The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Supergirl, “Stronger Together” – Season 1, Episode 2

On Supergirl, “Stronger Together,” Alex tested Kara and pushed her to her limits, and when Alex was suddenly kidnapped by an alien, Kara’s limits were pushed even further as she made a desperate attempt to rescue her sister.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Stronger Together” passed the Bechdel test but did not pass the Russo or race test.

Kara tells James that she’ll do an interview with Cat Grant.

Named women talked to each other a couple of times in “Stronger Together,” and because there were a few instances where some of these named women talked to each other without mentioning men, the episode passed the Bechdel test. However, while “Stronger Together” passed the Bechdel test, it did not pass either the Russo or race test

“Stronger Together” did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode, and the episode did not pass the race test because the non-White individuals in “Stronger Together” (James and Henshaw) never talked to each other.

*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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