We all know what the Bechdel Test is. Or, if you don’t, it’s that rule, invented by Alison Bechdel in her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, about fiction which describes whether or not a work approaches gender in an appropriate way. Among the many works that fail the test are Star Wars (not a single film in the series passes it so far), The Lord of the Rings, almost anything involving Batman, and roughly 90% of other popular movies, television shows, novels, comic books, etc.
The test is simple. First, does the work contain more than one female character? Second, if there are two female characters, do they have a conversation? And finally, is their conversation about something, anything, other than a man?
It’s worth discussing this in relation to Silicon Valley, the HBO series whose second season concluded a week ago. The first season of Silicon Valley completely fails to pass this test. At no point do two female characters interact. Continue reading “Why Silicon Valley’s Approach to the Bechdel Test is Brilliant”