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The Bechdel Test Results by makyo

The Bechdel Test Results


24 December 2013 at 16:43:37 MST

Full visualization:

The "Bechdel Test" is one way to measure what's called the "male gaze", the tendency for cinema to focus on or around male characters, or to be told expecting a male audience. One measure of this was created in a 1985 comic strip by Alison Bechdel, in which a character stated she would only watch a movie if there were:

a) at least two (named) female characters, who...

b) ...talked to each other...

c) ...about something other than a man.

The website has pulled together results of these criteria applied to popular movies across more than a century, and I visualized them with protovis as a fun little way to get back into that mindset.

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    So if I understand that correctly some of the earliest movies were actually more equal in gender-representation than they are now?

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      Year by year, yes; however, it's with keeping in mind that early years had 2-3 films, and recent years have 100+. I tried to show that with thickness rather than weighting the results, but looking back, I could've done better ^^

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        Ah OK, that makes sense :) I imagine older films had more dialogue that modern movies in the first place, they're so much more fast paced today, in general

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          Yeah, that's definitely a factor, too! It was easier to talk about goings on if there's more talking, period :)