Testing, Testing

This Writer Said That ‘Fire Island’ Failed The Bechdel Test. Folks On Twitter Weren’t Having It

· Updated on March 23, 2023

There’s a movie out called Fire Island. You may have heard of it. It stars Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, and Margaret Cho, it’s certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and everyone is raving about it online. Well, not everyone.

This tweet from writer Hanna Rosin sent Twitter into a frenzy. But why? Well, Rosin is talking about the Bechdel Test. Made by and named after cartoonist Allison Bechdel, the test measures the representation of women in fiction using three criteria, per its site: 

(1) it has to have at least two women in it, who 

(2) talk to each other, about 

(3) something besides a man

Well, the interesting thing about Fire Island, which is based off of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is that it centers gay Asian men. So, out of all of the movies to call out with the Bechdel Test, a movie that finally centers the experiences of gay Asian men on a large platform gets called out instead of several movies that came out this year that do not focus on a marginalized community and fail the Bechdel Test –  like Top Gun: Maverick, according to the Bechdel test site.

So, the tweet comes off as a reach to decenter a film that was designed to center a marginalized group, it also comes off as trying to pit two marginalized groups against each other, and the use of the phrase “cute gay Asian boys”and its context is condescending. Needless to say, this could’ve been saved for the group chat or, better yet, not said at all. 

Regardless, people on Twitter had a few things to say to Rosin: 

Twitter peeps have spoken and they said what they said. 

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