The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Seven” – Season 2, Episode 15

Jane The Virgin -- "Chapter Thirty-Seven" -- Image Number: JAV215b_0077.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Mat Vairo as Derek and Justin Baldoni as Rafael -- Photo: Tyler Golden/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Jane the Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Seven,” was all about reunions. Rafael bonded with his long lost brother; Alba went on a date with her old lover Pablo; Jane did her best to appeal to and reconcile with Michael’s parents; and Rogelio was rescued from Paola and reunited with Jane and Xio.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Chapter Thirty-Seven” did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

pablo-and-alba-jane-the-virgin
Pablo and Alba go on a date.

“Chapter Thirty-Seven” did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this test because there were no LGBTI characters in “Chapter Thirty-Seven.” The episode did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

The couple of named women that were in “Chapter Thirty-Seven” talked to each other on numerous occasions, and because there were a couple of instances where some of these named women talked to one another without mentioning men, the episode passed the Bechdel test. “Chapter Thirty-Seven” passed the race test because there were several instances where non-White individuals (of which there were several in the episode) talked to each other 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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