The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Magic Mike XXL

Magic Mike XXL came out this week, and in the sequel, the boys reunited and rallied for one last stripping convention, and on their way to the stripping convention, the boys encountered all kinds of problems. Namely, the boys experienced within-group conflicts, they were in a car crash, they loss their MC and they had absolutely no dance routine.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Magic Mike XXL passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

There were several named women in Magic Mike XXL and there were two occasions where some of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Zoe talked to Nancy about wine and Rome and Paris talked at the convention) so the film passed the Bechdel test. The film also passed the race test, and Magic Mike XXL passed this test because there were a couple of occasions where non-White characters talked to each other without mentioning White people. For example, there were several occasions at Rome’s business where Rome talked to her Black clients and dancers and neither she nor her dancers and clients mentioned White people.

In regards to the Russo test, while there were some homoerotic overtones that were going on between Rome and Paris, there were no actual definitive LGBTI characters in Magic Mike XXL so the film did not pass the Russo 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.

Advertisements