The Bechdel Test

“Oh, hey!  Over here!  Honey, you’re late!  I’m already on my second cosmo!”

“Yeah, sorry.  Traffic was crazy.  Valentine’s day, you know.  All the panicked husbands rushing out at the last minute to buy up any remaining flowers and chocolate.”

“You know, hon, you’re always so pessimistic.  I know you’ve been single for a while, now, but isn’t it time to get back on that horse?”

“Look, could we talk about something else?  Isn’t it kind of a cliche for us to be here, two single gals getting drinks, and to just be talking about men?”

“It’s still a point, hon.”

“Yeah, I know.  I just haven’t met anyone yet.”

“Ah, but I’ve got the perfect guy for you!  He’s a little bit older, and one of his eyes tends to roll around a bit, but he’s totally a sweetheart…”

“Please, no.  Just – okay, have you ever heard of the Bechdel test?”

“Isn’t that a type of sauce?”

“No, that’s bechamel.”

“Ooh, yeah, it’s really creamy!  I love getting that with pasta, even though I always end up hating myself for it later when I’m on the scale.”

“Er, sure.  No, the Bechdel test.  It’s a way of analyzing movies.”

“I usually use IMDB.”

“Shut it and drink your cosmo.  No, the Bechdel test is supposed to check whether a movie is balanced in terms of gender.  To pass the test, a movie has to have a conversation between two named female characters that isn’t about a male character.”

“Well, that’s easy!  I bet most movies have that.”

“No, you’d be surprised.  A lot of them either don’t name enough female characters, or all the female conversations are about men, and nothing else.”

“Okay, hon, I’ll believe you.  But what’s your point?”

“My point?  I feel like every conversation with you fails the Bechdel test.”

“I don’t-“

“I mean, every single conversation is about men, or dates!  Maybe we’ll chat a little about our work or something, but we basically just get together and gossip over men.”

“But you gotta look at the situation, too!  Where do we meet up?”

“Well, at a bar…”

“That’s right.  And has anything interesting happened at work?”

“Well, no…”

“Uh huh.  And even more than that – what day is today?”

“It’s Valentine’s Day…”

“Exactly.”

“Fine.  So you’re saying that it’s the circumstances causing us to fail the Bechdel test right now.”

“Dear, I’m saying that if you had a man in your life, maybe you wouldn’t be so hung up on tests and such like this!  And that’s why I think this guy would totally be perfect for you.  Just let me set you two up.”

“Ugh, fine.  If it will get you off my back.”

“Ooh, I can’t wait!  Now here.  Drink up.”

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