Tag Archives: rebecca may ristow

The Bechdel Test and Feminism in Media

Rebecca May Ristow A&E Editor

            Most commonly applied to movies and TV shows, The Bechdel Test was named after American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Bechdel, most well known for her comic strips and graphic novels, founded the test as a way to roughly estimate the presence of women in a piece of media. The standard requirement to ‘pass’ the test is that two women must talk at some point in the film about something other than a man. Sometimes, people add on the rule that the women must be named characters. These rules originated almost by accident, showing up in one of Bechdel’s comic strips. Two women are depicted going to the movies together and one of them explains that she only watches films that pass those rules. Finding nothing in the theater that does, the two women go home. Originally, the strip was intended to explore the idea that women, especially queer women, are often alienated in media. The ending of the comic references this in its final joke, when the woman remarks that the last film she was able to watch was Alien.

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Why Do We Love Sitcoms?

Rebecca May Ristow A&E Editor

            Almost every young adult has a favorite sitcom. Even though we didn’t grow up with Friends, we’ve all seen the show at least once. The Office is practically considered a classic by young adults, only rivaled by the die-hard Parks and Recreation fans. Some people love New Girl, while others vouch endlessly for the appeal of The Good Place, How I Met Your Mother, or Community. All of these shows follow similar formats, focusing on extremely outrageous groups of main characters as they get themselves in even more ridiculous circumstances. Situational comedy is sometimes called lowbrow, or made fun of for being simple or relying on stereotypes. So, why do young adults love sitcoms?

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