Pittsburgh, PA

Introducing The Music Bechdel

Introducing The Music Bechdel

The Bechdel Test

The world was introduced to the Bechdel Test in 1985. It was initially created as a way to measure films by three criteria.

To pass the Bechdel Test a film had to have three elements:

  • At least two women…
  • …who speak to each other…
  • …about something other than a man.
The Rule, published by Alison Bechdel in 1985
The Rule, published by Alison Bechdel in 1985

The Music Bechdel

In 2021, I’m adapting it and applying it to another art form. I learned about the Bechdel Test in one of my theatre classes during my undergrad. Since its conception, it has also been used to measure tv and theatre. Today, I’m adding to that list of what it could measure. A couple of years ago I was running a LOT of errands one morning, more than I had ever run at one time before. I was out for about five hours and I had my earbuds in while listening to a local music station. In that five-hour period, only two songs were sung by women and they were both love/breakup songs. I present to you, The Music Bechdel (using Alison Bechdel’s name because it was inspired by her original test). If a song is sung by a woman (whether alone or in a group):

  • Did she (or another woman) help write it?
  • Is she singing about something other than a man?

I have artists and specific albums for this series planned through the end of the year, but I would love to keep it going longer than that. Artists will be measured on an album-by-album basis. If at least 50% of the songs on an album meet the criteria, that album passes The Music Bechdel. Use my contact form, email me, or message me on social media to make album requests for me to test. I hope you’re as excited as I am about this series!


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