There are some interesting posts on women in film that have been going around the blogosphere lately. I find this whole sphere of theory interesting, but instead of writing anything of my own, I'm going to be lazy and just give you some links.
I like this article, "Why Strong Female Characters are Bad for Women."
John August has a great post on the Bechdel Test:
In my mind, the Bechdel Test is not only interesting in of itself, but also in looking at it in reverse. How rarely do you find a film with two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than men? On the OTHER hand, how often do you find a film with two named male characters who talk to each other about something other than women? In runs the two extremes. On the women's side, movies barely manage to meet these requirements, whereas nearly EVERY movie meets the requirements if they're applied to male characters.
You know what really starts to bend my mind? When I start comparing these requirements and theories to my own screenplays. Yikes. Even as a female screenwriting, sometimes I suck at getting a woman's voice out there. Just yesterday I was doodling out ideas for a children's story, and I instinctively made the main character male. Why is my go-to character male?
I could start listing reasons why, and they WOULD be interesting and thought-provoking. But then you'll be listening to a liberated woman from the 70s, and you didn't come here to see that.