Many people fail to understand that the Bechdel Test indexes how women are represented, overall, not how stereotyped or favorable a particular movie or book is towards women. Sexist movies can pass the Bechdel easily, while unproblematic movies fail it. The test has become quite popular, though, to the point that it’s spawned variations and similar tests. So in the public interest, I’d like to signal-boost a number of them.
The Bechdel: At some point in the story, two or more women who are explicitly named talk to each other about something other than a man.
The Mako Mori: At least one female character has a narrative arc in the story that doesn’t support a male character’s narrative arc.
The Sexy Lamp: “if you can remove a female character from your plot and replace her with a sexy lamp and your story still works, you’re a hack [and a poor writer].
The Anti-Freeze: No woman is assaulted, injured or killed to further the story of another character.
The “Strength is Relative”: A complex woman defined by solid characterization, rather than walking collection of macho or masculine stereotypes.
The Furiosa: Are men’s rights activists threatening to boycott the movie/book/whathaveyou?
The Pizza Night: Women are shown eating non-salad food and no comment is made about anyone getting fat or breaking their diet.