So the Bechdel Test – invented by Alison Bechdel – critiques the dearth of primary female characters with any degree of interiority in teh moviez, and it consists of three criteria:
The show/book/film whatever
1) has two female characters who
2) have a conversation about
3) something other than a man.
Fewer films/shows than you’d think pass this test, including many that I love. Like, Firefly? Almost none (if any?) of the episodes pass the test. Kaylee and Inara are friends, but they almost always are talking about Simon or Inara’s clients. Zoe is terse and spends all her time with Mal and Wash, and River is crazy and spends all her time with Simon.
The cartoon that invented the Bechdel Test says that Alien passes the test because two women talk to each other about an alien. In this example, the alien is a problem the women are trying to solve (I assume? I’ve never seen it). So that made me wonder, can something pass the Bechdel Test if two women are talking about a man, but in a capacity wholly unrelated to any sort of romance-type situation? Like what if Leslie from Parks and Recreation runs for City Council, and her opponent is a dude, and she and Ann Perkins get together to talk about campaign strategy to defeat the opponent? If that was the only conversation she and Ann had in that episode, would it mean that that episode didn’t pass the Bechdel Test? Cause I feel like that example still lives up to the spirit of the Bechdel Test. The opponent in this example functions like the alien in Alien: an obstacle to the (non-romantic) aspirations of the two characters.
Thoughts? And if you think that this imaginary episode of Parks and Rec would qualify, do you think it would still qualify if the opponent in question were someone who used to date Ann?