The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Cheese in the Trap – Season 1, Episode 13

In-Ho desperately tried to attain enough money to repay a gangster that he had stolen from on Cheese in the Trap, episode 13, and as he did so, he and Seol began to grow apart from one another.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

Episode 13 did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Jung and Seol bound.

Episode 13 did not pass the Russo test, and it did not pass this test for obvious reasons – there were no LGBTI characters in episode 13. Episode 13 did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

The named women that were in episode 13 (of which there were a few) occasionally spoke to each other, and while men were often mentioned, there were occasions where named women talked to each other without mentioning men (e.g., Seol’s named female classmates complimented her and Bo-Ra asked Seol about a “prior engagement” that she had) so the episode passed the Bechdel test.

As to the race test, the episode passed this test because while White people were mentioned a time or two, the entire cast of episode 13 was Asian so there were many instances where non-White individuals not only talked to each other, but they did so without mentioning White people.

*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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