Bechdel, 54, has been awarded one of 21 fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation, including $625,000 spread out over five years. She’s only the second graphic novelist to be have been awarded the prize and 1 of 9 women awarded it this year.
The Bechdel Test first appeared in 1985 in a comic strip Bechdel drew called “The Rule.”
[The test] asks three questions of a film as a way to demonstrate the very basic level at which gender biases operate in movies: 1) Does the movie have two female characters?; 2) Do they speak to each other?; 3) Do they speak about something other than a man?
Bechdel said she would save for retirement and pay off some debts with the fellowship money, along with ““tak[ing] some risks, do[ing] something new — to really plunge into [her] work.”