So you can feel a little less guilty about binge-watching.
It's been a wild few months in Hollywood since reports of Harvey Weinstein's rampant sexual abuse finally ended his career, fueling both the #MeToo and Time's Up movements against sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. Though it's only now that growing numbers of high profile men are being held accountable for their inappropriate behavior, women calling out sexism in Hollywood is nothing new.
In 1985 cartoonist Alison Bechdel published a strip titled "The Rule" (see below) for her comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For, in which one woman explains to another that she'll only watch a film if it meets three requirements: One, it has to have at least two women in it. Two, they have to speak to each other. Three, the topic of the conversation has to be about anything other than men. And like that, the Bechdel Test was born. Bechdel later said that the idea came from her friend, Liz Wallace. As such, the test is often referred to as the "Bechdel–Wallace test."
Of course, the test is arbitrary and by no means a way to designate whether a film is feminist, but if we're watching movies that can't be bothered to include two women talking about literally anything but men, we're letting filmmakers get away with a pretty big disservice to their audiences.
So in the name of feminism and never leaving your bed, here are 15 movies on Netflix right now that pass the Bechdel Test, so you can feel at least a little less guilty about binge-watching:
1. Mudbound (2017)
Two men returning home after fighting in World War II are forced to confront racism, family issues, and their own mental health as they try to find normalcy. Their wives, Laura and Florence, eventually form a friendship that gives Mudbound a passing Bechdel grade.
Not only does the film pass the Bechdel test, but its cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history this year as the first woman nominated for Best Cinematographer in Oscar history—that is, 90 years.
2. Carol (2015)
The film centers an elite married woman (Cate Blanchett) and a retail clerk (Rooney Mara), who eventually fall into a forbidden lesbian relationship that shakes up both of their lives. It's kind of a no-brainer that this one would pass the Bechdel Test, but we're thankful for it nonetheless. More movies like this, please!
3. Heathers (1988)
This high school teen drama turned cult classic follows Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder) as she decides to ditch her popular friends, all named Heather, and accidentally kills one of them in an act of revenge. Alongside her new boyfriend, who as it turns out has quite the knack for murder, Veronica becomes an accomplice to the death of another one of her classmates before deciding that this murderous lifestyle isn't quite for her.
The movie passes the Bechdel Test, but other than that, has absolutely no chill.
4. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
If you're in the mood for something a lot more innocent and with far less murder, Moonrise Kingdom should do the trick. The film takes place on a fictitious New England island where two 12-year-old kids have their first go at a summer romance. They even try running away together and dancing in their undies by a lake. The movie, with its impeccable, dreamy pastel coloring, will cleanse you of your sins, all the while proving that a hetero romance movie can easily and effortlessly involve two women speaking about something other than men.
5. Magic Mike (2012)
If purity isn't your thing, I'm both pleased and shocked to inform you that Magic Mike does indeed pass the Bechdel Test... though it almost didn't. We can thank a conversation about a tattoo between a woman named Brooke and Mike's on-and-off girlfriend Joanna at a Fourth of July beach party for the passing grade.
6. Mad Money (2008)
This movie—about three women who realize capitalism sucks and thus decide to steal money from their government jobs through a genius criminal scheme—passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors, obviously.
7. Okja (2017)
Okja features both a female protagonist and antagonist and easily passes the Bechdel Test. The movie, a heart-wrenchingly effective piece of vegetarian propaganda, follows a determined young girl as she fearlessly travels around the world in an effort to save Okja—the super pig she grew up with—from being slaughtered. Along the way, she's met with multiple attempts to trick her and divert her attention, but she overcomes them all with an unwavering dedication to see through Okja's safety and return home.
8. What Happened to Monday (2017)
What Happened to Monday takes place in a dystopian world where having more than one child is absolutely forbidden due to overpopulation. After his wife dies giving birth to identical septuplets, one father, however, decides he couldn't possibly part with six of his children. Instead, he forces them to live in secrecy. He names them all after the days of the week, and makes a rule: They're only allowed to go out in public on the day that corresponds with their name. Once outside, they pretend to be the same person.
This runs relatively smoothly until one day, Monday doesn't come home. The movie passes the Bechdel Test because the sisters are too busy fighting a regime that's out to kill them to talk about men, though they do that sometimes, too.
9. 13 Going on 30 (2004)
When 13-year-old Jenna Rink wakes up in her 30-year-old body, she's got a lot more to sort out than the boys, now men, in her life. On top of having boobs and a job, Jenna finds out that she's turned into quite a shitty person as an adult: Thirty-year-old Jenna has neglected her childhood best friend, sleeps with her co-worker's husband, and leaks information to her work's rival magazine. Righting the wrongs in her life means reaching out to a lot of people and covering a lot of ground in their conversations, which are sometimes about men and sometimes not.
10. Tangerine (2015)
Tangerine, shot completely on an iPhone 5s, first premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2015. The film follows two trans women who are sex workers as one of them, Sin-Dee Rella, finds out that her boyfriend and pimp has been cheating on her. Meanwhile, the other woman, Alexandra, deals with clients while she prepares to give a musical performance. The movie shows how the two navigate their friendship all the while dealing with outside relationships, sex work, and transphobia.
11. Moana (2016)
Moana takes place on the Polynesian island of Motu Nui where a young girl named Moana is chosen by the ocean to return a pounamu stone, aka goddess Te Fiti's lost heart, to the goddess so that she can look after the island again. Moana sets out on a brave, long journey to do just that. Along the way, she has numerous conversations with her grandmother about her trip and the history of their land and people. When she finally completes her tumultuous mission, she is made chief of her tribe.
The film not only passes the Bechdel Test, but also stars a non-white girl who becomes a leader of her people. Yay for intersectional feminist kids movies!
12. Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
Though many found the film shocking when it first premiered in 2013, there's no surprise here that Blue Is The Warmest Color passes the Bechdel Test. The French lesbian coming-of-age story broke a lot of ground, especially with its infamously graphic lesbian sex scene, and has maintained a 90 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes since its release.
13. Bring It On (2000)
Along with shaping the adolescence of millennials everywhere and setting the tone for 2000s teen movies, Bring It On also passes the Bechdel Test. Cheerleading really did dominate conversation in the first installment of the iconic series. Though, that's not to say the movie wasn't concerning on other fronts... "Who am I? Just guess! Guys wanna touch my chest! ... I major, I roar, I swear I'm not a whore!"
14. Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)
This film easily passes the Bechdel Test. It follows a middle-aged actress as she settles with the fact that she is no longer a young starlet. She finds out just how removed she is from today's youth when she's cast alongside a 19-year-old American actress. While she works out her emotions about aging, she's also dealing with growing feelings for her assistant, played by Kristen Stewart. The film was met with praise for its complexity and female leads. Variety called it "a multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved... to new heights."
15. The Babadook (2014)
You may remember The Babadook as the movie about a mother working out her inner demons or as the film that launched the Babadiscourse and brought us our favorite gay icon. Either way, it's good and you should watch it. The Australian film was Jennifer Kent's directional debut and sheds light on battling mental health and motherhood.