The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete is a story about two young boys who are abandoned by their drug-addicted moms and who then have to fend for themselves in the city.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete passes the race test but does not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

Women talk to each other once in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete (e.g., Gloria and the female worker at the group home talk to each other), but because one of the women doesn’t have a name and boys are mentioned in their conversation, the film doesn’t pass the Bechdel test. The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete also fails to pass the Russo test, and the film fails to pass this test because there are no LGBTI characters in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.

As to the race test, most of the characters in The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete are non-White and there are plenty of conversations that occur between non-White characters where White people aren’t mentioned so the film easily passes the 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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