Skip to content

Alison Bechdel


Event Status

For 25 years, Alison Bechdel created the immensely popular cult comic strip ‘Dykes to Watch Out For’, which was syndicated in 50 publications across the US. The infamous ‘Bechdel Test’, a widely adopted formula for testing whether a film or book is gender biased, grew out of a scene in her strip. This highly effective gender bias test asks whether the story features at least two women, who talk to each other, about something other than a man.

The Bechdel Test has since been adopted by many reviewers, with pressure brought to bear on Hollywood to increase the number of movies produced that pass the test. Thus immortalised in the popular lexicon, Alison Bechdel has become a true cultural icon. In the Guardian, Laura Miller branded Alison a ‘lesbian Woody Allen’, describing her as ‘comical and … adorable, a quality that allows her to carry readers where they might not otherwise be keen to go.’

Her work has been at the forefront of the move of comics into the literary mainstream, particularly her rave-reviewed books Fun HouseTime magazine’s Best Book of 2006 – and Are You My Mother? In these memoirs about her parents, Alison explores her relationship with her father, a closeted gay man who died in a probable suicide months after his daughter came out to him, and her mother, an aspiring actress who became a frustrated housewife after her marriage.

Alison will be introduced by Clementine Ford.


Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford is a Melbourne-based writer, speaker and feminist thinker. She is a columnist for Fairfax’s Daily Life and is a regular contributor to the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Through her twice-weekly columns for Daily Life, Clementine explores issues of gen... Read more

Alison Bechdel

Alison Bechdel is an internationally beloved cartoonist whose darkly humorous graphic memoirs, astute writing and evocative drawing have forged an unlikely intimacy with a wide and disparate range of readers. For twenty-five years Alison self-syndicated Dykes to Watch Out For. The award-winning gen... Read more


Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

Privacy Policy

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.