The Bechdel Test

Whilst talking withthe group today, there was mentioned from Claireand Jenny about the Bechdel Test. The tests follows the following criteria:

1)Must have more than 2 female characters.
2)They must be in each others presence/talking to each other.
3) The dialogue they have must be topics other than men.

The Bechdel Test is becoming more and more popular, challenging film makers about their content. Sweden becoming the first country in the world in 2013, to incorporate this into their rating system for films.

“Cinemas in Stockholm are the first in the world to make gender representation a factor in an unofficial ratings system, pledging to give an A rating to films that pass the Bechdel test “- Article [Accessed February 2016]

The bechdel test originated as a comic strip by Alison Bechdel; she presented the following criteria in her series ‘Dykes to watch out for’ since then it has challenged film and games companies to change their view what should be content.

Dykes to Watch Out For

“Over half the Academy Award nominees for the best picture in 2014 failed the Bechdel Test” – [Julia WoodNatalie Fixmer-Oraiz,‘Gendered Lives’, pg 236, 2016]

Geena Davis (Who plays Thelma) actually started the Geena Davis Institute which was made to tackle this problem of the media not portraying women fairly. I found it so rewarding that the film and studies are interlinking. What a coincidence!!!

The Geena Davis Institute was triggered when Geena Davis was watching TV with her daughter and realised she wanted the younger generation to be brought up with strong female role models. This led to setting up the Annenberg Study, with the shocking low statistics the Institute was formed. [Julia WoodNatalie Fixmer-Oraiz,‘Gendered Lives’, pg 236, 2016]

When looking into Thelma and Louise; it definitely passes the Bechdel Test. The story of two women who want to escape the stereotypes of talking about men. Who break ties from the male relationships and have a good relationship that sticks till the very end. Looking at the Bechdel Test we can see why Thelma and Louise is considered empowering for women.

Still from Thelma & Louise

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