The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: The X-Files, “My Struggle” – Season 10, Episode 1

The X-Files returned to television this week with “My Struggle,” and it did not disappoint. It was just as cheesy as ever.

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O’Malley stops by Scully’s work.

In the newest episode, after some unspecified amount of time spent apart, Mulder and Scully reunited. The reason for their reunion? A popular TV host claimed to have evidence of aliens.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“My Struggle” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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Scully and Mulder are led to a mysterious location by O’Malley.

There were two named women in “My Struggle,” Scully and Sveta, and there were some instances where these two women talked to each other but because they always referenced men whenever they talked to each other, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test. “My Struggle” also failed to pass the Russo and race test.

“My Struggle” did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode. The episode did not pass the race test because while there were a few non-White individuals in the episode, there was never an instance where two or more non-White individuals 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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