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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Where Are the Women? goes to Ravencon

Whoa! Reader Catherine Asaro — herself a well-known science-fiction author — writes to tell me that the rating criteria I developed for my massive 2015 project Where Are the Women? are being discussed this weekend at a panel on feminist film criticism at Virginia science-fiction and fantasy convention Ravencon 13.5. (Asaro is on the panel.) Here’s the panel description from the con program:

Alandale – 50 minutes
A discussion of what constitutes feminist film-making. The Bechdel Test originated in Alison Bechdel’s comic from the ’80s-’90s, Dykes to Watch Out For. To pass, a film must feature at least two female characters, who talk, to each other, about something other than a man. Maryann [sic] Johanson, one of the top and longest running movie reviewers on the web, formulated the Johanson Analysis as part of a larger “Where are the Women?” campaign in 2014/2015. Mako Mori is a lead character in Pacific Rim, who is entirely strong and admirable, who is the heroine of the film, and who has a story arc that is not about her love-life. But Pacific Rim fails the Bechdel test; so, some have proposed a Mako Mori Test for films.
Panelists: Catherine Asaro, Samantha Bryant (M)

“The Johanson Analysis”? My criteria has a catchy name like The Bechdel Test?!

I am floored and immensely flattered.

(Asaro tells me, too, that she has been putting together a Wikipedia page for — ahem! — The Johanson Analysis(!), but it’s not live yet. I will be screaming from the rooftops when it is. As I told Asaro when she told me this, there used to be a Wikipedia page for me as a film critic, but it was deleted because of reasons that would also seem to apply to male film critics who do still have their own active pages. *grrrrr*)

Seriously, though, I’m super delighted that people are still talking about Where Are the Women? — which examined the representation of every movie released wide in the US and the UK in 2015 — and the issues it raised. Though I wish we didn’t have to.

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maryann buzz
  • Bluejay

    That’s absolutely awesome, MaryAnn. You deserve it!

    Props to Catherine Asaro for calling more attention to your work.

  • LaSargenta


    (As I look over at my Where Are The Women lapel pin…)

  • Patrick R

    How wonderful!

  • And they didn’t invite you to speak? I guess you probably would travel all the way from England to do so, but still.

    Very cool for you!

  • Probably wouldn’t travel all that way, you mean, I presume?

    I mean, I might have, if they paid my way. But no one asked me.

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