The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test: American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare, “Chapter 2” – Season 6, Episode 2

Shelby and Matt discovered that two murdering nurses had previously lived at their house on American Horror Story: My Roanoke Nightmare, “Chapter 2,” and when they consequently contacted the bank about selling their home, they were politely informed that there was no way in hell that that was going to happen and that they were shit out of luck.

The Bechdel, Russo, and Race Test

“Chapter 2” did not pass the Russo test but it did pass the Bechdel and race test.

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Shelby sights a woman in the woods performing a human sacrifice. 

“Chapter 2” did not pass the Russo test, and the episode did not pass this diversity test because there were no LGBTI characters in “Chapter 2.” “Chapter 2” did, however, pass the Bechdel and race test.

“Chapter 2” passed the Bechdel and race test because there were a couple of named women and non-White individuals in the episode and there were instances where named women talked to each other without mentioning men and non-White individuals talked to each other without mentioning White individuals.

*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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