Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[1]] Fight Club (1999) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by Bryan on 2008-10-25 14:19:28.

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Comments

Bryan said:
Has only one main woman (Marla - Helena Bonham Carter). Other female characters appear briefly to address various Self-Help groups - no One on One conversations.
Message posted on 2008-10-25 14:19:28
Paul said:
I almost feel as if it is appropriate for it to fail the test because the book and the movie have nothing to do with women but the internal male mind... The book's story is a reaction to a female, and Marla is well portrayed as a competent, if crazy, women.
Message posted on 2010-07-12 07:00:46
JP said:
I guess if there was ever a time where it's appropriate for a movie to fail the test, this would be it. One of the central ideas of the book was the emasculation of Man in modern society, and this was clearly translated to screen.
Message posted on 2010-09-14 07:58:02
Paul disagreed with the rating and said:
During the various Self-Help groups, there is a woman named Chloe, who talks about her fear of death (in front of a group) and the fact she wants to get laid (but she doesn't state it should be with a man, she addresses a group that includes women). The groupleader, a woman who is not named in the credits, but wears a name tag that clearly reads "Terry", interrupts her by talking to her. While dubious, there are thus at least two named women besides Marla, where Chloe addresses the entire group including Terry and Terry speaks to her in reaction.
Message posted on 2010-10-18 16:03:15
Gareth said:
It's interesting that Persona, to which this movie pays copious homage, has only one speaking male character.
Message posted on 2010-12-14 00:59:47
Amy said:
I'm conflicted, so I included the quote from the IMDB. Chloe (named speaks), but the group leader (credited as group leader, but wearing a name tag that says "Terri", heart over the "i" and all), interrupts. On the one hand you have two named female characters NOT talking about men, but as much as I love this movie, I don't consider an interruption a conversation.


Chloe: Well, I'm still here. But I don't know for how long. That's as much certainty as anyone can give me. But I've got some good news: I no longer have any fear of death. But... I am in a pretty lonely place. No one will have sex with me. I'm so close to the end, and all I want is to get laid for the last time. I have pornographic movies in my apartment, and lubricants, and amyl nitrite...
[the group leader takes the mic]
Group Leader: Thank you, Chloe... everyone, let's thank Chloe.
Message posted on 2012-10-21 00:14:11
Kyle said:
Just as a response to Amy, I wanted to point out that the Bechdel test isn't a test used to show feminism exists in a movie. It's just a test for female presence. So if you go by the very basic rules (is Terri really named if she just has a nametag? Can an interruption like that count as a conversation?) and you're fairly liberal with them, then yes, Fight Club passes. That doesn't make it any less sexist.
Message posted on 2013-04-02 16:14:33
Amy said:
Kyle, I never said it wasn't sexist, nor did I mention anything about feminism. I'm simply dissecting this scene as to whether or not it passes the test; loosest interpretation, Terri has a name, she says words to Chloe, it passes. Firmer interpretation, maybe Terri does have a name, but a few lines directed "at" other people instead of "to" another woman does not count as a conversation. I'm not the one who makes the final call, but after it was mentioned, I wanted to look into it again.
Message posted on 2013-04-12 01:56:59
Zepp said:
For those of you, who are quick to call this movie sexist or misogynistic, did you know that it's in fact an allegory on repressed homosexuality, originally written by a now openly gay author?
Check out this fun little analysis for more info:
www.blip.tv/needsmoregay/needs-more-straight-3-fight-club-6561835

Jesus people, just because something is male-centric doesn't make it 'anti-women'.
Message posted on 2013-04-12 20:21:30
Amy said:
Actually Zepp, I don't think that's quite true. Chuck is doing an AMA on reddit about that right now, someone asked him that question. Here is his response:

www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1ckp9q/hello_yo_hi_im_chuck_palahniuk_the_worst_best_bad/c9hhtvt?context=3

I personally don't believe that the movie is sexist, but I don't believe that this is the proper medium for that discussion, but rather stick to if it does/doesn't pass the test.
Message posted on 2013-04-18 03:43:49
Zepp said:
Mmm, ok, let me then take back the words 'in fact' and instead claim that it is a valid 'interpretation'.
I only recently found out about Chuck's coming out and the particular argument that Rantasmo (the guy whose video I liked to) presented. And that just made me so giddy for the fact that I now have even more ammunition to disprove this notion of Fight Club supposedly portraying anarchism in a cool and positive light (when it actually is a parody of the whole thing), which is a popular misconception among my social circles.
Still, I'd like to use Barthes's 'Death of the Author' argument here and say that even if Chuck may not have intended it to be an allegory on repressed homosexuality, there's enough ground for people to justify it, if they so prefer, and even argue that Palahniuk could've written it as such subconsciously, given his disposition.
As for keeping this strictly about the test... throughout my lurking here I found that this topic quickly dries up and becomes quite tedious.
If you have a favorite place on the net where you and others civilly discuss the feministic or sexist aspects of movies, please point it out to me, I'd love to join.
While here, I would like to introduce the argument of whether or not a film particularly deserves to be scrutinized by the test's standards. I would like to argue that there is a percentage of movies that can justify not passing the test and that should not be judged poorly solely based on that.
I think that makes for a fun conversation that does not deviate far from the subject matter at all .
:)
Message posted on 2013-04-20 22:35:57
Amy said:
Zepp, that is a valid interpretation, and I was personally just super excited about the recent AMA.

My comment about this not being the proper medium is simply because I personally don't come back often enough to consider this a place to discuss these aspects of the movie, but for others who do, then I'm sure it's a great medium, sorry if I being presumptuous in my original comment.

I agree that there are movies that fail the test but are not sexist at all (Run Lola Run is a great example), and I would argue that this is one of them (the basis of that argument being that even though there aren't many women, they play an important part), but again, I'm not not on often enough to flesh out this argument.
Message posted on 2013-06-27 01:10:59
luminum said:
Zepp, just because a movie does not pass, does not mean it is judged poorly. If that is so, then the purpose of the test is misunderstood. All movies should be subject to the test's scrutiny because the purpose of the test is to assess all films and look at the aggregated outcome, to see how many films pass and how many fail. Obviously, there will be a percentage that can and should fail, but the point is that it shouldn't be a massive majority of films. If all things are equal, the number of the films depicting female-female interaction about topics beyond men should be about the same as male-male interaction about topics other than women. It attempts to expose gender bias, which is a form of institutional sexism, not necessarily whether the content of the film itself is sexist. That's why it's good to likewise document cases in which a male Bechdel Test passes or fails. A clear majority of films that fail the Bechdel Test, but pass the male Bechdel Test shows a clear bias.

Even with the test allowing ANY interaction to count no matter how brief, a lot of films still don't pass. A better version would account for proportionality to the amount of male Bechdel Test-passing dialogue. In some movies, it could still be skewed, or a clear fail, but ideally, that would even out against films that fail the male Bechdel Test on similar grounds.
Message posted on 2013-06-27 08:16:34

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