The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Four” – Season 2, Episode 12

Jane The Virgin -- "Chapter Thirty-Four" -- Image Number: JAV212a_0038.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Gina Rodriguez as Jane and Yael Grobglas as Petra -- Photo: Scott Everett White/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

On Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Four,” relationships played center stage. The episode, for example, largely revolved around Jane’s new, steamy romance with Chavez; whether or not Rogelio and Xio should marry; the renewal of Jane and Petra’s friendship; and Luisa using her connection to Rose to assist Barnett and Michael in their efforts to arrest the crime lord.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Chapter Thirty-Four” passed the Bechdel, Russo and race test.

Jane-the-Virgin-2x12-Chapter-Thirty-Four-Spoilers-Is-Jane-Ready-To-Do-The-Deed-With-Hottie-Professor-500x318
Chavez and Jane go out to dinner and matters quickly heat up between the two, if you know what I mean. 

There were a couple of named women and non-White individuals in “Chapter Thirty-Four,” and there were some instances in the episode where only named women talked to each other and where only non-White individuals talked to each other. Of the occasions where only named women talked to each other and only non-White individuals talked to each other, there were a couple of instances where men and White people weren’t mentioned, respectively, so the episode passed both the Bechdel and race test. “Chapter Thirty-Four” also passed the Russo test.

“Chapter Thirty-Four” easily passed the Russo test because there were three LGBTI characters in the episode – Luisa, Rose and Barnett – and all three of them fulfilled the requirements of the Russo test. To be more specific, the episode passed the Russo test because Luisa, Rose and Barnett weren’t solely defined by their sexual orientation (e.g., Luisa was also defined as being an alcoholic, Rose was defined as being a crime lord, and Barnett was defined as being a detective) and because their removal from “Chapter Thirty-Four” would have significantly affected the episode’s plot as they all played major parts in the 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.

Advertisements