SDCC and gender: Bechdel Testing Comic-Con

Dave writes, "This year, for its annual Comic-Con issue, San Diego Citybeat views the convention through the lens of the Bechdel Test. The altweekly is free on stands throughout the city."

The Bechdel Test comes from Alison Bechdel's amazing Dykes to Watch Out For strip, and has become a touchstone for understanding the implicit gender bias in narrative.

Bechdel herself is among the first to point out her eponymous test's limitations.

"You can have a feminist movie that doesn't meet the criteria," she says. "And you can have a movie that meets the criteria and isn't feminist. So, it's not scientific or anything. It was meant as a joke, but I still think it's a very useful joke…. It's a bit surprising what does and doesn't pass."

CityBeat likes a good joke, which is why we decided to look at this year's Comic-Con and the culture it celebrates through the lens of the Bechdel Test. Seth Combs talked to a local male comic artist about why he continues to depict women as sexy and idealized. Ryan Bradford watched trailers for some of this summer's blockbuster films and added a new test. Susan Myrland rounded up the best of this year's offsite events geared toward the Comic-Con crowd and highlighted the ones including women. And over there to the right, we looked at this year's schedule and found the panels to which Bechdel herself might give an enthusiastic thumbs-up.

Comic-Con vs. the Bechdel Test [Kinsee Morlan/SD City Beat]