Friday, February 8, 2013

More Contest Post-Mortem

I went and did this for my own amusement / educational value. Food for thought...

01. Apakht: Female:male ratio 1:1 / Bechdel test: Fails (I wrote this)
02. The Gate Opens: Female:male ratio 0:5 / Bechdel test: Fails (I wrote this)
03. Revelation: Female:male ratio 2:1 / Bechdel test: Fails (I wrote this)
04. Stormfront: Female:male ratio 4:4 / Bechdel test: Passes (Female author)
05. Awakenings: Female:male ratio 2:1 / Bechdel test: Fails (I wrote this)
06. White Horse: Female:male ratio 1:1 / Bechdel test: Fails (I wrote this)
07. Red Horse: Female:male ratio 0:3 / Bechdel test: Fails
08. Interlude Notes: Female:male ratio 0:0 / N/A
09. Black Horse: Female:male ratio 2:4 / Bechdel test: Passes (Female author)
10. Interlude Svalbard: 2:2 / Bechdel test: Passes (Female author)
11. Pale Horse: Female:male ratio 1:2 / Bechdel test: Fails
12. Bloody Autumn: Female:male ratio 0:2 / Bechdel test: Fails
13. Stirrings: Female:male ratio 0:1 / Bechdel test: Fails (Female author)
14. Ganymede: Female:male ratio 5:2 / Bechdel test: Passes (I wrote this)

So... only one of my stories passed the Bechdel test. The others that passed were all written by a female author.

Reminder: To pass the Bechdel test, one must have two or more female characters, who talk to each other, about something besides a man. (It's incredibly easy to find stories with two or more male characters, who talk to each other, about something besides a woman. That's the vast majority of all modern stories.)

There's also a dearth of female characters in the tale series, which didn't surprise me going in, since while the site has a significant minority of female members, it's still male-dominated.

Note that there are also multiple "it" characters, who are genderless/genderfluid/etc, but I didn't take them into account because they're all supernatural entities. (I //did// take into account gendered supernatural entities.) There were no 'basically human' characters who weren't cisgender.

There are only two obvious POC (people of color, for y'all who don't know acronyms) characters. "Obvious" meaning the story lets you know they're people of color.

There are a few queer characters in the stories, but they're not obvious. Only two (past) relationships are shown, and they're both straight relationships.

(This is in part because only my original characters are queer, and the relationships both involved characters who weren't mine and are probably straight, though ironically several of the straight characters involved or mentioned were //written// by queer authors. I can't specify further, because as far as I know they're not 'out' to the site at large.)

The flip sides to all this is that several of (actually, most of) the female characters are significant and in positions of power. Only one is relevant at all for being a love interest, and that doesn't even get revealed until the end story (and she's a major character). And of the obvious POC, both are major players.

By the way, just in case I get comments here from people who don't know me: I'm not saying that this decreases the quality of my stories here or my teammates' stories, thanks. It's still worthwhile food for thought.

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