The Bechdel Test*
Thanks in large part to a video made last December by Anita Sarkeesian of FeministFrequency.com that’s been making the rounds recently on the Internet, more of the world knows about the Bechdel Test.* Back in 1985, Alison Bechdel’s comic “Dykes to Watch Out For” mentioned “The Rule,” one character’s three simple requirements for whether or not she would see a movie:
- It has to have at least 2 women in it
- Who talk to each other
- About something besides a man
You will be amazed at and horrified by how many movies, even in this day and age, do not pass the test. Watch Anita’s video above or check out the ongoing list with various ratings and commentary at BechdelTest.com. And for a great insider look at how screenwriters are taught in film school NOT to pass the Bechdel Test, read Jennifer Kesler’s piece in The Hathor Legacy.
*The Bechdel Test is a misnomer. It was originally called “The Rule” in the comic strip, where Bechdel gave thanks and credit for the idea to her friend Liz Wallace.