There are many ways of categorizing movies: genre, ratings, prominence of actors and many more. But in recent years, whether or not a movie passes the Bechdel Test has become a new category.
Alison Bechdel created the Bechdel Test in a 1985 comic strip called "The Rule." She measured how women were represented in movies. In order to pass the Bechdel Test, the movie needs these three things:
1. At least two named female characters.
2. Those characters must have a conversation.
3. At least one of those conversations between the female characters cannot be about a man.
It's important for audiences to seek movies passing this test. Audiences, especially young viewers, should see women in strong and positive roles – roles which don't revolve around men. Romance will always be of interest, but movies should be about more than that.
Here are five movies with a powerful female lead, and they all pass the Bechdel Test.
Mia Thermopolis finds out that she is an heir to the throne in Genovia. The movie follows her transformation from a shy, average girl to a princess. There are multiple named female characters, and they rarely ever talk about boys. After all, Mia is too busy running a country. Mia is an icon for little girls, because she doesn't conform to the regular princess ideal of smiling, waving and waiting for a prince to come. She refuses an arranged marriage, stays true to her friends from home and finds her own love in the process.
The former Broadway show was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of "Hamilton," and centers around the tight-knit community of Washington Heights, New York City. The mostly-Dominican cast goes through some tough times with money, but they never give up. Many of the female characters struggle with their own problems unrelated to a love interest, such as career goals and college adversity. This musical is a great representation of hope and talks about important topics in today's world, such as gentrification and immigration.
This trilogy is based on the book series "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han. The movies follow Lara Jean Covey trying to figure out high school. In the most recent one, she is a senior and getting ready for college, but ends up being rejected by her first choice school. It's important for movies to show lives that aren't perfect, and that the worst case scenario can happen. Lara Jean and her sisters discuss family, their Korean heritage and how they lost their mom at young ages. All three movies pass the test and have female writers, and the first movie in the series was directed by a woman.
Frozen is an obvious pass of the Bechdel Test. Sisters Elsa and Anna, in the midst of tragedy, are running a kingdom while Elsa faces the trouble of how to use her newfound powers. This movie is unlike many Disney movies: Elsa is a queen, and she is one of the first Disney leads to not fall in love with or rely on a man. The main focus is on the sisters repairing their relationship, which was hindered by Elsa's powers. Viewers get to see the power of a sisterly bond rather than the power of a true love's kiss.
"The Hunger Games," based on the book series by Suzanne Collins, took the world by storm in 2012. Katniss, an unbelievably strong young woman, volunteers in place of her sister in the annual Hunger Games, where 24 kids have to fight to their death until one remains. Katniss promises her sister Prim that she will win, and she fulfills that promise. With the help of young Rue, another inspiration to young women, she disables the predicted winners, along the way saving her partner Peeta. In later movies, Katniss is thrown into the spotlight as the figurehead of a revolution which aims to takedown a powerful and corrupt Capital.