Bechdel test

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The Bechdel test came from the comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For" by Alison Bechdel. The term used to be a joke in one of the strips: [1] [2] [3] [4] This test is mostly misunderstood, because the requirements are vague and it doesn't make any difference if the male characters talk to women about their fathers, sons, platonic friends and etc. rather than romantic partners.The Bechdel Test isn't meant as a feminism scorecard of a work.

Fiction Tests from Feminists

(Alison) Bechdel Test "For Female Side Characters"

  1. At least two named women
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something other than a man

Mako Mori Test "For Female Main Characters"

  1. At least one female character
  2. Who gets her own narrative arc
  3. Not about supporting a man’s story

Fiction Tests for Neutrality

The Bechdel Relations Test "For Sexual Relations"

  1. At least one male and one female "named character"
  2. Who interact throughout the story,
  3. Never express out loud sexual tension or romantic/sexual feelings towards each other.
  4. Don't have romantic subplots with other characters (Bonus)

The Barnett Test "For Gender Conflicts"

  1. At least two women and two men,
  2. Have a conversation with each other
  3. That is about something more than the other gender
  4. Is there any physical violence that is portrayed
    1. as humor or not serious,
    2. as the norm or acceptable, or
    3. as the recipient "deserved it"?

Fiction Tests from MRAs

The original Reverse Bechdel Test

  1. A female character appearing in at least 3 scenes dies
  2. The entire movie isn't a revenge film out to get her killers
  3. It's not a horror movie

The Reverse Delbech Test "For Male Side Characters"

  1. At least two named male characters
  2. Who is neither incompetent, nor feral, nor depraved.
  3. Working together at a task.
  4. Must not have the goal of benefiting (a) women or society in general.

MacGyver Test "For Male Main/Side Characters"

  1. The absence of mother is not required for the father to be competent
  2. An honest, hard-working man is "making it" and is not shown as a hapless loser
  3. The female protagonist is interested in the male protagonist before he is the hero
  4. The male protagonist treats violence as "last resort" to follow his goals/mission

(Eivind) Skjellum Test "For Male Main Characters"

  1. It has a leading male role
  2. Who is not risking his life in order to serve/protect
  3. Who is not risking his life in service of truth/justice
  4. Who is not risking his life or well-being in order to "make it"
  5. Who is not jumping through hoops to get the girl

See Also

Galbrush Paradox


  1. Dykes to Watch Out For (Infogalatic) - [1]
  2. Dykes to Watch Out For (Wikipedia) -[2]
  4. The Bechdel Test (All The Tropes) - [3]