Romeo And…

1.05: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

March 30, 2015

In this episode, I discuss the Bechdel Test for superhero movies and analyze The Perks of Being a Wallflower, both the book and the movie. 

The Daily Dot featured an article about the recent superhero movies and how most have failed the Bechdel Test. And though this does highlight a problem with our current tendency toward male dominated and male focused movies, the fact that these films failed the Bechdel Test, I argue, is not as problematic as the author suggests. The problem is that films too often have male protagonists, not that movie writers are too lazy or sexist to write strong female characters. 

In discussing the Perks of Being a Wallflower, I look at both the film and the book it was based on. Both the book and the movie were written by Stephen Chbosky, so the movie is a good representation of the events that happen in the book. 

I discuss how the book and film portray masculinity and how they characterize masculinity. I also discuss shyness, introversion, and anxiety and how being any (or all of them) can be damning for a man. I look at a few of the key relationships in the film and discuss the messages they send about how we think about maleness. 

Ultimately, it seems as though manliness depends on a man not being shy or introverted. Men are supposed to be strong, bold, and assertive, which tend to be extroverted traits. Being more cerebral, passive, and quiet is viewed as unmanly. What is your opinion on this? Does being an introvert or shy make you any less of a man? Have you ever felt ostracized for being shy as a man? Leave your opinions in the comments section below or contact me via email


The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies by Feminist Frequency - 

An illustrated guide to superhero movies that pass the Bechdel Test on The Daily Dot - 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie dialogue and sound clips courtesy of Mr. Mudd Productions