'Bechdel Test' Added to MERRIAM-WEBSTER Dictionary

Bechdel Test
Credit: Alison Bechdel

Merriam-Webster has added "Bechdel Test" to its dictionary in September.

Defined as "a set of criteria used to evaluate a movie or other work of fiction on the basis of its inclusion and representation of female characters," cartoonist Alison Bechdel introduced it in a 1985 Dykes To Watch Out For strip.

"The Rule," as its called at the time, was an attempt by two characters to find a movie which had two prominent female characters who talked to one another but not about a man.

Credit: Alison Bechdel



Bechdel has later said that the Bechdel Test was originally coined by her friend Liz Wallace, and that she then used it in Dykes to Watch Out For. Bechdel herself prefers to call it the "Bechdel-Wallace Test."

"Bechdel Test" is one of 530 new terms added to Merriam-Webster's dictionary this month.

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