The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Madame Antoine – Season 1, Episode 7

On Madame Antoine, episode 7, Soo-Hyun frantically tried to win back Hye-Rim.

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Soo-Hyun makes a move on Hye-Rim and Yoo-Rim slaps Ji-Ho.

On episode 7, Soo-Hyun realized that he had made a big mistake. He was in love with Hye-Rim (whether he liked it or not) and he simply could not tolerate to see a new man in her life. Soo-Hyun thusly threw out the new male participant from his study, he reinstated himself as “Male A,” and Soo-Hyun did his damnedest to get back into Hye-Rim’s good graces.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 7 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Hye-Rim severs her ties with Soo-Hyun.

Episode 7 did not pass the Russo test, and it did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in episode 7. Episode 7 did, however, pass the Bechdel test.

Named women talked to each other a couple of times in episode 7, and while there were several instances where named women talked about or mentioned men when they conversed with one another, there were also a couple of instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Hye-Rim and Emma had several conversations with one another that were man-free) so the episode passed the Bechdel test. Episode 7 also passed the race test, and the episode passed this test because while there were a couple of White people in the episode’s primarily Asian cast and there were some instances in the episode where non-White individuals mentioned White people while talking to one another, there were many instances in episode 7 where non-White individuals talked to one another without mentioning anyone White.

*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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