This past Friday I was lucky enough to attend the launch of the Bechdel Bill, a women in film initiative that asks producers and production companies to pledge that 80% or more of their films pass the popular feminist Bechdel Test. In order to pass, a movie must feature at least two women who have names and talk to each other about something other than a man. Doesn’t sound that hard, does it? You’d be amazed to find out how many films fail miserably (hint: A LOT OF THEM DO). The test was named after the brilliant American cartoonist Alison Bechdel, since the idea first appeared in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For in 1985.
Before I was exposed to the concept of the Bechdel Test in the early 2000s, I had no idea that cinema had such poor representation of women in front of the camera and behind the camera. I mean, sure, I noticed that more men were in the leading roles than women were and that the stories generally focused on the male experience, but my eyes hadn’t been truly opened to this serious issue before films were being analyzed from this perspective. Read the full article.