What Is The 'Bechdel Test' And What Exactly Does It Prove?
Start writing a post

So, What The Heck IS The 'Bechdel Test' And What Exactly Does It Prove?

If you're a woman, you should be here for this.

So, What The Heck IS The 'Bechdel Test' And What Exactly Does It Prove?

In recent days, I've realized that not everyone I know is aware of the Bechdel test, what it is, or what it does. It serves an important (but flawed) function when it comes to analyzing film and television for its treatment of women.

The test was inspired/created by Alison Bechdel's comic strip in 1985 The rules are simple, two female characters who have names must engage in a conversation together about something other than a man.

"Dykes to Watch Out" / Alison Bechdel

Simple, right? That being said, the test isn't a hard and fast way of telling how feminist a piece of entertainment is, and it isn't perfect by any means, which is why there are many other such tests, like the Sexy Lamp test , which asks if you could replace the female character with a sexy lamp. If it doesn't change the story, you've got a problem.

But despite the problem's of the test, like setting and context, it does reveal how much of a male-dominated world Hollywood is, simply for the matter of how easy it is to pass the test and how many movies fail to do so. For example, none of the original three Star Wars movies pass the test, since there are only three named female characters in that particular facet of the series. The entire Lord of the Ring's trilogy does not pass either. Even if they are lead by a female character, most movies do not pass, simply because if female characters meet, they are talking about a man, or they're not any female characters for the lead to interact with.

Since the test can be passed in a matter of seconds, it makes you wonder why more mainstream movies don't pass? A majority of the Harry Potter movies fail as well.

That being said, it is obviously not a perfect system, and I admit its flaws, such as if it's a time period or context where women may not be around, or the lead character is a male and most others are talking about him. But that being said, again, its an example of just how male-dominated our culture is, not only in characters but in conversation.

However, there are also a few movies that surprisingly pass the test. Among them are " Mean Girls ," which, while the climax of the plot is almost entirely about two girls fighting over another boy, passes multiple times. The pilot episode of "Game of Thrones" passes with flying colors, about 30 minutes in, and both of Anne Hathaway's Princess Diaries movies pass as well.

The next time you're watching a film or a show, keep an ear out and see if it passes. And for bonus points, I've started applying the same test to men, to see how many movies passes in comparison. It's a short, simple way to analyze the content you're watching to see how gender dynamics are affecting it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Who doesn't love ice cream? People from all over the world enjoy the frozen dessert, but different countries have their own twists on the classic treat.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading... Show less

Remember The True Meaning of Christmas

“Where are you Christmas? Why can’t I find you?”


It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Christmastime is a celebration, but have we forgotten what we are supposed to be celebrating? There is a reason the holiday is called Christmas . Not presentmas. Not Santamas. Not Swiftmas. Christmas.

boy standing in front of man wearing santa claus costume Photo by __ drz __ on Unsplash

What many people forget is that there is no Christmas without Christ . Not only is this a time to spend with your family and loved ones, it is a time to reflect on the blessings we have gotten from Jesus. After all, it is His birthday.

Keep Reading... Show less

Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my dog . I am constantly talking about my love for her. I attribute many of my dog's amazing qualities to her breed. She is a purebred Golden Retriever, and because of this I am a self-proclaimed expert on why these are the best pets a family could have. Here are 11 reasons why Goldens are the undisputed best dog breed in the world.

Keep Reading... Show less

Boyfriend's Christmas Wishlist: 23 Best Gift Ideas for Her

Here are the gifts I would like to ask my boyfriend for to make this season unforgettable.


Recently, an article on Total Sorority Move called 23 Things My Boyfriend Better Not Get Me For Christmas , was going around on social media. I hope the author of this was kidding or using digital sarcasm, but I am still repulsed and shocked by the lack of appreciation throughout this article. I would like to represent the girlfriends out there who disagree with her standpoint -- the girlfriends who would be more than happy to receive any of these gifts from their boyfriends.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments