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

[[3]] Dallas Buyers Club (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by NessieNos on 2013-10-03 20:57:20.



NessieNos said:
There's only one significant female character in the film, Jennifer Garner as a doctor. While she speaks to other women very, very briefly twice in the film, it's always regarding a man — in one case a patient, in another case, asking where the film's protagonist went. What the film DOES have plenty of is gratuitous T&A, including a strip-club scene and a couple of threesomes with unnamed prostitutes, so there are women onscreen, but not as characters so much as set dressing.
Message posted on 2013-10-03 20:57:20
Aaron said:
While this is primarily a film about AIDS in the gay community in the early 80s, and so, not many women involved, Jared Leto's character throws a big wrench into the test. You have a transgendered character who does have significant conversation with the female doctor. While this may technically fail the test, I think that a trans character is within the spirit of the idea.
Message posted on 2013-11-07 05:49:27
Eva Monahan said:
If the woman is transgender, she's a woman. Perhaps you mean transvestite?
Message posted on 2013-11-08 03:28:43
lizvlx said:
jared leto plays a transgender woman in the movie, he talks a lot to jennifer garner's character - so this is def. 2 women talking to one another and surely not about men only.just coz he is a guy playing a women, the character still is a women, transgender or not.
Message posted on 2013-11-09 21:28:14
Sam said:
If you don't count Jared Leto's trans-woman as a woman then the Bechdel test becomes a tool of oppression... WHICH IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE IDEA IN WHICH IT WAS CONCEIVED!!!

Because of the conversations between Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner, this movie OBVIOUSLY passes. Duh.
Message posted on 2013-11-10 02:43:45
Sam said:
If you don't count Jared Leto's trans-woman as a woman then the Bechdel test becomes a tool of oppression... WHICH IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE IDEA IN WHICH IT WAS CONCEIVED!!!

Because of the conversations between Jared Leto and Jennifer Garner, this movie OBVIOUSLY passes. Duh.
Message posted on 2013-11-10 02:44:41
neil (webmaster) said:
I've updated the rating from 1/3 to 3/3.
Message posted on 2013-11-11 07:01:32
Abigail disagreed with the rating and said:
Jared Leto is not a guy playing a woman. He is a guy playing a guy playing a woman. Transgendered, transvestite, I'm not going to split hairs here. The film doesn't come down on exactly how the character identifies, but he (and I use the masculine because the character certainly was not played by a transgendered actor) was certainly not seen by others as a woman in the context of the film. I myself find it problematic to find a binary on this one, and I love the gray area. But at the end of the day, Jared Leto is a man. This means that he is eligible to play far more roles than his female colleagues because far more roles are written for men. And that, I think, is (part of) the spirit of the test.
Message posted on 2014-02-19 02:38:16
Kevin Longfield said:
There are two brief qualifying conversations in this movie. Garner's character tells the ehad nurse to change the AZT dosages for her patients, a very brief but very professioanl-level conversation, and the intake nurse at the buyer's club tells a woman how to complate the application form: once, again, a brief but meaningful conversation.
Message posted on 2014-02-26 21:43:48
Thomas T said:
Jared Leto's character is a woman, and if you say otherwise, you're just being trans-misogynistic. There most certainly IS a significant conversation between two women in this movie.
Message posted on 2014-03-01 07:45:02
Nellie said:
Exactly, there is a difference between transvestite and transgender and it's about identity. Now, who the appropriate actor is to play this part is a completely different discussion, but, within the movie's context, Rayon is a transgendered woman and identifies as female gendered which means her conversations count with Eve.
Message posted on 2014-03-02 02:06:11
Kaelee said:
I'd like to throw in (from a transgender woman's perspective, myself) that just because nobody in the film refers to Rayon as a woman, doesn't make it untrue. Nobody's going to call a biological man a woman in Texas in the 80's, even if she very much is one. The test is not about the actor, it's about the character - so you can say what you want about choosing Jared Leto to play the role, but he is certainly playing a woman in this film.
Message posted on 2014-03-10 19:44:45
Shannon said:
While I agree that a transgender woman should definitely be counted for the bechdel test, I am not sure I agree with using this character in particular because, first off, they were not played by a transwoman actress, and second but perhaps even more importantly for this argument, not a single person in the film referred to them as a women. They constantly used masculine pronouns in reference to the character, including Jennifer Garners character who was supposedly their close friend. And while I understand many arguments that yes, no one would really call them a her in the setting, but even Rayon didn't seem to refer to themselves as a women or ever push the idea of being transgender instead of homosexual. There were plenty of opportunities to do so, and this would be no more dangerous than dressing the way the way they do. I never even heard the word mentioned in the film, which was disappointing. It felt like they, excuse my language, half assed it. They could've gone for it, but they chose not to truly identify Rayon one way or the other, chickened out if you will. I don't know if I feel like rewarding that.
Message posted on 2014-05-08 18:19:17
Elisa said:
I completely agree with Shannon. Transgender and Transvesticism are two things hugely distinct from one another, each comes with its own boundaries and politics. Ultimately (regardless of appearance and genitalia) it comes down to whether a person self-identifies as a woman, which Rayon doesn't in this film.
Message posted on 2014-05-18 18:26:03
Sara disagreed with the rating and said:
To add to Aaron's comment about the film being set in the 1980's gay male AIDS community and that's why there aren't women, I offer this correction. Hundreds of women, lesbians, were the primary caregivers for those gay men dying of AIDS in the 1980s. For more information you can read part of an interview with one of those caregivers in the academic paper "Searching for Lesbian Existence in 'Sex in Public'" by Lynette Yetter.
Message posted on 2014-07-15 20:55:52

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