Must Female Movie & TV Characters Always Have Men On The Mind?Ever hear of the Bechdel Rule? That's where a story, movie or TV show has at least two female characters — who talk to each other about something other than a man. Yesterday, NPR reporter Neda Ulaby spoke with cartoonist Alison Bechdel. Twenty-three years ago, Bechdel wrote the Rule in one of her comics — a woman in the strip won't see a movie unless it meets The Rule. ("I stole it from a friend of mine who I was studying karate with at the time," Bechdel tells Ms. Ulaby.) The joke is, if you follow the rule, there's nothing to see. Things have not changed much since 1985.A few shows do manage to feature women having conversations that are (gasp!) not about men: On 30 Rock, women talk about what's funny; on Brothers & Sisters, women discuss the family business. ABC Family's new show The Middleman has characters talking about art. As for movies, well, it was the summer of the dick flick. The summer movies targeted toward women — Sex And The City, Mamma Mia and Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants — did not obey the Bechel Rule. And fall means the return of TV shows like Grey's Anatomy and Lipstick Jungle. Rule breakers! But women love movies, and surely some women want to see women doing cool, kick ass stuff! Beware of the flicks you think have strong chicks in them: The movies probably made Cracked.com's list: Hollywood's 5 Saddest Attempts at Feminism. The list includes Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings, Padme Amidala from the dreaded Star Wars prequels, River Tam from Firefly/Serenity, Catwoman from Batman Returns and Elizabeth Swan from Pirates Of The Caribbean. They each disappoint in their own special way: Eowyn trades the warrior life for married life; Padme cries and decides to die; River is crazy and always needs rescuing; Catwoman is too sexy to live; Elizabeth Swan is a "token" chick. Writes Jennifer Liang: "Why do all the boys want a piece of her sweet, boobless ass? Because she's literally the only woman available. It's either her or one of the members of the film's catering staff." So basically, when women are in a story with other women, they end up talking about men; when they're in an action/adventure film with men, they ultimately fail as characters. Can you think of a movie that upholds the Bechdel Rule and manages not to be a total disappointment to women? The 'Bechdel Rule,' Defining Pop-Culture Character [NPR] Hollywood's 5 Saddest Attempts at Feminism [Cracked]