The Bechdel Test was created by Alison Bechdel in 1985 to indicate the active presence of women in film. To pass the Bechdel Test, a film must meet three requirements: there must be (1) two named women in the film, who (2) have a conversation about (3) something other than a man. A startling number of successful and popular films don’t pass the test. Here are 11 of them.
Did you know you can now travel with Culture Trip? Our incredible selection of trips are worthy of a globetrotting action hero, with all the joy and none of the peril!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
Peter Jackson’s adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s adventure saga excel in many areas but not in the category of gender equality. Amongst countless male characters, the entire film trilogy includes a mere three female characters, albeit strong ones, in Arwen, Eowyn, and Galadriel. Unfortunately, the women exist in different parts of Middle Earth and never meet each other. Because of this, all three of the Lord of the Rings films fail the test.
Pixar’s Ratatouille includes an adorable rat who can cook, and an endearing young chef who enlists his help, but it is short on female characters. The only named female characters in the film are Solene LeClaire, a food critic seen only in one scene, and Colette, the restaurant’s sole female chef. The two women never interact, so Ratatouille fails the Bechdel Test.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Slumdog Millionaire is about Jamal, a teenager from a Mumbai slum who becomes a contestant on the Indian version of ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?’. He is arrested for cheating and recounts his life story while under interrogation. There are only two named female characters in Jamal’s story: his mother, who dies early on in the film, and Latika, Jamal’s love interest. The two women never speak to each other, so Slumdog Millionaire also fails the test.
With Avatar, James Cameron created a world full of incredible landscapes, animals, and beings, but it is lacking in meaningful interactions between women. While Avatar includes more than two named female characters, they do not speak about anything but men. In one instance, Neytiri and her mother have a conversation; however, it is about Jake, the marine sent on a mission to their planet.
Discover our Mini Trips – epic adventures packed into smaller itineraries, short but oh-so sweet.
The Social Network (2010)
The Social Network tells the story of social media giant Mark Zuckerberg as he creates Facebook and deals with an ensuing legal battle. While there are a number of named female characters in The Social Network, the women never speak to each other. Their characters are relatively undeveloped and seem to exist mainly as accessories to the men in the film.
21 Jump Street (2012)
In 21 Jump Street, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as a humorous pair of underachieving cops who are sent back to high school as undercover agents to bust a drug ring. While 21 Jump Street does include a few female characters, like love interest Molly, the film’s women never speak to each other about anything other than men.
The Avengers (2013)
The Avengers begins when Earth’s top superheroes must come together to stop villain Loki and his army from enslaving the human race. The Avengers does include three substantial, named female characters: Natasha Romanoff, Pepper Potts, and Agent Maria Hill. However, these three women never hold conversations with each other during the film.
The Imitation Game (2014)
The Imitation Game tells the true story of mathematician Alan Turing and his team of geniuses as they attempt to break the German Enigma code during World War II. The Imitation Game features an interesting female character in the highly intelligent Joan Clarke. During the course of the film, however, Joan only holds a conversation with one other named woman, her friend Helen, and the two speak about men.
Whiplash tells the story of Andrew, a young music student who catches the attention of a ruthless music teacher. Whiplash fails the test as there are only two named female characters, Andrew’s aunt and his girlfriend, Nicole. The two women never speak to each other. This is a particularly disappointing instance of a failed movie, as the majority of the film takes place in a school setting where there are plenty of women in the background, but none are given names or lines.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
In Edge of Tomorrow, military man Cage is swept into a war with an alien enemy who can reset the day and see the future. While one of the movie’s main characters is a woman, and a strong one at that, Rita never holds a conversation with another woman during the course of the film. Therefore, this film also fails the Bechdel Test.
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, tells the story of Gustave H, a legendary hotel concierge, and his lobby boy, Zero, who become entwined in an adventure when Gustave is accused of murder. The film includes three named female characters: Agatha, Clothilde, and Madame D. However, the women never hold conversations with each other during the film, causing it to also fail the Bechdel Test.
Call yourself a film fan? We think you might enjoy Discovering Jordan’s Rugged Side – you’ll visit Wadi Rum, Hollywood’s hottest desert location as seen in Dune (2021), The Martian (2015), Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and various Star Wars entries on the big and small screen.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.