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‘Bitch List’ Aims to Get More Quality Female Characters in Film

‘Bitch List’ Aims to Get More Quality Female Characters in Film


I’m teaching myself physics (long story) and I’m just now getting to Newton’s Laws of Motion. The first law is often summarized as, “an object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion unless an outside force is exerted on it.” This isn’t only true in physics. It’s true for culture as well.

What I mean is, things just don’t change overnight. Identifying a problem doesn’t automatically make it go away. You have to do something (sort of the whole idea behind Care2 petitions). The object, in this case current culture, will keep chugging along until an outside force acts upon it. With an object as big and powerful as culture it can take a lot of external forces. But little bits coming together can make a big difference, which is why I love projects like the Bitch List.

The Bitch List, according to Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress, is an effort to get more scripts that pass the Bechdel Test made into movies. It seems to be modeled after the Black List, a compilation of the best unproduced movie scripts. The Bitch List will be a compilation of great scripts that have actual, for real, well-drawn lady characters. The challenge posed by this project is for producers to read one to three scripts off the final list, due out in January 2013.

Woo hoo! If you’ve been to the movies lately and paid any attention, you know this is desperately needed. It may not seem like much, but it’s great to be able to see people like you on film. Wouldn’t it be great to see more women who aren’t obsessed with marriage and babies and being in love? You know, actual three dimensional characters? It’s not only good for women and girls who can view their heroines in 3D. It’s good for boys and men, who can now learn that women can be superheroes and don’t need anyone’s permission to exist. It’s a win-win.

Studio producers think people won’t see those films (and by “people” they surely mean males aged 13-25). But the numbers disagree. Kristen Wiig’s movie “Bridesmaids” earned almost $300 million worldwide and Pixar’s “Brave” earned $66.7 million on its opening weekend. If you make a good movie and market it, we will come. I love going to the movies, but Hollywood, you make some crappy stuff. Try this new thing. You might like it.


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Photo of Kristen Wiig: Rubenstein/flickr

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10:06AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

America is the land of the MALE chauvinist. Women are subservient to me is the cultural attitude. This is reflected in lower wages, more work, less rights and a androcentric based economy and political ideology. Women who succeed in this male dominated culture often have to "sell out" their feminine qualities and imitate the male profile of power structure to get ahead. Female need to live out their true natures in their private and public lives

9:07AM PDT on Jul 9, 2012

Sounds like a good idea, just change the name from "Bitch List" to "Lady List".

7:11PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

I applaud the effort to get more female-oriented movies made, I really dislike the name "The Bitch List." I understand that these women are trying to "take back" that word, but then the message is that we're all just fine with being called bitches if we're assertive, independent and creative. Well, I'm not. I'm a woman and I am NOT a bitch.

11:21AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

If you blend the two words "feminist" and "nazi" you don't have a good grasp of what either of them mean.

5:36AM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

While I applaud the effort, I'm uncomfortable with the label. Do we really have to reclaim that word?

9:33PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

I don't really watch Hollywood films anymore. Except for movies like The Avengers, The Dark Knight Trilogy and Spiderman, they aren't making anything I want to see.
Films coming out of Europe and Asia are actually much better then the dreck Hollywood has been coming out with lately.

9:29PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012


9:28PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012


12:49PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

I don't suppose that Fancy Nancy or Hilarious Hillary make the list, do they?

They are great actors you know - and they'll soon need another job!

12:01PM PDT on Jul 4, 2012

Yep more women, less traditional "male roles".

When will men realize that without women holding/propping them up, this world would be a far less loving/compassionate place.

Women, we need to start flexing our "Financial muscles", and get behind anything/everything that promotes women in power.

I will NEVER be sitting at home, making babies, and cooking dinner for my man. Not me, not in my lifetime!

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