The Bechdel Test in Episode 🤔

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Bechdel test is a way of determining the representation of women in media. To pass, the media has to meet these requirements:

  1. It has to have at least two women who talk to each other, 2) about something other than a man. The test sometimes adds that the two women must be named characters.

I definitely take the test with a grain of salt (there’s lots of movies and books with strong female characters that don’t pass, just like there are super sexist works that DO pass), but it got me thinking about Episode and how many popular stories would actually pass the test. Do you think most Episode stories would pass or fail? And what does that say about our community as a whole?

Anyway, I’ll stop nerding out now :nerd_face: but I’d love to get someone else’s thoughts on this!


I definitely think a lot of stories fail tbh. Even though Episode is heavily catered to and consumed by people who identify as women, most of us are very used to male-centric media with women characters whose only purpose is to exist inside the scope of their relationship with the male characters and not as individuals. There are lots of stories with great examples of MCs who are strong and complex women, but the area I’ve noticed is more lacking is the non-MC characters. Most supporting characters in stories tend to be very flat and one-dimensional, but I’m not sure how much of that can be attributed to the inability to actually write complex women characters vs just plain inexperienced writers with poor character development skills in general :woman_shrugging:t2: In my opinion, the wide accessibility of writing on Episode also opens the doors to new writers who are unknowingly perpetuating one-dimensional women characters because they’re less educated about both literature and representation in general. I think it’s amazing that anyone can write on here, but it also means the market is oversaturated with a lot of the same mistakes. However I think it’s completely unacceptable when Episode official or featured stories don’t pass :sweat_smile:


I don’t think all my stories pass :neutral_face:
My new one doesn’t really, unless you include really small conversations? lol (Which happen to be about work so I’m not sure if that’s better :sweat_smile:)

Fail. Particularly stories in the romance/drama genres.
I think you’d likely find a lot of stories in other genres that pass just fine.


This is a good topic. I don’t think I’ve ever really paid attention but they probably fail. Episode originals (at least all the new ones) would fail.

Stories that have the M/F LI branch would probably only pass in the female branches. There are a couple of LGBTQ stories that’s I’ve read (wlw centric) that probably pass :thinking:. Like I said I’ve never really paid attention to it.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Bechdel Test here is the origin of it :point_down:t3:

It was created by comic artist Alison Bechdel and it was originally just passing commentary on how alienating media is towards lesbians when women only talk about men. So like you I don’t really consider passing as a sign of feminist writing or whatever. But this is a good post :smiley:


Yes, I totally agree! So well written too :clap: One of the arguments for why so many popular movies fail is that so many Hollywood writers are male. But that’s obviously not the case with Episode when a huge majority of writers and readers identify as female! Episode official and featured stories should be setting the example for young writers by including more well rounded female characters and relationships.

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Thanks for sharing the comic! And thanks for sharing on episodeaxiom too :heart_eyes:

I definitely agree that it’s not the be all end all for creating feminist media. I always love the example of the song Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot passing the test with flying colours. The girl at the beginning says “oh my God Becky, look at her butt” and because Becky has a name and is talking about a girl’s butt rather than a man, instant pass :joy:


Lol exactly like Gravity (2013) fails it but American Pie 2 passes :joy:


Do they not talk about men at all? Or they don’t talk about men as part of the main plot?

They can definitely still talk about men! But there needs to be one instance of a conversation where they talk about something besides a man to pass.