The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
According to bechdeltest.com, The Bechdel Test “is a simple test which names the following three criteria: (1) it has to have at least two women in it, (2) who talk to each other, (3) about something besides a man”. In honor of Women’s History Month, here’s a list of popular films from 2022 that may or may not pass one of the film industry’s best indicators of representation of women in media.
- Avatar: The Way of Water
Probably not. It’s difficult to determine how many criteria this one passes, but it’s clear that there aren’t any real fleshed-out interactions between the female characters despite how well-developed they are.
- The Batman
Slightly, yes. Selina “Catwoman” Kyle and her roommate, Anika, can be seen in their apartment as they discuss leaving Gotham. However, this is the only interaction that passes.
No. While the cinematography is beautiful and Austin Butler’s portrayal is incredibly well done, the story nearly wholly focuses on the “King”.
- Don’t Worry Darling
Unsurprisingly, yes. Alice interacts with several named women, including Bunny, about the various aspects of “The Victory Project” which sometimes relate to her husband, Jack, but often not.
- Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
This movie was one of my favorites of the year and yes, it passes! Half of the main cast are women and due to the nature of the murder mystery, these women are constantly talking to one another in public and private about things other than the men in the group.
Nope. Not even Keke Palmer can save this film from the fact that no two women interact. Director Jordan Peele is known for breaking barriers when it comes to addressing racism in his films, but he has some work to do when it comes to leveling the playing field for female characters.
- Top Gun: Maverick
Surprisingly, yes! As opposed to its predecessor, this sequel includes brief scenes of Penny talking to her daughter Amelia about other topics besides Maverick. However, the other strong women in this film never get to interact, leaving it up to the audience to decide whether this demonstrates a female-empowering film or not.
If your favorite film didn’t make the list, I encourage you to research it and test it for yourself. The Bechdel Test seems like the bare minimum for a film, but the standard still isn’t met by a surprising amount of very successful movies. As we look back at the strides women have made in this industry, we should also consider if we’re supporting media that uplifts their voices and stories.