AP Promotes New Swedish Feminist Movie Ratings Established by 'Dykes to Watch Out For'

Even as American movie theatres rebel against abiding by the NC-17 rating to keep high-school kids away from sex-drenched French movies, AP's Malin Rising reports (positively) that the Left would love to impose its own cultural standards on the movie industry: "movie theaters in equality-minded Sweden are introducing a new rating to highlight gender bias, or rather the absence of it."

To get an “A” rating, a movie must pass the so-called Bechdel test – named for American lesbian cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who created a new standard in her comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For" in 1985 – that a movie “must have at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.” So many movie classics fail this politically correct measurement:

"The entire 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, all 'Star Wars' movies, 'The Social Network,' 'Pulp Fiction' and all but one of the 'Harry Potter' movies fail this test," said Ellen Tejle, the director of Bio Rio, an art-house movie theater in Stockholm's trendy Sodermalm district.

Bio Rio is one of four Swedish movie theaters that launched the new rating last month to draw attention to how few movies pass. Most visitors have reacted positively to the initiative "and for some people it has been an eye-opener," said Tejle, reclining in one of Bio Rio's cushy red seats.

Beliefs about women's roles in society are influenced by the fact that movie watchers rarely see "a female superhero or a female professor or person who makes it through exciting challenges and masters them," Tejle said, noting that the rating doesn't say anything about the quality of the film. "The goal is to see more female stories and perspectives on cinema screens."

The state-funded Swedish Film Institute supports the initiative, which is starting to catch on. Scandinavian cable TV channel Viasat Film says it will start using the ratings in its film reviews and has scheduled an "A" rated "Super Sunday" on Nov. 17, when it will show only films that pass the test, such as "The Hunger Games," "The Iron Lady" and "Savages."

At least one Hollywood star sounded excited by the idea when asked about it by AP. "A feminist ratings system? That's so interesting!" actress-producer Jada Pinkett Smith said in Beverly Hills, California, where she was attending a benefit dinner for gender equality. "I say, hey, let's see if it works!"

[HT: @jamestaranto]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis