The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Miss Meadows

Miss Meadows is a fantastic film about a very feminine woman named Miss Meadows.

Miss Meadows is a teacher who is a mishmash combination of Mary Poppins and Snow White (if, you know, Mary Poppins and Snow White were vigilantes). Miss Meadows has a very strong sense of propriety and justice so when she encounters individuals who threaten her neighborhood she does not hesitate to enact her own justice, execution style. However, while she initially gets away with her vigilante killings, all of her crimes eventually catch up with her, and she must decide whether she should stop her killings and become a wife and mother or whether she should continue with her perceived worthy cause.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Miss Meadows passes the Bechdel test but does not pass the Russo or race test.

Miss Meadows passes the Bechdel test because there are several occasions where named women talk to each other without mentioning men. The film does not pass the Russo or race test, however, because there are no LGBTI, and non-White characters never talk to each other.

*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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