Red Winter and Women's Conversations

12 Aug 2017

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Over the years as I have gotten older I have become more underwhelmed by the many stereotyped and one dimensional representations of female characters on screen. One of the many ways they are often represented in these unrealistic and underdeveloped forms is their boring and dull conversations. If you’re into film, you’ve probably heard of The Bechdel Test. It developed as a joke from a comic strip in 1985 and has three points to it that are used to assess the way a film represents women.



  1. The movie has to have at least two women in it,
  2. who talk to each other,
  3. about something besides a man. 

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

While the test isn’t a comprehensive and problem free academic tool, it does highlight some very common problems with on screen narratives. Female characters seem to exist in them without their own complex back stories or personalities. They seem to exist solely for the purpose of being plot devices for male characters. Even when the male characters are absent, they still serve a purpose for the male characters, having conversations about them to help develop the man’s character or story arch.

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

It kills me. The topics of conversation are so limited, that it often feels like I’ve heard the story before.

An example of this in a TV show I recently started to really enjoy is via Game of Thrones. S7E4, Dany and Missandei have an incidental conversation walking down the stairs about a sexual encounter with a man. It’s not the first time Dany has used up her on screen girl to girl chat time with words about sexual experiences with men. In the limited lady to lady talk time that the show offers, I found this particular convo a bit meh.

This is probably because it’s in contrast with the normal, every day, rather varied conversations I end up having one on one with other women in my own life. So here are some real examples of completely normal conversation that I have with other ladies. Noted here because at some point in one of this conversation, I've chuckled to myself thinking 'this wouldn't make the cut for lady-to-lady on screen banter'.

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria


Economics.
Yep. You heard right. One of my buddies is studying economics. We even sometimes listen to economics podcasts about it together. Would you believe, this was even something I discussed before meeting her as a history student? And before studying that just as a curious member of society? It’s an incredibly interesting topic, particularly when you have someone to ask ‘what would happen if the economy did X?’

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Martial arts and fitness.
Often, particularly, weapons. Especially when I’m training with other women. We show each other bruises. We talk about our current fitness levels. We discuss the strength of pelvic floor muscles and how to modify exercises if your pelvic floor is weak. (If you look close you can see a bruise on my right shin and behind my left ear in these pics from practicing nunchucks)

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Web design and coding.
I’ve got a bestie who is a web designer. We can literally talk about anything from assessing someone’s logo, the font choice on a menu through to theoretical programs we could create to run certain imagined processes we need.

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Minimalism.
The various ways in which we have found minimalism creeping into our lives and ways we’ve implemented it to reduce the amount of ‘stuff’ we have.

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Health.
Mental health. Physical. Women’s health. Recovering from sexual assault. The complications of accessing women’s health services in regional and remote areas. In fact, in a conversation about sexual interactions, most end up being about sexual or women’s health.

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Cars.
Should we hire an Aston Martin for the day and go for a drive down the beach? Which is better, a Jaguar C Type or an XKSS? Why are new cars so ugly? Did you see this car in this movie?


Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Careers. Ambition. Money.
We discuss investments. Having more than one superannuation account. Having a mentor to help with personal development. Casual sexism in corporate meetings. The way her financial planner would keep talking to her fiancé even though she was the one who owned the block of land. How do you jump from being employed to running your own business? Did you find that particular networking group helpful?

I could go on and on. Hopefully, this has been enough to illustrate the point that women can have deep, meaningful and interesting conversations about literally anything. Particularly anything other than men. So next time you’re watching a TV show or a movie, make a mental note of the incidental conversations the female characters have if there is more than one female character and if they get the chance to have a conversation. Is it about men or not?

Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

Pics: Lyn and I
Location: Keebles Country House, Clunes
Shoes: Mimco
Beret: eBay






Liana of @findingfemme in a red review australia winter coat at Keebles Country House in Clunes, Victoria

- L

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