Nicki Minaj, Willow Smith and even Britney Spears pass the new Bechdel Test for music

Pitchfork has updated the now-classic woman-friendly film barometer for songs

Published March 17, 2015 4:49PM (EDT)

Nicki Minaj           (AP/John Shearer)
Nicki Minaj (AP/John Shearer)

Alison Bechdel's eponymous "Bechdel Test” has become a popular metric to measure gender bias in film. In order to pass the test, the film must feature at least two women talking to one another about something other than a man -- and about 50% of films still fail to meet this criteria.

But what about when it comes to music? While women are dominating the charts today, is that, in itself, enough? Today, Pitchfork decided to create their own version of the test in order to see which recent songs pass their own version of the test. To do so, they must:

  • Have at least one female-identifying lead performer, performing as themselves or a female-identifying likeness
  • Involve the female self, another woman, other women or otherwise an implied female audience in the song’s lyrics
  • Have a central lyrical topic or theme that’s something or someone besides a man

Pitchfork comes up with 14 songs that meet the criteria, including Nicki Minaj’s “Starships,” Janelle Monae’s “Electric Lady” (featuring Solange), M.I.A’s “Bad Girls,” and even Britney Spears’ “Me Against the Music,” feat Madonna. You can listen to the playlist on Pitchfork here.

By Anna Silman

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Bechdel Test Britney Spears Feminism Nicki Minaj