Bechdel Test

Bechdel Test

Hey all,

This is a link to the wikipedia page of the Bechdel test. It’s a pretty well-known metric to gauge how “women-friendly” a piece of art is (I believe it has traditionally been applied to movies) by seeing if a film satisfies 3 requirements;

  1. It has at least two women in it
  2. that talk to each other
  3. about something other than a man.

We haven’t talked about pop culture a lot in class, but I think it’s an interesting heuristic to both use for criticism of art/culture and to critique in and of itself. It’s always shocking to me how many things I encounter culturally that don’t pass it.

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2 thoughts on “Bechdel Test

  1. It’s surprising to consider how many popular films do not pass the Bechdel test! Here’s a link from a Reddit thread of some arguments about the Bechdel test, which touched on themes we discussed in class today regarding the minor role of women in the accepted art and literature Westen canons: http://at.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/16nnuv/the_bechdel_test_seriously/
    And here’s a video from Anita Sarkeesian about the Bechdel test, with some pictures of a list of some popular movies which do not pass the test: http://www.feministfrequency.com/2009/12/the-bechdel-test-for-women-in-movies/

  2. someone also recently came up with the “sexy lamb test”, in which if you check if you can replace a female character with a sexy lamb without changing much in the story.

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