We can usually gauge whether a movie will be appropriate for children judging by the rating, but a new rating system in Sweden is taking it to another level grading films based on how gender equal they are. The film industry is known for their lack of good stories about women and believable female characters, so Sweden’s new system is hoping to shine some light on the need for more movies featuring dynamic women.
The Atlantic Wire reports about Sweden’s feminist movie rating system and how it works. In order for a movie to receive an “A” feminist rating there must be two named female characters and they have to chat about something other than men.
Though this may sound like an easy “A” you would probably be surprised how many movies lack these two simple elements. Ellen Tejle, a director of an art-house movie theater in Stockholm is quoted in the AP listing some big name blockbusters that would fail the feminist rating system. She says, “The entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, all Star Wars movies, The Social Network, Pulp Fiction and all but one of the Harry Potter movies fail this test.”
Whether or not a feminist rating system will make a difference in the way films are made is yet to be seen. But one thing that is certain is the need for a change. An excerpt from a recent Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film report reveals, “In 2012-13, women accounted for 28% of creators, executive producers, producers, directors, writers, editors, and directors of photography working on prime-time programs airing on the broadcast networks. This represents an increase of two percentage points from 2011-12 and a recent historical high. On screen, females comprised 43% of all speaking characters. This figure is even with the historical high set in 2007-08. However, many gender stereotypes remain. Female characters are younger than their male counterparts, and are less likely than males to be seen at work and actually working.”
What do you think of Sweden’s feminist movie rating system?
Do you think a rating system like this can help to change the way movies are made in the future?