‘Fire Island’ and the Bechdel Test: Turning the Debacle into a Learning Opportunity

In 1985, cartoonist Alison Bechdel drew a sequence in her strip Dykes to Watch

Out For that depicted a pair of women walking by a movie theater.

I have this rule,” one says. “I only go to a movie if it satisfies three basic requirements:

One, it has to have at least two women in it who, two,

talk to each other about, three, something besides a man.”

The punchline is that under those standards, the last film she was able to see was Alien – released six years prior.

The Bechdel test, as the three rules came to be known,

has since entered the cultural vernacular as an earnest gauge of gender representation in media.

It has spawned variants aiming to account for inclusion behind