Justice

This Producer Is Tweeting the Outlandish Sexist Descriptions of Female Characters

February 10th 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

Hollywood isn't exactly known for leading the feminist charge or putting realistic, dynamic women on screen. On Tuesday, film producer Ross Putman offered us a disturbing glimpse into entertainment industry sexism by cataloging scripts' descriptions of female leads in a Twitter feed.

Putman runs the account @femscriptintros, according to io9, which takes a hilarious and unsettling look at the industry. The account has already gained over 12,000 followers in less than 24 hours. The producer changes all of the characters' names to JANE, which further highlights how undistinguished they are from one another.

Each script introduces a woman with some qualification about her physical appearance. It is worth noting that these are not featured extra roles or even supporting ones, but leading roles for women. The characters are each individualized in terms of their perceived sex appeal, and very little is said about their personalities, professions, non-sexual desires, or any number of characteristics that might suggest that they are more than a male character's plus one.

While some of the tweets are absurd, vague invocations of eye-candy, others cite tired tropes of fading beauty or overworked, undersexed modern women.

The Bechdel Test.

There has been much conversation surrounding how women are and are not represented in popular media in recent years. The Bechdel Test has become a popular way to measure how women feature in popular films. In cartoonist Alison Bechdel's 1985 comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For," she proposed a three part question:

"(1) Does the movie feature two [named] women (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something other than a man?"

bechdel test

The Wall Street Journal administered the test to this year's Oscar nominees and found that most of the top eight films failed. "Blink and you might miss them," Lucy Feldman concluded.