The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Me and You and Everyone We Know

Me and You and Everyone We Know was a strange yet interesting film. It told the story of a man who was getting a divorce and raising two children, a struggling artist who worked as a cabbie and how everyone’s lives intersect and interconnect.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Me and You and Everyone We Know passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

There were several instances in Me and You and Everyone We Know where named women talked to each other without mentioning men, and non-White characters talked to each other without mentioning White people so the film passed the Bechdel and race test. The film did not pass the Russo test, however, since there were no LGBTI characters. It is true there was one moment where two teenage girls kissed each other, but they didn’t kiss each other out of sexual or romantic desire. They kissed each other in order to get a rise out of a man so there were no actual LGBTI characters in the film.

*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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