Bechdel’s Law and why women don’t talk enough. No, seriously.

On the topic of empowering women, I read an extremely interesting article a while back which referenced a law, eponymously named The Bechdel Test. Of course, me being the unrelenting nerd I am, looked it up and discovered an extremely useful marker for day to day life. Day to day life cinematically speaking that is.

(WARNING: INCOMING SEXIST COMMENT) Women love to talk. What? They do, don’t tell me they don’t. Sometimes my girlfriend will talk, incessantly at length on a topic where I had truly and perhaps naively assumed beforehand that it was not impossible to harness more than a few earnest words upon; but no – there she will be toiling away, talking as if the more she speaks, than surely the greater the odds of me listening? Not so. She is fickle little flower, is my girlfriend – unaware of the ability of the male mind to zone right the fuck out. (Bear – if you’re reading – the two elements are inversely proportional. The more you talk, the less I listen….. Please don’t hit me)

So anyway, for arguments sake, let us presume I am right (I am right) and women in fact do expel words more frequently than breaths. In this world, you’d presume they’d find more to talk about than the lamentable actions of their gender counterpart. It is not the case my friends.

Popular fiction has been conducted with an inherent streak of gender bias, such that women cannot bear to encounter one another without the topic of a man arising. It has become such a problem that there is genuine concern that women are being raised in a culture, conditioned to thinking that their lives revolve around men. They most certainly do not. Of course, the more individual and free thinking of you ladies out there will have recognised this from an early age and you are the fantastic specimens you are as a result, but unfortunately the more impressionable of you out there may wish to consider the following.

Bechdel’s law, is a simple application to any film (or any piece) of fiction where

  1. There are at least 2 women
  2. These aforementioned talk to each other
  3. These women talk to each other – besides something other than a man.

The scary thing is how few films meet these three stipulations. The third one is the killer, most films managing to satisfy the first couple of statements, falling flat on their face on the third, drowning in a sea of chick flicks as far as the eye can sea.

This website is an excellent resolve to this. Parents, empower your daughters. Teach them life is about them and not a man. Ladies, carpe diem. There is more at stake than whether a boy likes you or not. I for one, when I finally convince someone to raise a child with me with pray like there’s no tomorrow for a boy (no hassle – won’t need to raise fisticuffs with future boyfriends). Failing that, I will raise my daughter on a strict no-Taylor-Swift-diet and in the image of her mother. A woman with dreams and a future.


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