The Bechdel Test, Movies, and You

Found while perusing our absolutely most favorite interweb film site since our last most favorite interweb film site…so you know this is great stuff, yeah?

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Why a movie should pass the Bechdel test
from Shadowandmovies.Com

If you’re a fan of romantic movies you’ve probably wondered if your favourite one can pass the Bechdel test. But what is it?

It’s pretty simple, to pass the Bechdel test means to follow those three rules:

1- the story must have at least two women (with names) in it
2- the women must talk to each other
3- their conversation must involve something different than a man

It’s easy to do right? Right? Wrong. You’d be surprised to find out that the movies that can pass the Bechdel test are not as many as you might think. But first, we should see why the Bechdel test was invented and why it’s important.

[The Bechdel Test)

takes its name from an american cartoonist named Alison Bechdel that in 1985 was working on the comic strip “Dykes to watch out for”, which is where the rules of the test were explained for the first time. The idea came from a friend of Bechdel named Liz Wallace.

The intent of the Bechdel test is to understand if a movie is giving a fair portrayal of women or a sexist one. Obviously the test is not an absolute truth, just because a movie passes the Bechdel test, it doesn’t mean it’s not sexist.

To give you an example the first Transformers movie (2007) barely passes the Bechdel test because in a scene one character (Mikaela) says “Hi, I’m a friend of Sam’s” and another character (Judy) replies: “Gosh, you’re gorgeous”. Technically this counts as the two characters are named women who are not talking about a man.

But the movie has also been criticized for over-sexualizing Megan Fox’s Mikaela in more than one occasions, with particular emphasis on this famous scene:

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