In the 1980 cartoonist Allison Bechdel observed a frustrating trend in pop culture most films. It was that they had only one female character and when there were multiple women in a film their storyline almost always revolved around Men. This concept was inspired by her friend Liz Wallace. This realisation inspired her to create a comic called “The Rule”. 

 “I only go to the movies if it satisfies these basic requirements 1. has two women 2. who talk to eachother 3. about something other than men. This is the bechdel test

It is a test of quantity and not quality. The bechdel test is NOT a way to measure if a film is feminist. The bechdel test is a tool used to bring attention to the inequality of the media. Another tool with the same intentions is a survey of 120 films by the Gina Davis institute on gender in media reveals that 31% of the named characters were female and that 23% had a female protagonist or co-protagonist.

Now that you have a basic idea of what the bechdel test you can use this knowledge to test films and shows that you watch. The outcome may be surprising and you may be dissapointed with many of your favourites. Although this generation is doing alot better at representing women and many other groups who were often ignored we can always be better.