The Bechdel Test

The Bechdel Test is simple. It contains 3 simple rules for a movie to pass;
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it.
2. Who talk to each other.
3. About something besides a man.

Simple enough. So anything less than a perfect score is a fail. I'm going to, for a year (starting 5th August 2012), record every film (classic and contemporary) that I watch on here. The fails will go on the list, the passes with an honorary mention here in the description.

Fails: 14/15

Passes: The Five-Year Engagement.

Note: If you disagree with my scoring of a film, please contest it and it'll be reviewed.
Note 2: A fail doesn't mean it's a bad film, it's just kind of sexist.

Read notes
  • Beyond the Black Rainbow
  • All Good Things
  • The Slaughter Rule
  • Interstate 60
  • The Man from Earth
  • Murder by Numbers
  • After Hours
  • Remember the Titans
  • Stay
  • Fracture
  • The Believer
  • The Elephant Man
  • Chinatown
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • American History X
  • The Dictator


  • Showgirls. The centerpiece of the film has Elizabeth Berkley and Gina Gershwin talking about eating dog food. I guess using a test that was developed by a webcomic artist and has no credibility with academic circles, film critics and real feminists (people who have been published and peer reviewed) will not always provide the intended results.

  • I've not seen Showgirls, though I am aware of it's legendary awfulness. This by no means a perfect test - nor am I trying to take any feminist stand here. The fact it's created by a webcomic artist best known for a comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For" I think it's clearly a bit of fun, but also the results do reveal a misogynistic side to cinema.

  • Or at least I believe that's what the results shall show, we are yet to know from my personal recordings yet.

  • I'm very interested in seeing how this goes! Good idea.

  • Cheers Dan. I just hope I have the patience to keep this up for a year!

  • I wish I had made a similar list. Not too long ago I had seen about 5+ in a row that failed the test and I was quite sad. I remember now: it was watching all Oscar nominated shorts (animated and live action). I think every single one of the bunch failed the test.

  • It's a shame I failed at keeping this going, but as you can see, even though done for a short period of time, 14/15 failed the test! It's not conclusive that cinema is sexist, it's an interesting stat though. Can I ask where you managed to see the live action shorts? I've been trying to find them for ages! :-P

  • Sam, they are available for purchase on itunes, $2.99 HD and $1.99 SD. All of them except for Documentary shorts.

  • That's epic! Cheers for the heads up Lise. Hadn't even thought to check iTunes! :-)

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