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'diversity'

Feb 26

Put Your Literature to the Test by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on February 26, 2021 at 2:07 PM by Genesis Gaule

The Bechdel Test is famous for two reasons:

  • Firstly, due to the very simple and minimal standards that a piece of media needs to meet to pass.
  • Secondly, due to the sheer volume of stories that do not meet said standards.

The original test, first mentioned in Alison Bechdel’s comic, asks if in a piece of media there are two (named) women who talk to each other about something that is not a man.

A six panel comic featuring two women talking about their 3 requirements to see a movie.

With the rise in popularity, many have compared these standards to films and constantly updated lists of films. Many other tests have created a checklist for films and books. For example, the Vito Russo Test measures how LGBT characters are portrayed in films (they cannot be used just as a punchline to a joke, and their character must be tied into the plot).

What exactly do these tests indicate? Why do people care? The answer to both is inclusivity. While the Bechdel test shouldn’t be the gold standard for feminist literature, it is a step towards recognizing when women are not fleshed out. Representation and diversity in our stories matter.

If you are interested in reading some female-centric books, here are some available for checkout from our library.

The Devil Wears Prada

by Lauren Weisberger
FICTION CD Audiobook

A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

by Maria Semple
FICTION

After her infamous mother goes missing, Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her.

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng
FICTIONebookCD Audiobook

When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that threatens to upend a carefully ordered community.

The Power

by Naomi Alderman 
SCIENCE FICTION

What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?

The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood
FICTIONebook

Set in the near future, the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans.