Science Fiction Often Wins the Bechdel Test By Breaking it — Which is Part of its Job
Sara Lynn Michener

Sara, thank you.

When a friend of mine first presented me with the idea that 2049 was a deeply misogynist and problematic film I was startled.

Shit, did I miss something?

I walked out of the film with the complete opposite takeaway but I entertained the opposing view. We all have blind spots and perhaps my fandom was clouding my judgement. But even after my second viewing, I couldn't see it. The hit pieces echoing the friend’s sentiments felt shallow and seemed to miss the core ideas the film was floating forward.

Many of these critiques fail to make the distinction between a sexist film and a film that takes place in a sexist world. I can sense the eye rolls already but it’s a distinction worth making. 12 Years A Slave isn’t a racist film but the story takes place in a racist world. I don’t think 2049 glorifies the mistreatment of women or the way its characters dispose of them like Swiffer pads. The film isn’t that black and white, great science fiction isn’t supposed to be, but tribalism is all the rage now, so here we are.

Thanks again for the insightful read!