big dreams for her future,” reads the Amazon descriptionDFID – UK Department for International Development/Flickr of the book. “Join her on an amazing journey to discover what it would be like to be the President of the United States of America.”
It looks like Ashley has more than a couple of strong female role models to look up to.
An important closing note: The value of representation is not just a gender thing. Having positive role models from all underrepresented communities is vitally important to helping us create a more equitable world.