The Bechdel Test: 30 Days of Women in Entertainment
As promised – I’m unveiling a project for the month of June and it revolves around The Bechdel Test:
Those of you who don’t want to click the link or watch the video: The Bechdel Test is a simple test which rates movies with the following criteria: It has to have two or more women in it. With names. Who talk to each other. About something besides a man (or men).
Here’s the comic strip from which the rule originated:
For the entire month of June I will be applying the Bechdel Test to every form of entertainment I consume – books, movies, TV Shows, and video games. I’ll be reporting each Bechdel test here as the month progresses, and then at the end give a summary of the findings.
If you scroll through the comments on this video, there are a lot of nay-sayers and decriers claiming that the test is a sham and doesn’t indicate quality of the content. Of course it doesn’t. That’s not the point. One of the main points, for me, is helping my male readers to truly understand what it feels like on the other end of the spectrum, and what better way than to take a month-long journey into a world where you are consistently under-represented.
Do I have any doubt that the project will result in women being categorically under-represented in all forms of my entertainment? No. Another point of this under-taking is to seriously examine what I’m consuming, and once I’ve done that…make better choices about my entertainment.
I’ve added a twist to be sure that people will not be able to discount my journey come the 30th of the month. I will also be applying the Bechdel Test to the mens in the film.
Are there two or more men? Do they have names? Do they talk to one another? Do they talk about something other than women? A conversation about a woman occurring in a film between two men does not automatically make it a Bechdel movie. A woman has to be the ONLY topic of conversation between the men.
So – I’m making an effort to be fair here and applying the test to the male gender as well, for those among us who like to play devil’s advocate. I’m interested to hear predictions about the outcomes of this experiment.
I only found out about the Bechdel Test this past Friday, but was so enamored with it, I wanted to put it into practice immediately. And I’ve been doing it all weekend with my entertainment. Finished up Dead in the Family and it passed. As did Lost (as a series).
I’m certainly not the first person to try the Bechdel Test in this kind of format. Nor will I be the last. But I’m hoping that this month-long experiment will yield something positive in the long-term. Hope you’ll stick around!
I’ll be updating as frequently as I consume the material, but I’m trying to approach this organically, and won’t be consuming more or less in this month than I would in any other month. Usually try to update the blog at least three times a week. 🙂