The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Witch’s Romance – Season 1, Episode 9

On episode 9 of A Witch’s Romance, Ji-Yeon and Shi-Hoon grew closer to each other, and Dong-Ha realized that there was no longer a place for him by Ji-Yeon’s side.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 9 passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

There were several named women in episode 9 and there were several occasions where named women talked to each other, but whenever women did talk, they almost always mentioned men. However, because there was one occasion where Ji-Yeon and Na-Rae talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Ji-Yeon and Na-Rae greeted each other when Ji-Yeon entered Na-Rae’s establishment and the two talked about seating) the episode did pass the Bechdel test. Episode 9 also passed the race test, and the episode easily passed this test because only non-White characters ever talked to each other (as the entire cast was Asian) and White people were never mentioned by any of the actors.

As to why episode 9 did not pass the Russo test, the episode failed to pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode.

*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 show 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 show 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 television. 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 show.

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