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Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it. : Conversation question • Page 2 • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com

Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
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mammamaia
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby mammamaia » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:28 pm

as in L&O SVU, they could be detectives, discussing male perps... or, as in Nurse Jackie, going over a male patient's symptoms... in The Good Wife, planning the best defense for a male client... and so on...

the assumption [if there is one] that any women conversing must be talking about romantic/sexual issues relating to men is an inane one, most likely posited by men, imo...
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby MookyMcD » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:33 pm

Not only is this not a "writing tip" or anything like that, it's also not really an important test for any given movie or book. The significance of the question really comes into play when looking at all of the books or movies in a given year or whatever. If less than half of the books or movies from a given period contain a single scene that does not involve or is not about a man, that's probably something worth noticing.

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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby cynfranks » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:39 pm

There is a belief among dramatists that plays, screenplays and teleplays for adults are about two things: love or death. I worked with a producer who used the less polite version of this: fight or f___. In this light, this makes sense.

A general rule for built-in conflict in a scene is to have it between characters of the opposite sex. It's just human nature. Plus, anything put on a stage is multiplied by 10, on a movie screen by 8 and on TV screen by 5. Although TV has been changing over past few years.
Ask yourself, "What would Dickens do?"



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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby onceuponwednesday » Sat Apr 19, 2014 12:44 pm

The Rule of Three

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updog
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby updog » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:27 pm

"Is it weird in here, or is it just me?" ~ Steven Wright



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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby onceuponwednesday » Sat Apr 19, 2014 1:39 pm

The Rule of Three

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onceuponwednesday
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby onceuponwednesday » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:04 pm

Bechdel Test:

Here's some sections:

What is now known as the Bechdel test was introduced in Alison Bechdel's comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. In a 1985 strip titled "The Rule", an unnamed female character says that she only watches a movie if it satisfies the following requirements:

It has to have at least two women in it,
who talk to each other,
about something besides a man.

Said to be inspired by:

In her 1929 essay A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf observed about the literature of her time what the Bechdel test would later highlight in more recent fiction:

All these relationships between women, I thought, rapidly recalling the splendid gallery of fictitious women, are too simple. [...] And I tried to remember any case in the course of my reading where two women are represented as friends. [...] They are now and then mothers and daughters. But almost without exception they are shown in their relation to men. It was strange to think that all the great women of fiction were, until Jane Austen's day, not only seen by the other sex, but seen only in relation to the other sex. And how small a part of a woman’s life is that [...]


I don't think you should add something just to pass the Bechdel test, but it's good to keep it in mind as a lot of bias is deep seated and unconscious.
The Rule of Three

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MookyMcD
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby MookyMcD » Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:11 pm


TerryRodgers
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby TerryRodgers » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:21 pm


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DrG2
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Re: Passing the Bechdel Test for the sake of it.

Postby DrG2 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 1:25 pm

It came from a graphic novel:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dykes ... gin%29.jpg

and I believe it means they shouldn't be discussing men at all. They should talk about their jobs, or going on a vacation, or their favorite tea, or whatever.

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