Starting to catch up

Alison Bechdel posts on the Bechdel test in Sweden and the news flurry about same.

I have always felt ambivalent about how the Test got attached to my name and went viral. (This ancient comic strip I did in 1985 received a second life on the internet when film students started talking about it in the 2000′s.) But in recent years I’ve been trying to embrace the phenomenon. After all, the Test is about something I have dedicated my career to: the representation of women who are subjects and not objects. And I’m glad mainstream culture is starting to catch up to where lesbian-feminism was 30 years ago. But I just can’t seem to rise to the occasion of talking about this fundamental principle over and over again, as if it’s somehow new, or open to debate. Fortunately, a younger generation of women is taking up the tiresome chore. Anita Sarkeesian, in her Feminist Frequencies videos, is a most eloquent spokesperson.

It gets hard to do once you’re ancient because you can’t help thinking it shouldn’t be taking so fucking long. You know? A younger generation at least hasn’t lived through all the time it’s taking, so it’s that many decades less likely to feel too frustrated to say one more word on the subject.

H/t rrede.


  1. says

    When the civil rights legislation was passed in the 1960s, I thought that racism would soon be over.

    There’s still lots of it around.

    There’s an aweful lot of cultural inertia with these kinds of changes. Voting in change is only part of the solution. There has to be a real change at the grass roots level. That’s slowly happening on racism and anti-feminism, but it is very painfully slow.

  2. carlie says

    I’m glad to see her thoughts on it – I had wondered when the news came out what she thought of such attention with her name attached.

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