The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Awkward., “The Big Reveal” – Season 5, Episode 7

On Awkward., “The Big Reveal,” Jenna decided to tell Matty that she still loves him, and she hosted a gender-reveal party for her mom.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test 

“The Big Reveal” passed the Bechdel test but did not pass the Russo or race test.

“The Big Reveal” passed the Bechdel test, and the episode passed this test because of the several times that named women talked to each other, there were three instances where men weren’t mentioned (e.g., Jenna told Ally not to reveal the gender of the baby, and on two separate occasions, Jenna told her mom that she would throw her a gender-reveal party and she told her the gender of the baby). “The Big Reveal” did not, however, pass either the Russo or race test.

“The Big Reveal” did not pass the Russo test because while Tamara, a LGBTI character, was in the episode and she was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., she was also a student), her removal from the episode wouldn’t have significantly affected the plot of “The Big Reveal” as she was barely in the episode. And as to why “The Big Reveal” did not pass the race test, this is because there were no non-White people 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.

Advertisements