“Bechdel Test,” named for Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Alison Bechdel, is one of 530 new words and phrases the dictionary added in September 2019. Bechdel introduced the test in 1985 through Dykes to Watch Out For. Two women try to find a movie that passes the test—in vain.
a set of criteria used as a test to evaluate a work of fiction (such as a film) on the basis of its inclusion and representation of female characters
NOTE: The usual criteria of the Bechdel Test are (1) that at least two women are featured, (2) that these women talk to each other, and (3) that they discuss something other than a man.—Merriam-Webster
Bechdel has been an advisor to students at The Center for Cartoon Studies, a visiting artist, and a commencement speaker. In addition to her comic Dykes to Watch Out For, Bechdel is the creator of Fun Home (Mariner Books, 2007) and Are You My Mother? (Mariner Books, 2013). In 2007, Fun Home was nominated for the Eisner Awards in two categories—Best Reality-Based Work (which it won) and Best Graphic Album—and Bechdel was nominated as Best Writer/Artist. In 2013, Fun Home was adapted as a musical, which went on to win Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score. In 2014, Alison was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship grant and is the Vermont Cartoonist Laureate.