Masculinity-Movies blog

New major article on the Bechdel test

posted by Eivind on November 25, 2013, at 5:29 am

I have just launched an article on the Bechdel test, the test which feminists have used for two decades to show how women are being discriminated against in the movies. I outline what I believe are the pros and cons of using it and introduce a similar male equivalent of the test.

There’s a lot I could say, but I will instead point you to the article, and let that do the talking.

The Bechdel test: Application, historical context and introducing a male equivalent


“Movies, Masculinity, Archetypes & Leadership in a Burning World”: A new interview

posted by Eivind on November 14, 2013, at 6:35 am

Hey guys,

My buddy Norbert Orlewicz over at the Ultimate Man's Quest felt inspired to interview me about my work the other day.

I really enjoyed this one and feel good that I'm starting to get the hang of this interview format.

Here's a little clip from the interview:

Listen to the whole interview here.


Colin Stokes’s presentation at TED: “How movies teach manhood”

posted by Eivind on November 11, 2013, at 8:42 am

I have been wanting to write about the Bechdel test on my site for a while. And while I’m working on a bigger article on that subject, I want to share with you my initial inspiration for looking deeper into the test in the first place, a popular TED presentation by Colin Stokes, called “How movies teach manhood”:

This is a striking presentation to me. I like parts of it – particularly the part about men and women being on the same team. I also like the part where he suggests that a man may have a woman leader. I think it’s crucial for a man to learn to take direction from a woman. My tantra experience tells me that this becomes a way for a man (like me) to learn what it’s like to be in the more surrendered, receptive mode, which helps us be directive (which most of us want to be most of the time) in more skillful, responsible ways. I also believe it helps us conquer taboos around sensitivity, vulnerability and homophobia.

Now, what worries me about this presentation is what he says at the 09:45 mark. At this point in the presentation, he has linked sexual abuse of women with movies failing the Bechdel test (while, strangely, first denying that he is doing so). And then he basically makes the logical leap that male power is destructive. Here’s what he says:

“We have tools at our disposal, like girl power. And we hope that that will help. But I gotta wonder, is girl power gonna protect them if at the same time, actively or passively, we are training our sons to maintain their boy power?”

He is not being real subtle about it; it seems clear that this man thinks it’s a good thing for girls to be powerful, but that it’s an equally bad thing for boys to be powerful. He seems to be saying that girl power is something girls use to defend against boys. And that boy power is something boys use to attack girls. Now, if I get him right, that’s a very interesting perspective, far removed from the world that I live in.

My experience says that it’s men without power who end up dangerous. Male power is good. When I started flipping out at the start of my twenties (which I believe I have not yet written about on this site), it was because I was repressing my power, not because I was abusing it.

I belive that moving in the direction mr Stokes proposes will make for less powerful men, which makes for more dangerous men. That last point is the one I don't think Colin Stokes understands.

So while I like a lot of what this guy says, overall, there are some significant problems with the underlying message, based, I believe, on lacking understanding of what makes a man dangerous.

I will get back with more on the Bechdel test in a couple of days.

(Read here:)
The Bechdel test: Application, historical context, and introducing a male equivalentThe Bechdel test: Application, historical context, and introducing a male equivalent

Interview on Michael Taylor’s show

posted by Eivind on October 30, 2013, at 5:58 pm

Hey guys,

On Friday, Michael Taylor interviewed me for his show “A new conversation with men” on blog talk radio. It was my first interview of this kind and a new experience.

Listen to the interview below.

I hope it is of value to some of you.

Feminism going integral: Check out this awesome presentation

posted by Eivind on October 29, 2013, at 5:19 pm

I’m from Norway. Norway is part of the political-geographical region called Scandinavia. And Scandinavia is the region in the world where, arguably, feminism has had the greatest impact. It’s institutionalized, politicized and embedded in the politically correct currents of society. If you’re not a feminist, you’re dodgy, not to be trusted. Especially by the liberal media (which is most media in Scandinavia).

In Scandinavia, and particularly in Sweden, the desire to focus on the lives and challenges of men is met with an outcry. Because men, supposedly, have been privileged since the dawn of time and deserve no more attention. People who have the nerve to go there and imply that it may be more complicated than that risk being bullied, ostracized and, in more extreme cases (again, mainly in Sweden), compared to terrorists.

So as you may gather, I’m not a big fan of the status quo of feminism. I’m not a fan of any movement that bullies, attacks and shames decent people. Especially not when the perpetrators of said activities claim to be the victims of them. It’s all a bit tangled up. Large parts of the feminist movement have turned dark.

Though I haven’t lost hope that feminism as a movement may have valuable things to bring to the table. Which is why I decided to attend a talk yesterday at The Integral Center in Boulder, Colorado, where I currently live. The presentation was Lauren Barnett’s heartchild. Lauren is an active member of the Integral/Authentic World community here and an all-around awesome woman in my short experience with her.

Lauren is also a feminist. But the difference with her is that the brand of feminism she believes in is “Integral feminism”. In the presentation below, Lauren presents the outlines of this new form of feminism, one that takes a larger view and includes more perspectives – including that of men. What she shared with us totally moved me. I almost got teary-eyed at one point.

If you have issues with feminism, watching the presentation below may redeem it in your eyes. Feminists like Lauren make for a better world.