I haven’t written anything before about the Bechdel test which in a nutshell is a way of determining if women matter in a film. The test was designed by cartoonist Alison Bechdel and it has become legendary.
Here are the criteria:
Looking back through my movies, I’m struck by how rarely the female characters actually do talk to each other. In Big Fish, it’s only a brief moment with Sandra and Josephine. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it’s a throwaway moment between Violet and Veruca. Titan A.E. fails the test unless you know that the alien Stith is technically female.In each of these cases, I had to spend a few minutes just to come up with these (admittedly slight) examples.
And he asks:
Does acknowledging the situation change anything? Maybe. I’ll certainly ask myself these questions about future scripts. For now, my upcoming projects all seem to pass, but they have a familiar paradigm: a single main female who mostly interacts with the men in the story.
Acknowledging there is a problem is the first step towards fixing it.