Santa Monica Public Library presents The Bechdel Test: A Women in Film Discussion

March 16, 2017

Santa Monica, California – Santa Monica Public Library is pleased to present The Bechdel Test: A Women in Film Discussion, on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 3:30 p.m. in the Main Library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard. 

The final special event program for the fifteenth season of Santa Monica Reads, “The Bechdel Test: A Women in Film Discussion” uses a rule made famous by this year’s featured author Alison Bechdel as the jumping off point for a discussion on the status of women in film.  “The Bechdel Test,” first posited by cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985 in a strip from her long-running comic Dykes to Watch Out For, found two of her characters discussing a movie date. One character insists that she will not see a movie unless it passes a three-part test: 1) The film must feature two women characters, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than a man. Feminists and film theorists revived the rule in the mid-2000s, placing it into the popular zeitgeist and raising Bechdel’s public profile.

To discuss the test and its implications for the representation of women in film, both onscreen and off, the library invited a panel of women filmmakers, including producer JD Disalvatore (Elena Undone, Shelter), SAG-AFTRA Director of EEO & Diversity Ellen Huang, writer-director Cathryn Michon (Muffin Top: A Love Story, A Dog’s Purpose), and Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur (Hairspray).  The women will share their perspectives on the test, whether or not it’s a valid measure, and their thoughts on better representation of women in film.

This discussion is a part of Santa Monica Reads, the wildly popular community reading program that has invited Santa Monicans to read and discuss the same book together for the better part of a generation now.  This year’s program concludes on March 30. This year’s featured novel is Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, a moving comics-format memoir depicting the author’s youthful coming of age and her complicated relationship with her father.

This program is free and open to all ages.  Seating is first come, first served.  Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible. For disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to event. The Main Library is directly served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, R10, and 18. Bicycle parking racks are available at the library.  For more information on this and other Santa Monica Reads book discussions and special events, visit or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.

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