The Vagenda

The Bechdel Test

Image: Alison Bechdel

Nobody likes a test on a Monday, but we reckon you need to do this one.

Think of your favourite movie:

1. Does it have at least two women in it?

2. Do they talk to each other?

3. If so, do they talk about something besides a man?

Scary, isn’t it?

The Bechdel test was popularized by Alison Bechdel’s comic Dykes to Watch Out For, in a 1985 strip called The Rule. We think it’s pretty alarming how few films pass the test, from the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, to The Social Network and The Artist.

5 thoughts on “The Bechdel Test

  1. Bride Wars passes the test, too, since the two women do have several conversations about the issues they have with each other, which aren’t related to men. But it’s regressive in loads of ways, so it goes to show that films that do adhere to the ‘rule’ need not be ideal, just as films that do not adhere to the rule need not necessarily signify anything grave. This makes me wonder which films involve two men who speak to each other, but not about women. Dude, Where’s My Car? The problem is that most films are about relationships, or lack thereof.

  2. Yer. What they said.

    Also I wonder how many movies have a female lead/strong character that

    1. Isn’t wearing tight leather
    2. Isn’t involved in some kind of criminal activity / e.g. prostitution, drug running within a boys club
    3. Isn’t a mother in law organising a wedding for her son and/or isn’t bitching about another woman and/or isn’t Jewish, rich or white

    Ok I can’t count but fuck it you know what I mean

  3. Captain Janeway from Star Trek Voyager

    But this was set 300 years in the future when all kinds of discrimination were eradicated on earth and she was jettisoned to the other side of the galaxy….so….