In 1985, Alison Bechdel wrote a comic strip in which a character stated that she would only go see a movie if the following criteria were met:
1. It has to have at least two women in it
2. who talk to each other
3. about something other than a man.
The joke being that because of these rules she hadn’t been to the cinema since 1979.
The comic came and went, but these three rules stuck around and became known as the Bechdel Test. Its appeal comes from its simplicity and its stark illustration of just how poorly women are depicted in mainstream entertainment.
This is particularly apparent in Holllywood movies, but also in television shows and books. Once you start thinking about it, it’s quite staggering how many fictional representations of humanity as a culture fail to meet these rather basic requirements.
And it’s as true now as it was 30 years ago.