Geek Feminism Wiki

The Finkbeiner test is, like the Bechdel test, a way to examine how writing and media portrays women and men differently.

The Finkbeiner test is designed for journalism pieces, and passing it requires that the story not mention any of:

  • The fact that the subject is a woman
  • Her husband’s job
  • Her child care arrangements
  • How she nurtures her underlings
  • How she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field
  • How she’s such a role model for other women
  • How she’s the “first woman to…”

The Finkbeiner test was created by Christie Aschwanden writing for Double X Science in March 2013. Aschwanden named it for journalist Ann Finkbeiner, who pledged to write an article about a woman astronomer without emphasis on her gender.

Suggestions for further analysis[]

Does the article/story mention or imply:

  • Her personal looks, state of make-up, or how fashionable/flattering her outfit is?
  • Her shoe collection, bags from shops, or other trivial details, to tie her into the cliché of "acceptable" femininity?
  • If not married or having kids, her state of being single or having a partner?
  • How feminine, small, cute, pretty, sexy, attractive (etc) she looks despite her job/activities/equipment/profession?
  • How she has time to attend to [womanly duties/activities] despite her job?
  • Her female colleagues specifically as female colleagues?
  • Does it refer to the subject with her first name?

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