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A few things to know: The Bechdel Test

18 Jul

What is it?

The Bechdel test was first introduced in Allison Bechdel’s comic Dykes to watch out for, in a 1985 strip called “The Rule”. In order for a film to pass the Bechdel test it has to meet the following requirements:

  1. It has to have at least two women in it
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something besides a man

There have been variations to the criteria of the test, for example the female characters have to be named.

So …..

pan's labyrinthThink about a movie that you watched recently, or any movie at all. Does it have two female characters, who have a conversation about something besides a man? Can you try and name more than 3 films that pass the Bechdel test?  I actually found it kind of difficult…

And that’s where the problem lies…

The problem isn’t about the lack of female characters in films (the movie Avatar, which features the character of Neytiri, fails the test) but the lack of depth to female characters.

  • If passing the test were mandatory it would have jeopardised half of 2009’s Best Picture Nominees
  • It would also have cut the length of the annual Comic-Con to 45 minutes,

It can also be noted that the only reason a lot of these films do pass the test is because the women only talk about marriage or babies.

Why do so few films pass the Bechdel test?

One reason so few films pass the Bechdel test is that the majority of scriptwriters are male; therefore they are less likely to write about female characters.  As a female writer, I’m more likely to write a story where female characters are central to the storyline.

Another reason is the assumption about what an audience would prefer to see in a film. You are unlikely to here a female talking about her problems to her colleague in an action packed Vin diesel film. Even if it was a cliché romcom, nine out of ten times the conversation will be about a male love interest.

To restore your faith in humanity here are some films that do pass the Bechdel test:

1. Legally Blonde

There are several instances where Elle talks to females on other topics beside men.  Elle gets Brooke to tell her her alibi; Vivian lies to Elle about the party being a costume party, and Elle interviews chutney on the witness stand. Legally_blonde

2.Black Swan

The main character regularly talks to her mother; there is also a lot of discussion between the other ballet dancers about the challenges of the profession.


Women in the film include: Coraline and her mother, her other mother, Mrs Spink, and Mrs Forcible to name a few.  All of them at some point have a conversation with another female character that is not about a man.


Juno has plenty of arguments with her mother, and a discussion about prenatal stuff. Fails the anti-Bechdel test – no two men talk to anything other than a woman.

 5. Pan’s Labyrinth

Mercedes and Ofelia talk about believing in fairies and Ofelia’s dress; the both manage not to talk about a man while Mercedes is getting Ofelia milk. If it is easy for a dark fairytale like this one to pass the test, why does it seem so difficult for a simple romcom to do the same thing?

By Louisa Danquah


Broadcast from your mobile

12 Apr

Glenn McMahon came in to explain why you’ve got the power to report to a high standard in your hand.

The speed that you get your content online is vital. Eg Genoa 2001 an activist filmed the police beating the activists and in the lack of anyone form the main stream media a citizen created footage now being used as the basis of a film and a successful lawsuit.
During the riots Sky News reporter captured the action with nothing more than the power in the pocket

Why ? We all have phones on us every day. Shoot in one take with no edit and all you need to make it semi pro is an external mic is important, and a reporter and cameraman

TOP TIPS – put it on airport mode to stop your calls coming through
Whats’ happening, who’s doing it and why. Don’t forget your viewer doesn’t know what’s going on your asking questions on their behalf.
Keep it short, multiple camera angles to keep it fresh and good sound quality

If you don’t have these items then use your journo skills : Who, what when where why : I’m here at 10 am in Croydon

Read Glenn’s blog for Vison On HERE

& Our ed teams 1st attempt in the office


Hi my name is AG

29 Mar

Hi my name is AG. I’m 17 years old and I was born Portugal.I lived in London for 6 years. I would like to tell you my experience with the police in London.

When I arrived to London I was a non English speaker and I had no friends at the time.Then after a few weeks at school I made friends,I was excited and happy but everything changed they way I behaved on the streets.When I was stopped and searched by the police .I was playing around with my friends on the park and we spotted 8 police officers coming out of a police van. One of the police officers approched me and grabbed my hand very tight for a while.During all of that time he asked me questions such as what are you doing why are you here and where are you going. I was scared and confused because the officer was very angry and I didn’t know what was going on so I was quiet for all of that time, then the officer ungrabbed my hand and  and went inside the van. desperately I asked my friends what was going on and what have we done?They told me that they always get stopped and searched because they were black and because of their clothes. I wasn’t quite sure why did this happen even thou we were stopped. 2 years later I moved to Hackney because my mother moved from Portugal to London and desperately they gave her a house in Hackney,So I moved to hackney as well. When I arrived to Hackney my English Improved so I could speak quite good.The second time I was stopped and searched was when I was walking on the pavement and a group of police officers came out of a car and asked me what was I up to? I didn’t say nothing at all. they pushed me against the wall and started to search me. I felt angry because I was simply walking and got stopped.Then I realized that If I change my appearance then probably I would not be stopped again.But things carried on and on until now. All I can say is prepare for the unexpected.

We Marched Together. We Marched for Justice.

27 Mar

Yesterday, Saturday 26th March 2011, 500,000 people marched through the streets of central London in response to the large-scale butchering of vital funds once invested in the services the people of Britain rely on – the services that make/ made this country ‘Great’. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) called for and organised a national demonstration in response to the radical actions being taken by the Con-Dem government.  The whole country was represented as whole families; students; workers; pensioners; black,white, Asian, alien and/or others marched from Waterloo and Embankment, through The Strand and up into Hyde Park.

Unfortunately and true to form, a violent anarchist/barbarian/ignorant/full of sh*t minority removed themselves from the peaceful ethos of the movement and went around smashing things up and hurting the police (who were actually on our side) for no good reason:

The media of course will now concentrate on the violent 200 and the arrested 80 outside of the 500, 000 marchers (good mathematics will tell you that that’s about 0.04 per cent who killed it).  It is VERY important that we do not let this mar the efforts of the TUC and the people of Britain.

I read a stupid comment on Twitter from an upper-Middle-class twat-cat, which complained about the fact that young people (16 year olds to be exact) were also marching. To this I say the following things:

Firstly, these ’16 year olds’ have parents/ guardians who are workers. They were standing in solidarity with THEM and FOR them.

Secondly, the march was not *just* about the cuts in funding for the public sector. Students, pensioners and young children have also been attacked by Cameron, Clegg and their men. These young people will have children and will grow old. FACT. SO shut-up.

Thirdly,  how dare anybody question why young people/ anybody wish/es to march in solidarity. It’s that kind of arrogant/bourgeois attitude that has left us in the HOLE.

Now we say that enough is enough. We are many and they are few. WHY should the working classes pay for the mishaps of the bankers? So we are ‘all in this together?’  NOW WE ARE NOT.  Have you ever heard the joke about the banker and the umbrella?

‘A banker will give you his umbrella on a sunny day and then demand it back when the rain starts to piss down’.

Yes, to get out of a nation-wide/global crisis, everybody needs to do their part. But tell me why bankers and those in the upper echelons of society should keep their GARGANTUAN bonuses, whilst working class woman/ young children and young people/ pensioners/ whole families have to live on chicken change? That’s is Cameron’s ‘Big (business) society’.

We have been apathetic for far too long. People now need to be politicized and motivated! A march is all well and good but that is only the start of a permanent revolution.  The power lies within the masses.

This isn’t the last you’ve heard about this.


For now though, keep it real. keep it raw. And keep it together *salutes*

Siana. Over and out.




Is University worth £9000 a year?

25 Mar

Someone asked me the other day whether I would have attended University had it have cost 3 times the current rate (which it soon will). I looked at my half empty timetable and the stack of neatly arranged Foster’s cans on the window sill and asked myself whether all this was really worth £9000? With far fewer staff/students contact hours and even fewer assignments the concept of a modern university experience is hardly a demanding one. Truth be told it felt very much like my parents were paying for me to hang out with friends, drink at all hours and occasionally submit an essay. Yet if the events of the student protests in London last November taught us anything it is that this increase more than mildly unpopular to prospective students.

Its a sad state of affairs that there are now over 2.5m full time undergraduates in the UK (up from just under 1m in 1995) and that graduates all over the country are struggling for increasingly competitive jobs. Are prospective students really about to pay £9000 for 3 years and a certificate before they start claiming their jobseekers’ allowances? Furthermore when a degree costs 9 grand where is it that students should go and what should they study? It seems unlikely to me that anyone will pay that kind of money or receive any kind of bursary to read Beatles Studies at the Liverpool Hope University.

Then it occurred to me, whilst I was contemplating the effects of a lower undergraduate intake I realised the effect that this increase would really have. Surely with more students being deterred from entering higher education we can look forward to the prestige a graduate degree formerly entailed being miraculously restored? One can only hope that with fewer people receiving degrees there will be a much greater demand (which isn’t difficult at present)  for graduates in the job market.

Similarly, perhaps this increase will encourage school leavers to pursue a future outside or more education. It is no secret that presence of British workers in the allied trades and former high street jobs has declined significantly over the last few decades. The enormous immigration numbers which we have seen over the past few years are largely explained by the a deficient supply of British butchers, postmen, carpenters etc. Wouldn’t less emphasis on the importance of a university education help to counter this trend?

With this in mind, I hope that before we start organising Millbank round 2 or developing projectile fire extinguishers we will all remember all the consequences that this higher tuition fees will entail.


Exciting new project coming your way soon…!

25 Mar

Hey there Team YH World!

I hope you are all well. It’s been a while indeed but I can assure you that all is well.  We have moved offices and have grown over the past couple of months. There is a larger team in the offices at all times now; thus enabling us to keep providing you with positive information and great opportunities!

I have been a busy bee (as always) as well. Check out what I have been up to in the other branches of my blog:

Once you’ve had your fill of that, make sure you check the latest news and features on the YH! World site so that you don’t miss anything good 🙂

On a more exclusive note, by the end of this coming week, we at YH! will be launching our new project: ‘Young and Brilliant’ . This will be a celebration of young talents within the capital, who are working hard and making their way up the ladder of their ambition. With the help of a series of Video blogs, we will follow the journeys of a rapper; a journalist and photographer; a television presenter; a very talented make-up artist; a kick-boxer who is going places; a young entrepreneur; and a set of dancers who are currently touring the UK!

There is plenty of talent to be found in our city and despite all the negative media coverage and the difficult economic, political and social climate, young people are still ambitious.  And we at YH! want to be there at every step to celebrate with them when thy finally do reach their goals and get to wherever it is they strive to go.

So basically my lovelies, stay tuned!

Much love for now!



Siana. Over and out.

Westminster: One of My Favourite Places in London (amongst others).

21 Dec
The political hub

Here is a snippet of the reasons why Westminster is one of my favourite places in London...

Not only is it one of the most historic and beautiful places in the capital, it is home to Westminster Abbey and stands as the political hub of Britain. Parliament Square hosts protesters from far and wide who stand up and voice their anger over the many injustices of the global society next to statues of great figures such as Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Peel, and Nelson Mandela. The stunning detail of the abbey make for great photographs. The area has also been the backdrop for the recent student protests against the dramatic rise in tuition fees – I was there in the thick of the action. I’m waiting and hoping that one of the photos I took on the day might one day become an iconic symbol of the continuing fight for justice for all. When my camera and I are not capturing moments of protest or admiring Gothic architecture, we like to hang out at the South Bank, which happens to be a five to ten minute walk from Westminster. There is always something to do, particularly in the evening/ night – and it’s often free. When I’m not in and around the centre of the capital, I enjoy being in Camden. It’s slighty edgier crowd, good music and good food, and the famous market make it a great place to be. If you fancy a bit of swing or Old Skool Hip-Hop then Barfly is the place to go – and entrance is free! So basically, our visitors have a treat in store for them (Yes, I do sound like a Thomas Cooke advertisment) in 2012. Now, just think, wouldn’t it be cool to lead the way and show off our city at its best? Become and ambassador for the games! I really can’t stress enough just how important it is that as many as you sign up BEFORE 31st DECEMBER to become London Ambassadors for 2012 . It’s YOUR time and this is YOUR chance to get involved and really be proud of being a Londonder 🙂 Go to:

Well actually, you now have until January 17th!!

Go on, you know you want to *winks*

As always, it’s the one and only, Siana Bangura over and out *salutes*