The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Oh My Venus – Season 1, Episode 3

On Oh My Venus, episode 3, Joo-Eun was led to believe that Ji-Woong was John Kim, and Joo-Eun was so excited to meet John Kim, the fitness guru, that she asked him to help her get back into shape.  Ji-Woong, Young-Ho and Joon-Sung agreed to do so, but unbeknownst to Joo-Eun, the trio weren’t really interested in helping her and they purposely designed a workout program for her that would make her want to quit and leave them alone. However, the trio’s plan backfired as Joo-Eun was completely determined to lose weight and she followed their instructions to a tee, and Young-Ho was so impressed by her dedication that he fessed up and admitted that he was actually John Kim.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 3 passed the Bechdel and race test but did not pass the Russo test.

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Young-Ho, Ji-Woong and Joon-Sung start Joo-Eun’s training.

Named women talked to each other a couple of times in episode 3, and because there was one instance where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Joo-Eun told Soo-Jin that she was terrible at driving) the episode passed the Bechdel test. Episode 3 also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because the entire cast was Asian and White people were only mentioned once or twice (i.e., non-White individuals talked to each other on multiple occasions without mentioning White people).

In regards to the Russo test, episode 3 did not pass this test, and the episode 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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