The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything passed the Bechdel test but failed to pass the Russo and race test.

There were several instances where women talked to each other without mentioning men, but there was only one or two instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (i.e., when Jane and Elaine first talked to each other). These one or two brief instances allowed the film to pass the Bechdel test.

As to the Russo and race test, there were no LGBTI characters or non-White characters so the film automatically failed the Russo and race test.

*The Bechdel test entails three requirements:
1. It has to have at least two (named) women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

**The Vito Russo test entails three requirements:
1. The film contains a character that is identifiably lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and/or transgender
2. The character must not be solely or predominately defined by her sexual orientation, gender identity and/or as being intersex
3.The character must be tied into the plot in such a way that her removal would have a significant effect

***The race or people of color (POC) test has three requirements:
1. It has two people of color in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something other than a White person

****Just because a film passes the Bechdel, Russo and race test does not mean that it is not sexist, heterosexist, racist and/or cissexist, etc. The Bechdel, Russo and race test is only a bare minimum qualifier for the representation of LGBTI individuals, women and people of color in film. The failure to pass these tests also does not identify whether the central character was a woman, a person of color or a LGBTQI individual and it does not dictate the quality of the film.

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