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BadRep Reference Post: The Bechdel Test

2005 October 16
by Jenni

This is a backdated post for our writers to refer to.

To pass the Bechdel Test, a work must:-

1. Have at least two women in it-

2. who talk to each other-

3. About something other than a man.

Some commentators will stipulate that the women named in 1. must be named characters, and some will add to 3. that the women must not be talking about babies or pregnancy, either.

The test was first mentioned by Alison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. She gives the credit for the idea to her friend, Liz Wallace.

The test is not the final word on whether a work is feminist or not – the work does not become ‘feminist’ merely by passing this test. Rather, the number of works which do not pass the test are a measure of how uninterested a culture is in women and their stories.

A.K.A. the Mo Movie Measure or the Bechdel-Wallace Test.

Some links:

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