a) the name of that experiment you did in tenth grade involving litmus paper and petrie dishes
b) what your doctor is giving you when he checks your reflexes during a physical
c) a psychoanalytical measurement discussed in a paragraph in your Intro Psych text that you may or may not have studied while cramming for the final
d) an easy (and telling) analysis of women’s representation in film
Though I am convinced I got an A+ on The Bechdel Test in high school chemistry class, the answer is actually D. If you picked that one, there’s a good chance you’re either a screenwriter or a sociologist, or just super knowledgeable and in that case, expect a call from me when I’m prepping to be a contestant on <insert any game show title here, because I want to be on all of them>.
The Bechdel Test was actually named after its creator, Alison Bechdel. The test was derived from one of Alison’s comics printed in the ’80s and has been essentially morphed into a gauge that measures a woman’s relevance to a film’s plot.
The test is simple:
1. A movie must have at least two or more named female characters.
…okay. Well, that one’s easy.
(In the land of screenwriting, the number of named characters in your film is important, because it thus means your character is relevant to the plot in some way. Although it may get you your SAG card, the role of NURSE or GIRL IN BIKINI would not be considered a named character.)
2. These two named women must talk to each other in a scene.
…this test is a piece of cake so far, right? I mean, I can think of hundreds of films where two women talk to each other in a scene…
3. …about something besides a guy.
Try it. Bechdel Test-passers are not easy to find. Go watch your favorite movie (no, seriously, like, right now, go watch it, I’ll wait). I bet you’re thinking of about thirty possible movies right now; they’re looping through your head like a huge reel of film. Scene after scene of girl talk. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.