Mainstream Movies Ignore Women: The Bechdel Test

This great video details The Bechdel Test, which is a way of measuring how mainstream movies treat women. To pass the test, a movie has to:


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(1) have at least two women in it, who (2) who talk to each other, about (3) something besides a man.

The test first appeared in 1985 in Alison Bechdel’s comic Dykes to Watch Out For.

This site has a growing list of films that do pass the test. Films from 2010 include: Toy Story 3, Sex and the City 2 and, perhaps surprisingly, The Karate Kid. What’s more interesting is applying the test to your favourite movies. It makes you realise that the male point of view has become so normalised that we’re often blind to the marginalisation of women in films. Worse still, this whole attitude seems to be entrenched in Hollywood and is actually taught in film schools.

The idea of applying the Bechdel Test to porn films seems almost ludicrous; porn films are usually about one or more women “discussing” a man, nice and hard. Still, it’s another useful way of revealing just how male-oriented most porn can be.

via Erika Lust.

3 Replies to “Mainstream Movies Ignore Women: The Bechdel Test”

  1. The Bechdel test is an interesting lens to look at our culture through, including porn.

    As a man who loves women, and a male escort for women, it is easy for me to lose sight of how popular culture marginalises women (even as it obsesses over their physical appearance).


  2. Interesting test. Now, are you including any of the vast number of girl-girl movies out there? Most of those have two or more women talking to each other with no mention of men. Do those count?

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