I learned about the Bechdel test, ironically, from a man giving a Ted Talk. For those who are not in the know, the Bechdel test is really simple. To pass it, a story must have,
1: Two or more female characters.
2: The female characters have to talk to each other.
3: The conversation can’t be about the man or men.
By these simple rules a lot of stories fail or pass the Bechdal test. But failing it doesn’t mean you are anti-feminist and passing it doesn’t mean the work is flattering to women.
My main concern was that as I was planning out the plot, I was worried that the princess in my fairy tale wasn’t an active part of the story. She has to marry a prince as is often the case, and in the typical rule of three scenario, she is rejected by the first two princes to come along. And thus far the only way to make it acceptable in my own mind, was to have her be the one to give the first two the heave ho.
All this is a moot point right now but it’s something to think about.