Women, in case you haven’t noticed, are underrepresented in virtually every elite subgroup of society that people aspire to join. That exclusion extends to movie and television characters, where most of the storylines are centered on male characters and the concerns of male characters.
Does that statement seem a little Gender Studies 101 reactionary? Well, look at your Netflix queue and put your past 10 movie rentals to the Bechdel Test.
Established by Alison Bechdel, creator of the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, the test presents three basic criteria:
• The entertainment includes at least two women…
• Who have at least one conversation…
• About something other than a man or men.
Alison Bechdel first applied her test in 1985. In a sign of author prescience and sexist intransigence, her three-point rule is as pertinent today as it was more than 25 years ago.
Usage: “Our gender studies mentor told the whole fraternity to go see Snow White and the Huntsman and report back if it passes the Bechdel Test.”