The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Supergirl, “Childish Things” – Season 1, Episode 10

"Childish Things" -- Kara does her best to support Winn (Jeremy Jordan, left) when his father, the supervillain Toyman, (Henry Czerny, right) breaks out of prison and seeks out his son for unknown reasons, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, Jan. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Winn’s criminal father, Toyman, broke out of jail on Supergirl,”Childish Things,” and when he contacted Winn, Kara insisted on helping Winn in recapturing his father and sending him back to jail.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Childish Things” did not pass the Bechdel, Russo or race test.

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Kara and a FBI agent lie in wait for Toyman.

There were a couple of named women in “Childish Things,” and while there were some instances in “Childish Things” where some of the named women talked to each other, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test because men were always mentioned whenever named women talked to each other. “Childish Things” also failed to pass the Russo and race test.

“Childish Things” did not pass the Russo test because there were no LGBTI characters in the episode. The episode did not pass the race test because the couple of non-White individuals who were in the episode (e.g., Hank, James and Paulina) 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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