What is it?

The Bechdel Test, also known as the Bechdel rule or Bechdel’s law, is a test devised  in the mid 1980’s by cartoonist Alison Bechdel (creator of Dykes to Watch Out For) to identify gender bias in fiction.

This test has been applied most often to movies, but it can be used to gauge all works of fiction.

To administer the Bechdel Test, simply answer these questions about the work:

  1. Are there at least two women? (That have a significant role with lines, names, etc.)
  2. Do these women talk to each other?
  3. Is their conversation about something other than a man?

The idea is that if the answer to all three of these is not a resounding “yes!”, then the work of fiction has failed to adequately represent women.

"Passing or failing the test is not an ironclad guarantee of well-rounded, feminist, characterisation but it is indicative of the problems of token women characters." (x) The test attempts to identify works of fiction in which women are given the same treatment as men. Are there exceptions to the test that cannot hope to pass based on reasons that are not at all sexist? Yes! Does that mean this test is invalid? I certainly don’t think so.

Why is this test worth knowing?

You tell me. Is it worth representing women as something other than mute, friendless rewards for men after those men have done enough violence the the “bad guys”? If so, then you may want to ask yourself the Bechdel Test’s three most basic questions about your characters as you write your stories.

Links related to the Bechdel Test:


  1. fauchcat reblogged this from writeworld
  2. blymills reblogged this from writeworld
  3. nyc-pigeon reblogged this from writeworld
  4. ohgeelageegee reblogged this from writeworld
  5. sonnenschein90 reblogged this from diaryreadingcat
  6. notaprincessdestinedtobeawitch reblogged this from writeworld
  7. narefs reblogged this from ruitomo
  8. fireflylightning reblogged this from ffisdangerous
  9. sortabentglasses reblogged this from writeworld
  10. thehellisthisshitagain-barvs reblogged this from writeworld
  11. samtheflyingfucktard reblogged this from agonyofanuntoldstory
  12. lexeia reblogged this from writeworld
  13. writebarvswrite reblogged this from thehellisthisshit-barvs and added:
    I dunno why I didn’t put up my reaction in THIS blog instead of my main one -__-; Oh well, here’s a reblog.
  14. circlenowsquared reblogged this from writeworld
  15. fariquoesentient reblogged this from creepyspacefox
  16. mischief-dream reblogged this from writeworld
  17. nicholastheterriblygreat reblogged this from zosielikescake
  18. zosielikescake reblogged this from frumiousme
  19. frumiousme reblogged this from maybe-theres-hope
  20. scratchpapermouse reblogged this from writeworld
  21. robinasnyder reblogged this from shadowedkitten
  22. shadowedkitten reblogged this from maybe-theres-hope
  23. maybe-theres-hope reblogged this from writeworld
  24. sherega reblogged this from clubfang
  25. cancervantes reblogged this from rabidwerewolfie