The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Twenty-Five” – Season 2, Episode 3

On the newest episode of Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Twenty-Five,” Jane was accepted into grad school; Rafael learned that Petra was pregnant with his child; a mysterious bad guy kidnapped Luisa; Rogelio was forced to act with his ex-wife; and Mateo was baptized.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Chapter Twenty-Five” passed the Bechdel, Russo, and race test.

Rogelio tells Xiomara that he’s totally over his ex.

Named women talked to each other several times in “Chapter Twenty-Five” and because there were two instances where some of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Alba introduced a new tradition to teenage Xiomara and Jane, Alba and Xiomara celebrated Jane getting into grad school), the episode passed the Bechdel test. “Chapter Twenty-Five” also passed the Russo and race test.

“Chapter Twenty-Five” passed the Russo test because the one LGBTI character in the episode, Luisa, was not solely defined by her sexual orientation (e.g., Luisa was also defined as being a victim) and her removal from the episode would have significantly affected the plot of the episode as she had her storyline in “Chapter Twenty-Five.”

As to the race test, “Chapter Twenty-Five” passed this test because of the several times that non-White individuals talked to each other, there were a couple of instances where White people weren’t mentioned.

*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.