So I was chatting to Otter about their writing, and they expressed worry about the Bechdel Test. “I mean, if I have a male main character, should they… overhear a conversation? I mean, I could have them eavesdropping. Or maybe just walk in on one? But that would mean they’re in the room-”
“Hang on, hang on. They can be present during the conversation.”
“Oh! Ok. I thought it was a conversation without a man present.”
“…no. The bar is literally set low enough that it has to be a conversation.”
And there was a moment of silence as we contemplated exactly how low the bar was that just one conversation between two women is hard to hit.
“And it can’t be about a man?” Otter adds.
“So… an argument about who’s turn it is to wash up?” I got another ‘really?’ look. “Yeah. Seriously. Hey, have you come across the Sexy Lamp Test?”
“You have got to be joking.”
“And Sexy Lamp With Post-It. Ok, go look up Mako Mori. That’s a good one.”
Some more contemplation was had, possibly about the state of the world.
“So… what happens if you don’t meet the tests?”
“Nothing. It just depends if you want to your books to be bought by readers who don’t want to consider women as characters.”