Swedish movie theaters add a ‘Bechdel test’ rating to promote female characters

In 1985, comic author and artist Alison Bechdel published “The Rule,” a strip from her long-running series Dykes to Watch Out For. It introduced what would become known as the Bechdel test: a character says she’ll only see a movie if it has at least two women in it, and they talk to each other about something besides a man. Thirty years later, that rule has grown to a practically ubiquitous measure of whether a film had a meaningful female presence (its reverse highlights the relatively few movies that lack men.) And it’s now coming to theaters in Sweden, with praise from the state-funded Swedish Film Institute.

Last month, the Associated Press reports, four cinemas started adding a new rating: if a film has two named female characters…

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