Bechdel Test


Recently I have been hearing a lot about the Bechdel test or as it is sometimes known, the feminism test. For those who don’t know the test is typically applied to films but can work for most narrative based media. The test follows a few basic rules the first being does the film have at least two named female characters, do they talk to each other and is it about something other than a man. The idea being, that if it passes these rules, it can be classed as a “feminist work”.

The only problem with this is that the test doesn’t work and this isn’t me tearing down some well thought out set of guidelines but simply pointing out what the test is designed for. See the test first came into being through a comic strip which says a lot about how serious we should take the test to begin with, but even ignoring that the test simply does not work the way I see many people using it. See while the movie will tell you if screen time is given over to women it does not take anything else into account, like why. Continue reading