The test

There’s a famous metric called the Bedchel Test (or the Betchel Test, or the Bechel Test, depending on your mood). Named after cartoonist Alison Bechdel, who first proposed it, it involves a very simple metric that a surprising amount of movies (even the most critically acclaimed ones) fail.

In order to pass the Bechdel Test, a movie must have:

(1) two female characters

(2) who have a conversation

(3) that is not about men.

The Bechdel Test is no good for judging a movie’s actual quality at an individual scale, but it displays a very systemic problem in the movie industry as a whole, mainly in their depiction of female characters.

Conversely, I proposed a similar test to my wife concerning love songs. In order to pass this test, which I have just tautologically named “The Test,” a love song must pass this simple metric:

(1) The love interest must be a woman who has one characteristic praised by the singer

(2) that is not based on physical beauty, appearance, or sexual attraction.

I do not command a large library of love songs in my head (I find the vast majority of them nauseating), but at the moment, the only song I can think of right now that passes the test is Cake’s Short Skirt, Long Jacket. It does detail her ability to cut through red tape and her financial assets, not just her physical assets.

I have noticed a lot of love songs that detail a woman’s ability to spend money, but this is never (as far as I know) praised.

Can anyone else think of a love song that passes the test?

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2 Comments

Filed under life stories, music

2 responses to “The test

  1. wiggity wat wat

    are you saying your wife isnt sexually attractive?

    • Ted

      Sorry about the late reply. Been busy as of late.

      I’m not saying that my wife is not sexually attractive (I find her very attractive), but I do see more in my wife than sexual attraction. To tell the truth, we spend more time talking about stuff we’ve read or washing the dishes then, say, having sex, which makes up a small percentage of our time.

      If I were to write a love song about my wife, would I write about her beauty? Sure, but I would write about other things as well. For example, one of the more beautiful odes to love I’ve ever read was a husband to his wife before dying of cancer:

      She lights up the room in the morning when she tells me to put both hands on her shoulders so that she can support me. She lights up my life when she says to me at night, “Would you like a little ice cream?” or “Would you please drink more water?” those aren’t very romantic things to say, but they stir my heart. In my mind and my heart there has never been, there is not now, and never will be another Annie.

      He doesn’t have to say he thinks his wife is beautiful out right (and focus only on that) in order for us to hear it in his words.

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