Willis Test

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Synonyms: Bechdel's Law, Bechdel/Wallace Rule, Dykes to Watch Out For Test, Mo Movie Measure, "Bechdel-Wallace Test"
See also: Misogyny in Fandom; Fuck You, She's Awesome; Mako Mori Test; Furiosa Test; Sexy Lamp Test; Tauriel Test
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The Willis Test is a test proposed by the late critic Ellen Willis. In essence, if you swapped the gender of the singer in a song, would it make sense as a counterpart, or would it raise eyebrows?

It was inspired by this passage from the essay "Now I'm Gonna Move" that Willis wrote:
A crude but often revealing method of assessing male bias in lyrics is to take a song written by a man about a woman and reverse the sexes. By this test, a diatribe like [ the Rolling Stones'] "Under My Thumb" is not nearly so sexist in its implications as, for example, Cat Stevens' gentle, sympathetic "Wild World"; Jagger's fantasy of sweet revenge could easily be female—in fact, it has a female counterpart, Nancy Sinatra's "Boots" — but it's hard to imagine a woman sadly warning her ex-lover that he's too innocent for the big bad world out there. [1]

See Also

Further Reading/Meta

References

  1. The Willis Test Is The New Bechdel Test, Archived version by Irin Carmon (May 2, 2011)