Wouldn’t it be lovely if a simple, three-question test could determine whether something, or someone, was feminist? It would be the first question we asked all our Tinder dates, that’s for sure.
Enter the Bechdel Test, which was created in 1985 by cartoonist Alison Bechdel in a now-famous comic strip. Essentially, the Bechdel Test is a metric that determines whether a movie or TV series pays ample attention to its women characters. The Bechdel test has three stipulations: two named women characters need to have a conversation about something other than a man.
With a rule that simple, you’d think almost every movie would pass. But you’d be wrong. In 2016, for example, one-third of all top movies failed to meet the test’s requirements.
Of course, passing the Bechdel Test isn’t enough to determine whether a film takes its women characters seriously. But nonetheless, it provides a critical lens through which we can reframe movies.
From swashbucklers to romantic musicals, here's how these iconic movies pass the test with flying colours (or just barely).