Are romcoms cute or misogynistic?

Eleanor Kanerva
Public Relations and TikTok Manager

Romcoms or romantic comedies are enjoyable movies to watch because of their light hearted and humorous aspects centered around romanticity, but some say these classic movies promote creepy behavior and misogynistic ideas.

Despite romantic comedies often being marketed towards women, some of them have hints of underlying misogyny from the way the male characters interact with women to the odd behavior they disguise as being romantic.

Women characters in movies are continually trivialized and made to only exist in relation to a man. So often, in fact, that a test was created to see how often two women have, or don’t have, a conversation with one another that’s centered around a man. This is called the Bechdel test.

The Bechdel test has three rules, according to Merriam-Webster.

The first rule is that two or more women must be featured. The second is that the women must talk to each other, and the third is that they must discuss something other than a man.
The Bechdel test was discussed in the Feminist Coalition Club.

Junior Solane Carfield said, “In a FemCo meeting, we learned about the Bechdel test. I think a lot of romcoms wouldn’t pass that test, and women would be fully focused on men all the time, and I don’t think that’s a good representation of what women actually talk about.”
Romcoms often promote unhealthy relationships, behaviors and stereotypes and there are countless examples.

In “Love Actually,” the character, Mark (Andrew Lincoln), showed up outside the house of his best friend’s wife (Kiera Knightley) with note cards expressing his love to her, but also, at her wedding in which she was marrying his best friend, he took a video which mostly consisted of close up videos of her.

Fowler said, “I think that it was supposed to be a romantic gesture but would never happen in real life, and I don’t think that would ever convince someone to leave their husband, and that’s not what women are looking for.”

Owler added, “I think that sometimes the roles can be pretty stereotypical and… Over-exaggerating interests and characteristics in men that might not be accurate.”

This is displayed in the romcom, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Firstly, the main character played by Kate Hudson writes an article about everything that women do wrong in relationships, but it also reinforces stereotypes about what men want and don’t want in a woman.

Fowler said, “That one kind of shows that as soon as a woman gets any attention from men, they fall in love instantly.”

Carfield did say that one romcom that she considers less problematic is the movie “10 Things I Hate About You.”

Carfield said, “I think that one portrays women in a good light because he’s the one obsessed with her instead of her chasing him the whole time because I feel like a lot of times, it’s just the girl trying to get him to like her versus that one where it’s more of a balance.”


Eleanor Kanerva- Tik Tok Editor/Public Relations

This will be Eleanor Kanerva’s first year on ECHO staff. They also made several contributions while taking journalism class their junior year.

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