Bechdel's test identifies movies with independent women.
by Beth Lyons
The summer blockbuster movie season is upon us — and with it comes a barrage of films featuring women and girls in limited, sexualized and trivial roles. Just how abysmal is the representation of women and girls in film and television? Let me introduction you to a little something we feminists call the Bechdel test.
Bechdel is a concept that originates from a 1985 comic strip by Alison Bechdel, a queer American cartoonist. In this strip, a character mentions that she doesn’t watch films that don’t meet a basic criterion: they must have at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man (bonus points if these characters actually have names). The joke of the strip is, of course, that the character doesn’t get to watch many movies.
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