You may have heard this term in the past, and you may not have—In which case it is something you need to know about. The Bechdel Test is a basic three question test to evaluate a work based on how it depicts women. To pass the test a work must:
- Feature at least two women
- Who speak to each other
- Without talking about men (or worse, a specific man).
That’s it. Seems simple, but once you start paying attention it is shocking how many things fail this test. The test became famous through a comic drawn by Alison Bechdel. If you want to make the test harder, add that the women must have names and even more things will fail.
So the next time you are watching something, see if it passes the Blechdel Test. You might also see if men in the same work spend all their time talking about women. Half of the 2009 Best Picture nominees failed the test.
There’s a site, bechdeltest.com, which rates movies based on this test. Movies from 2015 that fail the test include Ant-Man, Irrational Man, Exodus, Minions, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and Chappie. Movies that pass the test include Avengers, Jupiter Ascending, and Mad Max: Fury Road, and Kingsman