Bechdel Films was created because of the limited roles women have in front of and behind the camera. We chose the name Bechdel because of the ‘The Bechdel Test
’ which was inspired by cartoonist Alison Bechdel‘s 1985 tongue-in-cheek comic strip ‘The Rule’ which became a basic measure to see if women are fairly represented in a film.
For a film to pass The Bechdel Test, the movie must simply have the following:
1: It must have at least two female characters
2: They must both have names
3: They must talk to each other about something other than a man
The test is not a measure of how good or ‘feminist’ a film is but it does highlight just how male-dominated cinema really is. It’s a simple, albeit imperfect test, but as author Alison Bechdel herself says ‘it’s a bit of fun’. It gives us something to think and do something about.
We named ‘Bechdel Films’ after the ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’ comic strip episode The Rule by Alison Bechdel, but not in collaboration with the artist herself. Alison Bechdel is not personally involved in this organisation in any way.