TEDxWomen comes to New Zealand

On Dec 7th ( NZ time) TEDxHomebushRdWomen becomes the first TEDxWomens event in New Zealand. It runs from 1:00 – 6.00 pm at the City Gallery in Wellington. The #TEDxHomebushRdWomen event is timed to coincide with a global TEDxWomen event being held on Dec 5th in San Francisco.

When I first heard about TEDx Women’s events I wondered why an organisation based on “ideas worth spreading” would still feel the need to do that.

After all, I grew up in a time when feminism had a strong voice in the culture of the day and surely we are past the need to rebalance the gender gap?

The answer is that despite 40 years of feminist critique we are still a long way even decoding the gender landscape or even recognising the issues. Part of the problem is that much of our popular media is still filtered through TV programming based on the lowest common denominator.

As a parent one of the things I want my daughter to understand how to decode culture whichever way it comes. We’ve made a game out of analysing (ads especially) to uncover the subtext and to deconstruct how ads work or not.

These are skills she can use everyday so I’m always on the look out for tools and techniques we can apply. One of these is called the The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies. The test is very simple and has 3 rules but summarised “whether a film has at least two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man

After a quick search I came across Anita Sakeesian‘s video clips on the Bechdel Test.

Here is an updated version where Anita reviews the 2011 Oscar movies to see if they pass. Amazingly they don’t and this is clearly a systemic cultural problem.