Alison Bechdel awarded MacArthur grant

Holy social progress, Wonder Woman!!!

http://www.macfound.org/fellows/908/

Alison Bechdel is one of 21 awardees of the 2014 MacArthur Foundation grants. Currently on an artist residency in Italy, Bechdel will receive a $650K grant from the foundation. She is probably best known for what’s called the Bechdel test (for women’s representation in film), consisting of three questions: 1) Are there two women with speaking parts (a variant includes “and named characters”); 2) Do these female characters speak to each other?; and 3)Do they speak to each other about topics other than men? (The original list is shorter; I’m a writer, I like to embellish without exaggerating).

A large portion of people calling themselves feminists have championed Bechdel’s test as a simple way to gauge progress in the film industry re: women’s roles. The news doesn’t seem to have spread very far at this point (from an admittedly brief surf through some sites), as it was announced earlier today.

I don’t know whether this will be a cause for loud or quiet celebration. Tune in to the Webz tomorrow to find out.

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