Last night I read an article wherein John Scalzi considers whether or not a slew of recent, popular science fiction movies provide authentic roles for female characters or just feature them for the sake of supporting the development and exposition of the male protagonists. It was hilarious in the same way that this picture is:
I.e., patently, but in such a manner as to leave one feeling uneasy, violated, unworthy.
Scalzi uses the Bechdel test to evaluate the films in question. The test asks:
1. Are there at least two women characters in the film?
2. ...who talk to each other?
3. ...about something other than a man?
I've applied something like this test to my own writing before and come out unsatisfied. I took a couple feminist philosophy classes in university and got pretty good grades, but, perhaps due to the fact that, rather than attend classes, I played videogames and abused the major organ systems of my body, I am not Bechdel-sufficient.
Such a fact is repugnant to my sense of decency, and with this well-articulated tool in hand, I hope to turn around the depiction of women in my writing.
While we are on the tender subject of gender,
I today received a haircut. There is a barbershop not far from office, though, being a scruffy, recent university graduate, I attend it but rarely. However, when I do, and after I have been clipped and shaved, the barber rubs my head with some kind of flat, rubber comb not unlike a potato scrubber. I cannot help but feel, at these moments, like a dog: washed, groomed, and de-loused, receiving a scratch behind the ears.
There is nothing I enjoy more than such a thorough scratch on the head.