If ABC's "The View" was subjected to the Bechdel test, it would pass with flying colors every time. Sadly, the Bechdel test exists for a reason - large parts of society and the media seem intent on devaluing any rare instance of two women talking to each other about something other than a man (the criteria required to pass the aforementioned test).
One of their favorite ways of doing this is by turning any discussion with the slightest amount of dissent into a bitch fight, and implying that the women involved are most likely at each other's throats in real life. Now, we are not claiming that "The View" was ever a model of restrained debate. It's very easy to see how the show angles for viewers by inviting outlandish opinions and women who clearly revel in disagreement.
But we can accept this, and still acknowledge that adopting such a strategy opens the show to a level of criticism and debate that would never be levelled at it were it to feature an all-male panel. We all know how it goes - men are bold, confident, forthright, while women are screechy, abrasive, and yes, bitchy.
Well, Whoopi Goldberg has directly addressed anyone who would make such clearly misogynist claims. On yesterday's show, she raised the issue amid continuing speculation over who may or may not be joining the show, and how the remaining panelists may or may not feel about that.
"We don't know who's coming in, but I will tell you this: The respect that I have for the people who work here will not change," Goldberg said. "I will do my best to respect the audience, to make sure that we bring you ‘The View' that Barbara Walters wanted you to have, which is women talking about issues. We are not little kids, we are grown ass women".
"I'm just tired of people saying, ‘oh, you know if this one comes in, or if this one comes in,’ I don't argue with people, we have spirited discussions,'" Goldberg continued. "I don't fight with people, that's not my way. Quit trying to make me into something I'm not. I'm not a little girl with cat claws. I am not a cat, I am a human being. I am a girl with a fist. And so, I'm just telling y'all, ‘The View’ is going to evolve as it always has. Quit trying to make something happen and let whatever's going to happen, happen, and we hope you will join us when we come back".
It's still surprisingly rare to see the language of misogyny deconstructed on a mainstream platform such as "The View", and the power of doing so should not be underestimated. Well said, Whoopi.