Introduced in Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, the Bechdel Test is a simple test to gauge the gender bias in a film or other work of fiction.
In order to pass the Bechdel Test, a film must feature two female characters, both of whom are named, who have a conversation about a topic other than men.
It is surprising how few Hollywood movies pass this test. The test has been criticised as limited, notably because it is possible to name films which nominally pass this test but which are generally regarded to contain unsatisfactory representations of women (recently, Transformers: Age of Extinction).
Tina Fey also has come up with her own next level Bechdel Test. To pass this the film should meet the following criteria: there must be women who are over 40; they have their original teeth; their faces must move when they cry.
- Bechdel Test Movie List - One online list of Bechdel-tested films.