Sweden is introducing a rating system to show gender bias in features. And Hollywood so desperately needs this kind of ticking off.

Thanks to recent boxset bingeing, I’ve enjoyed multiple seasons of Falling Skies, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, and American Horror Story. These series all star far more complex female characters than any of the features I saw over the summer.

I don’t need female characters in the stories I watch to be ‘strong’. I just need them to be interesting, and sometimes it’s the weakest, most broken characters who have to find their strength that make for most interesting watching.

Take Daenerys Targaryen for instance from Game of Thrones. Initially for me, she was a weak character,  her brother’s chattel. By series 2, she really comes into her own as a leader.

Or the scene in the opening episode of the second season of Walking Dead when Andrea confronts another character over her decision of whether to try to survive or commit suicide.

You rarely see characters or scenes like this is big blockbusters. I’ve already noted my dismay at The Amazing Spiderman’s uninteresting and sidelined female characters. Somehow, I think Sweden’s rating system will be mistaken for static on Hollywood’s radar. If America introduced it alongside their MPAA ratings, Hollywood might occasionally slip the odd interesting/self-determining/solution-solving female character into the cast. Now that would make things more interesting.

 

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, a film that would pass the Bechdel test and gain an A rating. Photograph: Murray Close

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