Kristina Blagojev | Posted on November 06, 2019
comic by Alison Bechdel
The year 2019 is now coming to a close as we enter the month of November. The amount of music that came out this year, particularly music by women, is astronomical. But how much of that music by women was made for women? How much of it was about the empowerment of the female gender, and not pining about boys? To answer this question, I present to you the Bechdel test.
In the comic strip known as “D**** to Watch Out For” by Alison Bechdel, a character explains the characteristics of what she bases watching a movie on. Her rules are as follows: it has to have at least two women in it, it has to have two women talking to each other, and it has to be about something besides a man or men. These three rules are what define the Bechdel test. A few years ago, Pitchfork wrote an article about songs that pass the Bechdel test, however, that was in 2015. There has been a lot of music that has come out since then. Although this is a similar concept to the Pitchfork article, I have altered some of the rules to make it my own (Pitchfork, please do not sue me).
The song has to have only female performers or musicians
The target audience must be women or it must involve the female-self or women
The central topic must be about something other than a man
Below I have compiled a list of songs that fulfill these requirements. For the sake of time, I’ve opted to only use singles. If I were to also include regular songs that pass the Bechdel test requirements, we might be here a while.
To rip off Shakespeare: they be small but they be fierce.
7 Rings by Ariana Grande is about female empowerment between her and her 6 other friends, thus passing the Bechdel Test.
Nightmare by Halsey is about unapologetically being a woman despite societal norms, thus passing the Bechdel Test.
GIRL by Maren Morris is about encouraging women at their lowest points, thus passing the Bechdel Test.
Mother’s Daughter by Miley Cyrus is about being a nasty woman with no regrets, thus passing the Bechdel Test.
Hope is a Dangerous Thing For a Woman Like Me to Have, But I Have It by Lana Del Rey obviously passes the Bechdel Test for the title alone.
OKAY, OKAY by Alessia Cara is about being inspired by a friend to create a positive song encouraging women, thus passing the Bechdel Test.
Crown by Kelly Rowland is about wearing your hair like your crown, thus passing the Bechdel Test.
Song 32 by noname is about using pop culture to reflect how, as women, we are as good as they come, thus passing the Bechdel Test.