The Bechdel Test is a simple way to gauge the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films and just how well rounded and complete those roles are. It was created by Allison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985. It is astonishing the number of popular movies that can’t pass this simple test. It demonstrates how little women’s complex and interesting lives are underrepresented or non existent in the film industry. We have jobs, creative projects, friendships and struggles among many other things that are actually interesting in our lives… so Hollywood, start writing about it!
Check out other great blogs and commentary about the Bechdel Test:
- The Bechdel Test Movie List: here you can find a long, long list of movies and where they rate on the Bechdel Test.
- Why Film Schools Teach Screenwriters Not to Pass the Bechdel Test’s by Jennifer Kesler. This is a must read – exposing the systemic problems of the film industry starting with film school.
- See the original comic strip “The Rule” here.
- You can visit Allison Bechdel’s site here and I highly recommend her graphic novel Fun Home
- Over at the Blog “The Angry Black Woman” she adapted the Bechdel Test to apply to race. Take a look: The Bechdel Test and Race in Popular Fiction