Coined by a 1985 comic strip from Alison Bechdel’s Dykes to Watch Out For, the Bechdel Test is a simple but effective way to determine gender equality in fiction: The work must have 1) at least two female characters 2) with names 3) talking about something that’s not a man. For the term’s 30th anniversary, Bechdel pushed to rename it as the Bechdel-Wallace Test, for the woman who actually originated the term. While the Bechdel-Wallace Test is usually applied to movies, we’re looking at books: tales of fractious female friendship; of female prisoners or survivors united by unforeseen circumstances; of women who have so much on their minds with quests, survival, and love that they don’t have time to care about the other sex.
Bookshelf curated by Natalie Zutter.
Featured Image by Spiderplay/iStock.com