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Cabin Pressure S4 takes the Bechdel Test

Further to this post, which applied the test to S1-3, I’ve churlishly given S4 the same treatment. I’d like to reiterate right away that this test is not the be-all and end-all of gender representation and/or feminism. It is best treated as a simple starting point for more nuanced deliberation of a work’s merits. The commentary on this post is extremely relevant. Onwards!

Passing the Bechdel Test requires two named female characters to talk to each other about anything other than a man. Below the cut is a detailed breakdown of episodes T-Y plus an updated overview of all 25 episodes so far.

S4E1 - Timbuktu - FAIL
S4E2 - Uskerty - PASS
S4E3 - Vaduz - PASS
S4E4 - Wokingham - PASS
S4E5 - Xingzhou - FAIL
S4E6 - Yverdon-les-Bains - FAIL

*

0 POINTS: there are fewer than two named female characters
1 POINTS: there are at least two named female characters, but they don’t talk to each other
2 POINTS: there are at least two named female characters who talk to each other about a man
3 POINTS (pass): there are at least two named female characters, and they talk to each other about something other than a man

S4E1 - Timbuktu - 0 POINTS
(Carolyn is the only named female character.)
S4E2 - Uskerty - 3 POINTS
(Carolyn talks to Mrs Herlihy and Breeda about a variety of subjects.)
S4E3 - Vaduz - 3 POINTS
(Carolyn talks to Princess Theresa about a variety of subjects.)
S4E4 - Wokingham - 3 POINTS
(Carolyn, Caitlin and Wendy Crieff talk to each other about a variety of subjects.)
S4E5 - Xinzhou - 0 POINTS
(Carolyn is the only named female character.)
S4E6 - Yverdon-les-Bains - 1 POINT
(Carolyn and Elize Deroche are named, but don’t talk to each other.)

With three passing episodes out of a possible six, S4 almost doubled the show’s total number of passes. Ten points are scored out of a possible eighteen.

Now, in total, seven episodes pass out of a possible twenty-five. All the episodes combined score twenty-five points out of a possible seventy-five. That’s 1/3. Before S4 it was approximately 1/4.

(Just to repeat the disclaimer: this is objective quantitative analysis. How it makes you feel is important; the whole point is to think and maybe write about your own response, for everyone to become more conscious of gender in their fandoms. But that response has nothing to do with me or my personal stance on any of this - as they say at the Messengers’ Guild, don’t shoot the messenger!

I only say this because last time some people seemed to think I was making accusations. Hmmm.)

  1. cabincrewcreativity reblogged this from smegandtheheads
  2. gloucesterroad said: I was wondering if you would do series 4 too. This is pretty interesting.
  3. smegandtheheads posted this