The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: A Witch’s Romance – Season 1, Episode 11

Ji-Yeon and Shi-Hoon got engaged in A Witch’s Romance, episode 11, but Ji-Yeon wasn’t completely sure whether or not she actually wanted to be with Shi-Hoon.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 11 passed the Bechdel and race test but not the Russo test.

Named women talked to each other a couple of times in episode 11 and there were two occasions where named women talked to each other without mentioning men – when Ji-Yeon, on two separate occasions, talked to and herded her mom out of her (Ji-Yeon’s) boss’ office and the employee bathroom. Episode 11 thus passed the Bechdel test.

Episode 11 also passed the race test because the entire cast was Asian, and White people were never mentioned by any of the characters (every conversation thus passed the race test’s requirements). The episode did not however, pass the Russo test, and the episode 11 did not 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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