Superhero movies are often considered to have a certain level of sexism in them because of the excessive masculine representation and limited female representation in them.
That’s where the Bechdel test comes in. But to be fair, not all films can be judged as good or bad depending on this scale.
You might be wondering, does the award-winning massively popular superhero movie, the Avengers pass the Bechdel test?
Despite Marvel making some of the best women empowerment movies like Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and many others, the Avengers doesn’t pass the Bechdel test. Avengers pass only 1 out of the 3 Bechdel test rules.
In this article, I’m going to explain to you what the Bechdel test is, how it works, its origin and whether the movie Avengers passes this test or not.
So, make sure you read this article till the end if you want to learn more about this test and its implications.
What is the Bechdel Test
The Bechdel Test or the Bechdel-Wallace Test is a measure of female representation in a film.
It is not an official test but is considered highly important by fans of diversity and gender equality in movies and cinema.
According to this test, a film passes only if it features two or more than two women, that talk to each other, about something other than a man.
These are the requirements to pass the Bechdel test.
If a movie obeys these rules, then it passes the Bechdel test but it is said that only half of the movies that have been produced till now actually pass the Bechdel test on their own.
Statistically, movies that actually pass the Bechdel test make more money as compared to ones that don’t pass the Bechdel test which is understood since more women are prompted to watch the movie as it represents their gender better.
But if I’m being honest, I don’t believe every movie needs to pass this test to be considered a good movie or to be successful.
And it is not meant to determine the success of a movie, rather just showcase the gender inequality in the cinema industry and how it impacts society.
But most movie connoisseurs swear by this test and believe that a film is only worth watching if it passes the Bechdel test which is a bit extreme in my opinion, but to each their own.
Opinions are what make the world go around I’d say.
How Bechdel Test Started
So, at this point you might be wondering, how exactly did the Bechdel test come into being?
Well, it is named after an extremely popular Cartoon Activist named Alison Bechdel.
She is the author and creator of the famous comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which ran from 1983 to 2008.
The test first appeared in a 1985 strip of this series where it was meant to judge the presence of women in the cinema industry.
Alison credits the idea of the Bechdel test to her friend Wallace which is why the test is usually referred to as the Bechdel-Wallace test. That’s how this measure came into being.
Does Avengers pass the Bechdel Test?
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gained incredible popularity over the years and has made quite an amazing fortune with its movies.
One of their best sellers, the Avengers was a super-film featuring a plethora of superheroes fighting the Trickster god Loki for protecting Earth.
Fans argue a lot when it comes to Avengers passing or not passing the Bechdel test.
But it’s finally time we put this argument to the rest by deciding exactly if it passes the test or not.
Well, Marvel’s Avengers, does not pass the Bechdel test, and the detailed analysis below proves that.
That solidifies my point that this test isn’t a measure of success for a movie.
But why doesn’t Marvel’s Avengers pass the Bechdel test? Let’s take a deep and thorough look at the reasons.
Rule 1: Two or more Women featured
Marvel’s Avengers doesn’t have a huge cast of women. Noticeably, there are 3 women characters that are important to the movie.
They are Pepper Potts, Natasha Romanoff, and Agent Maria Hill.
So, when it comes to the first rule of the Bechdel test, Marvel’s Avengers passes as it features more than 2 female characters that are named in the movie and aren’t unknown.
Rule 2: Women talking to each other
In the movie, there are several scenes where Natasha Romanoff and Agent Maria Hill are in the same room or the same frame but unfortunately, they do not speak to each other directly at any time in the movie.
The second rule of the Bechdel test states that two women need to have a scene talking to each other, and since that doesn’t happen, Marvel’s Avengers does not obey this rule of the Bechdel test.
Rule 3: Talking about something other than men
As there are no scenes in the Avengers where two of the main woman characters talk to each other, we cannot begin to talk about the third rule because Pepper Potts, Maria Hill, and Natasha Romanoff do not begin to talk to each other at any point within the movie.
The third rule says that the two talking women need to be discussing something other than men, and since there is no talking, Avengers does not obey this rule of the test either.
So, out of all the three rules of the Bechdel test, Avengers only obeys the first rule which means that because of having a 1 out of 3 disadvantage, Avengers doesn’t actually pass the Bechdel test.
But as I said, the movie still did extremely well and made a fortune.
So, although the Bechdel test gives us something to reflect upon, it is not a measure of the success of a movie in the industry.
I hope you learned a lot from this guide and that you’re going to have a great day ahead of you.