A popular topic in feminist analysis of pop culture is The Bechdel Test. What is the Bechdel Test you ask? It’s rather simple really, but I love this explanation by Anita at Feminist Frequency:
Ok, so does Sailor Moon have two or more women who have names? YES! Do they talk to each other? YES! Do they talk to each other about something other than dudes? YES! YAHOO! HOLLYWOOD TAKE NOTE!
The third criteria fascinates me the most. What do women and girls talk about other than dudes? Heck, what do the sailor guardians talk about? At my panel at Senshi Matsuri 2013, the audience gave a lot of examples–the sailor guardians talk about the enemies, how to beat the enemies, how they will punish the enemies, why they are punishing the enemies (hello there Sailor Moon’s intro speech!) school, homework, entrance exams, video games, Sailor V, food, each other, and how to help that special someone featured in the episode.
I must admit Sailor Moon doesn’t always pass the Bechdel Test–Usagi loves talking about Mamoru, Makoto can’t forget her ex-boyfriend and Minako is a huge Three Lights fan, just to name a few. Here’s a clip from the English dub which passes the Bechdel Test until the very end:
One of the reasons why we talk about the Bechdel Test, as Anita notes, is that even today women and girls are not well represented in media. In fact, of the top grossing films in 2012, only 28% of the speaking roles were women. Women are over 50% of the US population and they have only 28% of the movie speaking roles?! ARGH!!
It seems to me that Hollywood could easily improve these numbers by simply making a Sailor Moon live action movie(s), no? 🙂