Least Female-Friendly Genres: Shorts, Westerns and Noirs

Almost 80% of the shorts reviewed on bechdeltest.com have less than two named female characters. True, this might be more due to their length (and the number of characters that can feature) rather than to misogyny. But such practical reasons can't be brought up for the other genres with low Bechdel test scores. Only one every four Western movies has at least two female characters talking to each other about something other than a men. And this is not because of a lack of women in Western movies: in 77% of them there are more than two female characters. It's just really hard to see them talk to each other! (37% of surveyed western movies have at least two female characters, but they don't talk to each other).

Bechdel Test Outcome of movies released between 1892 and 2015, by genre

Note on sample size! Movies surveyed per genre: Adult: 1, News: 3, Film-Noir: 50, Western: 62, Sport: 75, Documentary: 78, Short: 97, War: 133, History: 166, Music: 169, Musical: 175, Biography: 272, Family: 372, Animation: 395, Fantasy: 446, Sci-Fi: 463, Mystery: 483, Horror: 652, Crime: 760, Thriller: 850, Adventure: 882, Action: 952, Romance: 1088, Comedy: 2184, Drama: 3147

Of course, the test should be taken with a grain of salt. It's measuring movies only on three criteria. It doesn't indicate whether a movie presents empowering female role models, or whether one passing the test is gender-balanced. For example, it can be argues whether the only adult/porn movie reviewed in the database (Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge) is a feminist movie. But it does meet all three Bechdel test criteria, as: 

"A lot of female characters were named. They also spoke to each other; sometimes about men, but sometimes about pirate stuff". (comment by user who reviewe the movie on bechdeltest.com)

Do little girls get enough role models?

True, passing the Bechdel test doesn't necessarily imply that a movie presents strong female characters and a gender balanced reality. However, it is interesting to realize that many of the movies targeted at children often lack to portray female characters - let alone girl protagonists. About 46% of all the 395 animation movies surveyed fail the Bechdel test. In most cases, it's because the female characters never get to talk to each other, a trait found in more than one every 4 animation features.

Movies and Bechdel Test Results, filtered for animation movies


Seven Animation Films of 2014 that Fail the Bechdel Test

Movies and Bechdel Test Results, filtered for 2014 animation movies that fail the test