The Bechdel Test and Gender Representation

Vincent Dance Theatre is committed to promoting equality between the sexes and Motherland proudly demonstrates an evenly split cast of male and female performers and exploration of gender. But how do other current media representations of women match up? With the 2014 nominations for the Oscars we got talking about the Bechdel test as a guide for gender representation in culture. For those who may not have heard of the Bechdel test, in order pass a work of fiction has to:

1. Have at least two named female characters
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

A quick bit of research in the VDT office has shown that none of the films nominated confidently pass the test (American Hustle for example does contain a conversation between two named female characters that is not about a man, it’s about nail polish, which for the purposes of this test should surely not count.) So how hard can it really be to pass this simple, three-step test? It seems that much popular fiction is failing and the issue of female representation in the media is still as current as ever.
We’d love to hear your thoughts.  How do you think this test applies to your favorite work of fiction, especially dance or theatre.

Chloe, VDT Intern

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