The Bechdel test for television and film is nothing new. It doesn’t demand an intangible standard like requiring all movies to have lead female characters, or pushes male writers and directors to go in depth on female character development. It’s plain and simple.
The comic strip originally published by artist Allison Bechdel in 1985 has three basic rules: it has to have two named female characters, the two female characters have to talk to each other, and lastly their conversation has to pertain to anything other than men.
The Center for the Study of Women in Film reported this year that women accounted for merely 28 percent of the television industry including writers, directors, executive producers and cinematographers. On camera women held 15 percent of protagonist roles and 30 percent of speaking roles.
These figures are steadily rising. In fact since 2010 at least one female driven movie made reached the top 5 in box office records.
The test has opened a dialogue about women in film, but it’s time to give it a rest. The world is ready for deeper female characters and a tougher test for female equality.