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Feminist Movies

Passing the Bechdel Test

The Bechdel Test is criteria to determine whether or not a film features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.

The test is said to be named after Alison Bechdel, who was the cartoonist behind Dykes to Watch Out For, a humourous and dark graphic memoir set about countercultural institutions and relationships. The collaboration took place between Bechdel and her friend Liz Wallace, influenced by the work and writings of Virginia Woolf, namely 'A Room of One's Own'.

The main criteria the film must pass is as follows:

  1. It has to have at least two women in it
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something besides a man

Originally started as a little joke amongst friends, the test has jetsetted popularity since 2010, now the standardised feminist critic of film, television, books and other media forms - to judge whether a piece of culture is woman-friendly. The Bechdel Test is highly important to an understanding of what is quite often missing in media forms, a depth and engagement with female characters - rather than just being represented through their presence.

YWCA Victoria's Feminist-Friendly Flicks

We used the Bechdel Test to come up this list of our faves. Perfect for a night in with your girl gang!


Mullholland Drive (2001)


Mad Max Fury Road (2015)


Hunger Games (2012)


Precious (2009)


The Craft (1996)



Charlie's Angels (2000)


The Witches (1990)


Bridesmaids (2011)



Little Miss Sunshine (2006)


Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)


Amelie (2001)


Rosemary’s Baby (1968)


The Wizard of Oz (1939)


Gone With the Wind (1939)


Pulp Fiction (1994)


The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)


Joy (2015)


Trainwreck (2015)


Moonrise Kingdom (2012)


Boyhood (2014)


Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013)


The Sapphires (2012)


Steel Magnolias (1989)


10 Things I Hate About You (1999)


Dirty Dancing (1987)


Pretty in Pink (1986)


Erin Brockovich (2000)


A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)


She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014)


Miss Representation (2011)


Clueless (1995)


Women without Men (2009)


Persepolis (2007)


The First Wives Club (1996)


Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)


Mermaids (1990)


Sweetie (1989)