The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Two” – Season 2, Episode 10

Ever dramatic, on the newest Jane the Virgin episode, “Chapter Thirty-Two” Jane joined the online dating world and she wound up going on some real dud dates; Petra was prescribed bedrest due to having a high risk pregnancy; and Rogelio appointed his mother as his manager (and this of course, resulted in all kinds of chaos and mayhem).

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Chapter Thirty-Two” passed the race test but it did not pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

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Rogelio speaks to his father about his acting career and his mother.

There were numerous non-White individuals in “Chapter Thirty-Two,” and because there were many instances where the non-White individuals in the episode talked to each other and they did so without mentioning White people, the episode passed the race test. “Chapter Thirty-Two” did not, however, pass the Bechdel or Russo test.

There were named women in “Chapter Thirty-Two” and there were a couple of occasions in the episode where named women talked to each other, but because men were always directly or indirectly referenced, the episode did not pass the Bechdel test.

In the case of the Russo test, there was one LGBTI character in “Chapter Thirty-Two,” Grandpa De La Vega, and he wasn’t solely defined by sexual orientation (e.g., he was also defined as being Rogelio’s father), but the episode did not pass the Russo test because his removal from “Chapter Thirty-Two” wouldn’t have significantly affected the plot (e.g., his removal from the episode wouldn’t have significantly affected the plot as he didn’t actually have much to do with the plot of this 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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