Intro Comp: Writing as Inquiry
Moneyball: Not so “money” on the Rep Test
It is plain and simple, the movie industry is a business, and the main goal of a business is to make money. Movies attempt to target the largest possible audience in order to increase their revenue. Film makers will continue to follow this formula that has been working for the last “x” amount of years and unfortunately that formula doesn’t favor women in prominent roles both in front and behind the camera. Moneyball performed abysmally on both the Rep test and the Bechdel test yet it still grossed over 100 million dollars and won over six oscars including best motion picture.
Moneyball received an overall score of a four on the rep test. Three of the four points came from the men section as this movie was based around a true story about a baseball organization where the majority of employees were male. Granted it is a true story that doesn’t directly lend itself to women it is still important to point out it is based in 2002. It wasn’t a surprise to me that this movie would fair poorly on both tests as I had seen the movie before. When I revisited this movie I realized some key scenes that contribute to the score. There are multiple specific scenes where Billy Beane (main character and GM of the baseball team) constantly calls to his attractive blonde secretary for coffee or to put someone on hold. These small interactions are the only times women have dialogue in the film.
I took specific notice to count the amount of women featured in the trailer and there is a grand total of ONE, Billy’s young daughter, who asks about her father’s job security. The other women include two secretaries, a female media anchor, and Billy Bean’s mother. The secretaries are there just for eye candy, the female media anchor is just their to get viewers, and Billy’s mom opinions are overridden by her husband. There are some of the many scenes that stuck out to me on how women are portrayed compared to men.
I do not think this rating system is fair as it is extremely difficult to receive an “A” or a high grade. Even the best movies that have strong female characters and diversity amongst cast members seem to fall short in the “B” range and the fact that so few movies pass the bechdel test when the only restriction is there need to be two or more female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man! I think these results reveals just how one dimensional the film industry is. Nobody cares about equal rights or equal pay, these film companies and directors will produce whatever brings in the highest profit margins. It is important to note that the movie poster highlights Robin White as one of the actresses when she only has ONE line of dialogue. They did this to try to bring men to see this attractive female actor yet she has no significance to the film as a whole. Couldn’t the director find a more prominent role for someone as talented as Robin other than sticking her in high heels and a mini skirt?
I never really recognized how big of an issue this is currently in the film industry. Looking back on my movie experiences I never really noticed it but after doing some of these tests and previous experiences I can honestly say that this is a real problem that needs to be addressed.