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]] The Matrix (1999) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by neil on 2008-07-20 00:00:00.



sam said:
Trinity and Switch exchange words in the car about extracting the bug from Neo's belly.
Message posted on 2008-08-18 16:12:34
neil said:
Hm, indeed, I missed that.

Switch: "You're gonna lose it."
Trinity: "No, I'm not."
Message posted on 2008-08-20 17:13:23
Tim disagreed with the rating and said:
I don't really think the conversation in the car counts as they're basically talking about operating on a man.
Message posted on 2010-02-13 10:27:53
Donnie said:
Tim, that's a far-fetched disagreement. The fact he was a man was irrelevant to their conversation.
Message posted on 2010-07-22 21:45:56
bennyp disagreed with the rating and said:
It's a very valid point, because the whole purpose of the conversation is Neo. They aren't practicing their tracer removal skills, they're rescuing a saviour!
Message posted on 2010-09-02 21:06:11
amity disagreed with the rating and said:
I support the disagreement. There is no stipulation that talking about a man somehow gets a pass if the subject matter is medical rather than romantic (or whatever else).

The point is that even when the female characters have dialogue with each other, their conversation is still directly and entirely focused on a male character.

This movie should be downgraded to 2 out of 3.
Message posted on 2010-11-14 17:52:13
Aaron said:
I agree with the rating. They are talking about solving the problem of getting the bug, not Neo.
Message posted on 2011-03-20 06:33:47
Steve said:
Hypothetical movie scene: Male boss asks female employee to accomplish some task. In a later scene, same female employee asks a female assistant for help with accomplishing said task. They work together and find a brilliant, elegant solution, and the male boss is never mentioned in their dialogue.

By the same logic that says this should be disqualified for the fact that they're operating on Neo, the above scene would be likewise disqualified. They're doing what they're doing for a man, right?

If you want to disqualify any conversation that even *affects* a male character, the only movies that will pass rule 3 are going to be lesbian porn.

The Matrix might not be a beacon of feminism ideal, but the Bechdel test is about passing the bare bones, which this one does.
Message posted on 2011-03-28 22:02:05
Decius said:
Doesn't switch talk about her coming death with Trinity: "Not like this. Not like this. "

That's two women, talking to each other, about death, goals, regrets, and a host of other things that are cut short by death.
Message posted on 2011-05-23 22:40:20
j said:
"If you want to disqualify any conversation that even *affects* a male character, the only movies that will pass rule 3 are going to be lesbian porn." -- If true, that strongly validates the premise of the test. Certainly there are numerous movies outside of gay porn in which men have conversation that does not affect any female character.
Message posted on 2011-07-08 08:20:13
H disagreed with the rating and said:
While this may or may not technically pass (it's very hard to tell. I don't think that it does), the fact that it has to be scrutinized this closely to determine whether or not it passes the Bechdel test, emphasizes the fact that this movie is heavily lacking strong female characters.
Message posted on 2012-10-29 23:48:26
johnwaynman disagreed with the rating and said:
"emphasizes the fact that this movie is heavily lacking strong female characters."

Uh, no. No. Just no.
Read anywhere about the Bechdel test, you'll always see the disclaimer that the only thing it's indicative of is the under-representation of women and their role in the plot.

A movie doesn't have to have "strong" or otherwise good female characters, to pass the test, and it can be misogynistic and anti-feminist while passing it.
If you disagree, just picture two weak female characters talking about finding their shoes in the kitchen while their husbands do the main plot thing.
Now picture a movie with only one woman in some kind of team, who doesn't even have anything romantic going on with any of the males and is absolutely equal, but... there are no other women to talk to.
Now picture... a team with two women, following the orders of some female agency boss, talking with each other about their mission, but... their tasks involve a lot of wearing skimpy dresses.

Got it now? Trinity is quite a strong character, not weaker than the others, it's just stupid that she got set up as a love interest. Switch is a neutral redshirt, her gender matters exactly zero.
It's just... most of the crew are male so there's little room for the test to pass (in the sequels quite a bit more).

I disagree with the rating because the movie ALMOST passes it, but not quite.

The de-bugging two-liner is indeed, directly, about a man. Not some man it affects distantly, but directly, right there, a man. It doesn't count.

As for the second one, well... Cypher did say "too late" didn't he :D
A conversation takes two as far as I recall...

Overall, it appears purely random - Trinity exchanges exactly zero dialogue with Apoc or Mouse, or Dozer who doesn't talk to Switch, either. Or to Apoc. either.
The male redshirts don't get any preferences or privileges, it's all quite evently distributed... it's just there's only one female one ;)
Message posted on 2012-11-02 03:40:31
Bynz disagreed with the rating and said:
Only passes 2/3. Another one supporting the disagreement.
Message posted on 2012-11-02 06:00:50
Chucks said:
No, it passes. They're talking about catching a mechanical tracer, not a man. The "purpose" of the conversation is irrelevant- the test isn't about WHY two characters interact, it's about WHAT they talk about. Their motivations aren't a part of the test.
Message posted on 2014-03-25 01:53:16
sdad disagreed with the rating and said:
chuck: so, if a women tells a women that she has to shave her legs cause she'll have sex tonight (with a man), that would indicate that the topic of the conversation is not a man, just legs and sex? no. they are talking about saving a mans life. whom does this affect? the man.
Message posted on 2014-04-07 23:35:23
HamishC said:
sdad - pretty sure you missed Chuck's point....

This also applies to bennyp's disagreement of the pass.

When Switch & Trinity talk about the device inside Neo, they do not talk about Neo, they do not talk to Neo. They aren't talking about saving Neo, Switch's only interest is in removal of a homing beacon for her own (and her friends') safety. She doesn't give one jot about Neo or his safety.

This movie passes, only *just*, but it passes.
Message posted on 2014-06-10 12:44:52
Adam said:
The original argument was the fact that they are still talking about a man, but it is a medical procedure to save their lives more than just his.

So if the man is trivialized enough, does it then pass the 3rd question? I think that's the ultimate question we need to answer here.

My own thoughts are that Switch's lore says that she had been a man in the Real World, while being a woman in the Matrix. I'd say that a slight nod to the transgender community at LEAST bumps it up .5 points.

Apparently Switch's character was that of a Male in the real
Message posted on 2014-08-12 04:46:22
Ben said:
I agree with Decius that the exchange between Switch and Trinity is unequivocal. Trinity is clearly communicating with each of the named crewmembers in turn, Switch responds with a meaningful peace of dialogue.

Decius said:

"Not like this. Not like this. "

That's two women, talking to each other, about death, goals, regrets, and a host of other things that are cut short by death.
Message posted on 2014-09-19 06:09:57
kristjan disagreed with the rating and said:
Let's all ignore the fact that neo wouldn't have saved the world if trinity didn't kiss him. She is the catalyst. Without her everyone is lost. Also side thought, isn't one of the directors of the matrix a woman now? Doesn't that debunk any anti female sentiment within their work, maybe I'm just missing the point though.
Message posted on 2015-12-17 19:28:08
fosstin disagreed with the rating and said:
The conversation in the car/debug scene actually includes Neo:

Trinity: Get in.

Neo: What the hell is this?
Trinity: It's necessary, Neo. For our protection.
Neo: From what.
Trinity: From you. Take off your shirt.
Neo: What?
Switch: Stop the car. Listen to me, Copper-top. We don't have time for twenty questions. Right now there's only one rule, our way or the highway.
Neo: Fine.
Trinity: Please, Neo. You have to trust me
Neo: Why?
Trinity: Because you have been down there, Neo. You know that road. You know exactly where it ends. And I know that's not where you want to be.... Apoc, lights. Lie back, lift up your shirt.
Neo: What is that thing?
Trinity: We think you're bugged.... Try and relax.... Come on. Come on.
Switch: It's on the move.
Trinity: Shit.
Switch: You're going to loose it.
Trinity: No I'm not. Clear.
Neo: Jesus Christ, that thing's real?
Message posted on 2019-03-07 15:37:42
Kcco said:

But they only talk to each other in the last 4 lines:
Switch: It's on the move.
Trinity: Shit.
Switch: You're going to loose it.
Trinity: No I'm not. Clear.

In my opinion all they are talking about is the tracer.
Message posted on 2020-05-11 17:45:28
femmeapples said:
Our crew rang the Bech-bell for the scene in the car with the bug thing, but not for the bit where Switch dies, cuz in the car, Trinity responds - and the "not like this" feels more about cypher than the extraction feels about neo?
We did have to go back and check the scene cuz we missed it the first time through, so it was a Double-Check-del for us! 3/3 but it's not the most proper bechdel I've ever seen
glad it's been debated for 10 years~
Message posted on 2020-05-26 02:49:51

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