The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Supergirl, “Human for a Day” – Season 1, Episode 7

"Human For a Day" -- Alex's mistrust of Hank reaches a breaking point when the earthquake traps them in the DEO with Jemm (Charles Halford), a powerful alien escapee, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, Dec. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured left to right: Charles Halford and David Harewood Photo: Darren Michaels/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2015 WBEI. All rights reserved.

Two crises occurred on Supergirl, “Human for a Day.” One, a psychic alien imprisoned at the DEO escaped, and two, National City experienced a massive earthquake and Supergirl was (quite literally) powerless to help National City’s citizens. Will National City be able to survive an alien and a natural disaster without Supergirl?

 The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

 “Human for a Day” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

Kara tries to cope with being powerless.

There were a couple of named women in “Human for a Day” and a couple of occasions where some the named women talked to each other, but because men were always directly or indirectly mentioned, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test. The episode also failed to pass the Russo and race test, and the episode did not pass these tests because there were no LGBTI characters in “Human for a Day” and because the handful of non-White people in “Human for a Day” never had a conversation with 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.