What is the Bechdel Test?

The Bechdel Test, also known as the Bechdel-Wallace Test, was inspired by Alison Bechdel’s 1985 comic strip “The Rule,” and became a set of criteria to measure if women are represented in a film. Bechdel credited the idea for the test to a friend, Liz Wallace, who was likely inspired by Virginia Woolf’s essay “A Room of One’s Own.” For a film to pass the Bechdel Test, it must include at least two female characters speaking to each other about something other than a man. …

From micro-aggressive “nicknames” for the COVID-19 Virus such as Kung Flu and Chinese Virus to attacks against elderly Asian Americans and Canadians, anti-Asian violence has been on the rise, but media coverage has not. Even prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, anti-Asian violence has been overlooked, because of racial stereotyping and continuous racist and xenophobic rhetoric.

Source: Rolling Stone through photographer Steven Senne

Recent anti-Asian Violence in the United States

In security footage from January 28th, 84 year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was shoved to the ground while on his morning walk in San Francisco, by 19 year-old Antoine Watson. Two days later, Ratanapakdee passed away. Watson has since been charged with murder and elder abuse.


As the world enters its fifteenth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 176 million cases and 3.8 million deaths, governments worldwide have been failing to provide adequate support for those affected by the virus. Confronted with this systemic failure, individuals and communities have turned to each other for support, exemplifying a concept known as mutual aid.

Volunteers handing out food at a mutual aid event in Everett, Massachusetts. Via Getty Images.

History of Mutual Aid

Mutual-aid is a concept born from a hybrid of Russian evolutionary theory and anarchist thought, associated most commonly with Peter Kropotkin and his writing of Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. Kropotkin developed mutual aid in response to the profound impact of Darwin’s evolutionary…

On April 25th, 2021, Chloé Zhao made history as the second woman, and the first woman of colour, to win the Academy Award for Best Director, but her historic victory is a milestone that should have been passed years ago. While a few women can be commended for breaking through the glass ceiling in the entertainment industry, their influence has had limited results concerning gender parity and portrayal; women’s representation in the industry of film and television remains inadequate, both onscreen and behind the scenes.

Nomadland director Chloé Zhao, with her Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture. From Variety.

Relevant Theories

Discrimination Theory

Discrimination Theory is based on the idea that a certain group is preferred, even when…

Disabled people have faced exclusion, discrimination, and even attempted genocide for simply existing in the world, but various international organizations and national governments work to prevent such treatment in the future. Acts and laws regarding disability rights began to emerge in the late 20th and early 21st century, following civil rights legislation designed to prevent racial and gendered discrimination.

Disability Law in Australia

A Disability Rights Now report identified a number of human rights issues for people with a disability in Australia, including the lack of legislative protection of human rights, limitations of equality and non-discrimination laws, difficulties accessing education and employment, lack of…

Choice feminism is a branch of feminism which advocates that every choice that a woman or misogyny affected person makes is inherently feminist, simply because of the gender identity of the person making that choice. This individualistic form of feminism is counterproductive and tone-deaf, because not only is is exclusively applicable to white misogyny affected people, but also furthers the capitalistic, euro-centric, and patriarchal oppressive systems that most other forms of feminism are working to abolish.

Contrary to popular consensus — and the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary — feminism is not necessarily, “ the belief in and advocacy of the political, economic…

Chloé Zhao is only the second woman to win in the Best Director Category, after Barbara Streisand’s Yentl in 1984, and the first woman of colour to do so, while Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari won the category of Foreign Language Films.

Chloé Zhao for Nomadland

Born Zhao Ting to Yuji Zhao and Huang Tao on March 13th, 1982, she is a first-generation Chinese immigrant who attended a boarding school in London and a high school in Los Angeles. She studied political science at Mount Holyoke College, and film production at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

She had always been drawn to…

Malcolm hates identity and authenticity in filmmaking, Marie defends it. How big of a role do they really play?

Zendaya as Marie Jones (left) and John David Washington as Malcolm Elliot (right) in Malcolm and Marie (2021)

How does Identity Impact Content?

From Moonlight, to BlacKKKlansman to the surge of foreign films in Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Parasite, representation in the filmmaking industry is at the highest that it has ever been. As the entertainment industry becomes more diverse, the rules regarding which people are “allowed” to create which types of content has been blurred. Some of the films and characters that were socially acceptable are no longer so, because of the recent development of representation and its impact on…

Why Scarlett Johansson’s casting is just one of many problematic instances of misrepresentation of East Asian culture in film.

Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell, portraying a character known as Major Mira Killian or Motoko Kusanagi
Scarlett Johansson in Ghost in the Shell, portraying a character known as Major Mira Killian or Motoko Kusanagi
Scarlett Johansson as Major Mira Killian, also known as Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, 2017

The erasure of Asian actors in favour of their white counterparts has been prominent issue for decades. Mickey Rooney in yellowface as Mr. Yunioshi, Holly Golightly’s Japanese neighbour in Breakfast at Tiffany’s perpetuates racist stereotypes, while the Celtic modification of the originally Himalayan Ancient One character played by Tilda Swinton in Doctor Strange is blatant whitewashing. …

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