The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies

Screenwriters: Think back over the scripts you’ve written, and ask yourself three questions about each one:

  1. Are there two or more female characters with names?
  2. Do they talk to each other?
  3. If they talk to each other, do they talk about something other than a man?

This is the Bechdel test, first articulated by cartoonist Alison Bechdel and amended by others over the years.1 You’d think it would be a very low bar to climb over. You’d be surprised.

As noted in the video, this doesn’t indicate that a movie is bad or anti-feminist or anything, just that film has developed around formulae like these. Mind-blowing as you look through the list of films and think of others like it.

This is new to me – but i’m very glad to see it! Also very depressed about the results, but hey, let’s look on the bright side. .. .. ..


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