Buzzfeed Challenges Hollywood’s Gender Stereotypes With This Video


When you think of movies like Basic Instinct, Pretty Woman, and even more recently Twilight, you think of iconic scenes from each movie and iconic characters.

Those characters and scenes are born out of a particular gender stereotype which exists in Hollywood, still to this day. Women aren’t even close to making up half the film and TV industry on screen and behind the scenes, and the representations seem to be getting worse.

One of the reasons it hasn’t changed completely is because people in the industry find it hard to challenge the patriarchy and the status quo, for fear of “rocking the boat” and losing their jobs. And quite rightly so, as evidenced by the case of the male crew member on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ who filed a lawsuit against ABC Television, claiming he was unfairly dismissed after he decided to report a certain male DOP who was treating the female directors on the show appallingly. First, bravo to this awesome dude for standing up for women on the show, and second, it’s sad that to stand up for justice it means potentially losing your livelihood.

But there is an industry, the news media, which CAN challenge the Hollywood norms, and does so in creative ways as to drive conversation and bring these types of issues to light.

Buzzfeed is one of those media sites we love right now because they have been creating a string of original videos pointing out the blatant ways fashion, advertising and movies continue to perpetuate dangerous gender stereotypes, particularly toward women.


Their latest supercut takes scenes from iconic movies such as the aforementioned ‘Pretty Woman’, ‘Basic Instinct’, and ‘Twilight’ (among others) and reverses the gender roles to see how valid the scenes are with a woman in the place of a man. To be honest, a lot of them are pretty ridiculous! And awkward. So what does this say about the types of scenarios being created by some of Hollywood’s best writers and directors?

Perhaps there should be an addition to the Bechdel test, which is a superb way of rating a film based on its sexism. We want to suggest that any film, to pass the test, must be able to reverse the gender characters in a scene and still be realistic and entertaining. Wouldn’t that be a neat idea?!

So far, there are only three questions in the Bechdel test and the answer must be yes to all three questions in order for a film to pass the test. (1) Does the film have at least 2 female characters in it? (2) Do those female characters talk to each other? (3) Do they talk to each other about something other than a man?

Clearly the video below shows that we still have a long way to go folks, but don’t let this discourage you from forging ahead and standing apart from the rest. You may not have the loudest voice or most powerful form of action, but the more we rise up and stand together, the more we can change the status quo.

Buzzfeed, keep kicking ass!


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