The Bechdel Test, the brainchild of web cartoonist Alison Bechdel, bubbled out of a 1985 comic strip called Dykes To Watch Out For. It was Bechdels modest proposal for assessing how well a given film represented its female characters and it went like so: Do you, movie, feature two or more named women? Do they talk to each other? About something besides a guy? If so, then congratulations! You have passed the Bechdel Test.
1. A woman’s story is being told. She is not relegated to the role of sidekick, romantic interest, or bit player.
2. Her world is populated with intelligent women who also have stories worth telling, even if their stories aren’t the focus of the movie.
3. If she must engage in a romantic storyline, she doesn’t have to compromise her sanity or common sense for love.
4. At least half the time, this woman needs to be a woman of color and/or a transgender woman and/or a queer woman because all these women exist! Though she is different, her story should not focus solely on this difference because she is a sum of her parts. She is not the token. She has friends who look like her so they need to show up once in a while.
5. She cannot live in an inexplicably perfect apartment in an expensive city with no visible means of affording said inexplicably perfect apartment.
6. She doesn’t have to live up to an unrealistic feminist standard. She can and should be human. She just needs to be intelligent and witty and interesting in the way women, the world over are, if we ever got a chance to really know them on the silver screen.