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The Bechdel Test

BalkOfFame September 18, 2010 User blog:BalkOfFame

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thumb|400px|right|Thanks to LOST-Figg for the video The Bechdel Test measures a show's female presence. An episode passes if it features at least:

1) Two women
2) Who have at least one conversation
3) That's not about men

This isn't a good measure of a show's worth or even of its feminist themes. But it does suggest how how much importance the show places on female interaction.


The rules don't sound too hard. Surely Lost episodes would satisfy them.

Do they?

I'll start with the finale and move backwards. I'll update the list with your observations, including all my errors that you point out.

Season 1
"Pilot, Part 1" - PASS. Claire and Rose talk about the monster.
"Pilot, Part 2" - PASS. Claire and Shannon talk about their bodies.
"Tabula Rasa" - FAIL. No female conversations. Kate and Shannon walk together but don't talk.
"Walkabout" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"White Rabbit" - PASS. Kate and Claire discuss astrology.
"House of the Rising Sun" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Moth"* - FAIL. Shannon and some unnamed extra talk... about Malibu guys.
"Confidence Man" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Solitary" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Raised by Another"* - PASS. Claire and Rachel talk about psychics.
"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Whatever the Case May Be" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Hearts and Minds" - PASS. Kate talks to Sun about her knowing English.
"Special"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Homecoming" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Outlaws" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"...In Translation" - FAIL. Sun and Kate talk about Jin.
"Numbers" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Deus Ex Machina" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Do No Harm"* - PASS. Kate and Claire talk about her labor (independent of Aaron).
"The Greater Good" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Born to Run" - FAIL. Kate and Sun talk about the poisoning, but only in reference to Jack and Jin. Kate meets her mother but the two don't converse.
"Exodus, Part 1" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Exodus, Part 2" - PASS. Sun, Shannon and Claire discuss fate.

Season 2
"Man of Science, Man of Faith" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Adrift" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Orientation" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Everybody Hates Hugo" - FAIL. Shannon and Claire approach Sun... about Jin.
"...And Found" - FAIL. Kate and Sun do talk about the missing wedding ring. But they don't go more than two lines without referencing Jin or Sawyer.
"Abandoned"* - PASS. Shannon talks to Sabrina, Nora.
"The Other 48 Days" - FAIL. Libby and Cindy talk about Jin.
"Collision" - PASS. Ana and her mother talk about her job.
"What Kate Did" - PASS. Kate and Diane talk about her motorcycle.
"The 23rd Psalm" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Hunting Party"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Fire + Water" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Long Con" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"One of Them" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Maternity Leave"* - PASS. Claire, Kate and Danielle go on a mission and talk.
"The Whole Truth"* - PASS. Sun and Kate discuss the pregnancy.
"Lockdown" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Dave" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"S.O.S." - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Two for the Road"* - FAIL. Ana leaves a message on her mother's answering machine, but no conversation.
"?" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Three Minutes" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Live Together, Die Alone" - FAIL. The only female interaction is Alex grabbing Kate's breasts..

Season 3
"A Tale of Two Cities" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Glass Ballerina" - PASS. Sun and Colleen face off.
"Further Instructions"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Every Man for Himself" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Cost of Living"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"I Do" - PASS. Kate and her mother-in-law talk about her necklace.
"Not in Portland" - PASS. Juliet and Rachel talk about her cancer.
"Flashes Before Your Eyes" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Stranger in a Strange Land"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Tricia Tanaka Is Dead"* - PASS. Kate talks to Danielle about Alex.
"Enter 77" - FAIL. Kate briefly talks to Bea... about Jack.
"Par Avion"* - PASS. Claire and Lindsey talk about Carole.
"The Man from Tallahassee" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Exposé" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Left Behind"* - PASS. Kate talks to Juliet and Cassidy.
"One of Us" - PASS. Juliet and Rachel talk about Mittelos.
"Catch-22" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"D.O.C." - PASS. Sun talks about killing Jin's mother, when they're not talking about Jin.
"The Brig" - FAIL. No female conversations. Kate and Juliet talk to Jack simultaneously but not to each other.
"The Man Behind the Curtain" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Greatest Hits" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Through the Looking Glass, Part 1" - PASS. Danielle tells Alex about having recorded the distress signal..

Missing Pieces
"The Watch" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Adventures of Hurley and Frogurt" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"King of the Castle" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Deal"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Operation: Sleeper" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Room 23"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Arzt & Crafts" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Buried Secrets"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Tropical Depression" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Jack, Meet Ethan. Ethan? Jack" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Jin Has a Temper-Tantrum on the Golf Course" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Envelope" - PASS. Juliet talks to Amelia about her hands and her muffins.
"So It Begins" - FAIL. No female conversations.

Season 4
"The Beginning of the End" - PASS. Sun and Claire briefly discuss Sun giving birth in a hospital.
"Confirmed Dead" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Economist" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Eggtown"* - PASS. Kate and Diane discuss her cancer.
"The Constant" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Other Woman"* - PASS. Juliet and Harper discuss her celebrity status.
"Ji Yeon" - PASS. Juliet and Sun discuss her impending death.
"Meet Kevin Johnson"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Shape of Things to Come" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Something Nice Back Home" - FAIL. Juliet and Kate discuss Jack. So do Kate and Cassidy.
"Cabin Fever"* - FAIL. Emily and her mother discuss Cooper and Locke.
"There's No Place Like Home, Part 1" - FAIL. Carole briefly talks to Kate about Aaron.
"There's No Place Like Home, Parts 2 & 3" - FAIL. No female conversations.


Season 5
"Because You Left" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Lie" - PASS. Kate and Sun discuss Ji-Yeon.
"Jughead"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Little Prince"* - PASS. Kate and Sun discuss clothes.
"This Place Is Death" - PASS. Sun and her mother talk on the phone.
"316" - FAIL. I don't count Sun saying "the Island" to Eloise as a conversation.
"The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"LaFleur"* - FAIL. No words between Amy and Juliet add up to a conversation.
"Namaste" - PASS. Ilana and Sun talk about the crash.
"He's Our You" - FAIL. I don't count the DHARMA meeting, where only Amy spoke.
"Whatever Happened, Happened" - PASS. Before moving on to Sawyer and Aaron, Kate and Cassidy discuss the crash.
"Dead Is Dead"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Some Like It Hoth"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Variable" - PASS. I count the meeting about what to do next, which includes Kate and Juliet.
"Follow the Leader"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Incident, Parts 1 & 2" - PASS. Kate thanks Juliet for backing her up in the sub.

Season 6

"LA X, Part 1" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"LA X, Part 2" - FAIL. Inspector Anne asks Sun if she can speak English. I'm not counting it because Sun doesn't understand it.
"What Kate Does" - PASS. Kate and Claire discuss a few things.
"The Substitute"* - FAIL. Ilana and Sun talk about Jin.
"Lighthouse" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Sundown" - FAIL.Kate and Claire talk about Aaron.
"Dr. Linus" - FAIL. Sun asks Ilana about Jin. Ilana tells her she is a candidate to replace Jacob.
"Recon"* - FAIL. Claire attacks Kate... over Aaron.
"Ab Aeterno"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Package" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Happily Ever After" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Everybody Loves Hugo" - FAIL. No female conversations.
"The Last Recruit" - PASS. Kate and Sun discuss their escape plan. We don't actually hear the conversation. But we see it.
"The Candidate"* - FAIL. No female conversations.
"Across the Sea" - PASS. Mother and Claudia discuss the shipwreck.
"What They Died For"* - FAIL. Danielle and Alex talk... about having Ben over for dinner.
"The End" - PASS. After Sun remembers English, she and Juliet briefly discuss her baby's name.

Epilogue
"The New Man in Charge" - FAIL. No female conversations.

* A female writer wrote this episode

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