In 1985 Alison Bechdel created “The Bechdel Test” for movies in her comic strip “Dykes To Watch Out For”. In that strip, a character only saw movies if they satisfied the following three things:
1. It had to have at least two women in it.
2. They had to be talking to each other.
3. And that conversation had to be be about something other than a man.
This seems like a pretty simple task but if you are strict about it, even today your movie consumption would be cut in half at least.
For the past few weeks I have been obsessed with following the lesbian stories on YouTube and watching lesbian-themed movies. I love how fans have edited shows so that I only have to follow the lesbian characters. But now after this nearly month-long, Sapphic, gorging, recurring themes have come up that prove to be a bit disappointing. This has lead me to create my own rule of sorts for lesbian movies and storylines. And so I give you . . .
The Swandiver Test For Good Lesbian Movies
1. There has to be at least two women.
2. With a relatively equal power dynamic.
3. Who are dealing with something other than coming out/sexual confusion.
I can deal with low budgets and low production values as long as the story and acting is well-done. But I am done with teacher/student stories (I find them creepy as fuck). I’m also damn near 40 and quite secure with who I am so don’t need anymore movies about coming out or the back and forth of grown-ass women who are scared to let people know they like/love a woman. But since those movies are the majority, I will highlight a couple that are examples of the opposite.
While this movie still uses that pesky student/teacher dynamic, at least the women involved don’t spend half the movie despairing over their attraction for each other. They both know what they want. And as the video clip shows, it’s the only film to make consent look sexy as fuck.
Anyone But Me (2008)
I am a huge fan of web series of all kinds. This one is a great example of what lesbian-centered shows could be. Too bad it only lasted 3 seasons.