The Bechdel Test

3 Aug

The Bechdel Test is a simple way to gauge the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films and just how well rounded and complete those roles are.  It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985.  It is astonishing the number of popular movies that can’t pass this simple test.  It demonstrates how wom*n’s complex and interesting lives are underrepresented or non existent in the film industry.  We have jobs, creative projects, friendships and struggles among many other things that are actually interesting in our lives… so Hollywood, start writing about it!

Check out other great blogs and commentary about the Bechdel Test:

  1. The Bechdel Test Movie List: here you can find a long, long list of movies and where they rate on the Bechdel Test.
  2. Why Film Schools Teach Screenwriters Not to Pass the Bechdel Test‘s by Jennifer Kesler.  This is a must read – exposing the systemic problems of the film industry starting with film school.
  3. The original comic strip “The Rule” (above) can also be found here.
  4. You can visit Allison Bechdel’s site here and the highly recommended graphic novel Fun Home here.
  5. Over at the blog “The Angry Black Woman”, the Bechdel Test has been adapted to apply to race.  Take a look: The Bechdel Test and Race in Popular Fiction.

(from Feminist Frequency)


2 Responses to “The Bechdel Test”


  1. The Bechdel Test: What It Is, And Why It Matters | Squarise - September 2, 2011

    […] The Bechdel Test ( […]

  2. Fortnightly Feminist Films « umsu.wom*n's - January 18, 2012

    […] year the UMSU Wom*n’s Dept plans on showing a film on campus each fortnight that passes the Bechdel Test: /bech·del test/ n. 1. It has to have at least two women in it 2. Who talk to each other 3. About […]

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