Feminist Friday: How Valuable is the Bechdel Test?
Think about the last movie you saw. Were there two or more female characters? Did they talk to each other about something besides men?
The Bechdel test, created by Alison Bechdel, examines female roles in movies by asking three questions:
- Are there two or more women in the film?
- Do they talk to each other?
- Is their conversation about something other than a man?
From Alison Bechdel’s comic strip “Dykes to Watch Out For” (1985).
The test seems simple—women talk to each other about things besides men all the time in real life—yet a surprisingly high number of movies fail to represent this basic activity.
The test is so basic because it’s a standard that should be easy to pass. The fact that so many movies fail to achieve one, two, or all three of the test’s clauses highlights the rampant misogyny of the film industry. If a movie can’t…
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