The Bechdel Test

It’s looks like being a wet weekend, so what better time to talk about the Bechdel Test, and ask if the movie that you’re watching passes the test or not.

What is the Bechdel Test? It’s 3 simple rules taken from a comic strip from 1985. To pass the test, a film must have

  1. at least two women
  2. who talk to each other
  3. about something besides a man

Think back to the movies you’ve watched recently – you might think that this is a fairly easy test to pass, but it happens less often than you might think.

What does this tell us about our culture? Are we so convinced that only the conversations that men have with each other are valuable or interesting? Do we think that the conversations that women have can only be about men?

Or is this just an accident of movie-making culture: the audiences want movies that don’t pass the Bechdel test, and that’s the way to make films that are profitable?

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