Mako Mori Test

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See also: Misogyny in Fandom; Fuck You, She's Awesome; Bechdel Test, Furiosa Test, Tauriel Test
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The Mako Mori test was suggested by fans of the film Pacific Rim as an alternative to or extension of the Bechdel Test for analysing the inclusion of female characters in media. The rules of the Mako Mori test are:

  1. There must be at least one prominent female character
  2. Who has her own narrative arc
  3. Which is not about supporting a man's story

The test was suggested as a response to the fact that Mako Mori is the only prominent female character in Pacific Rim, meaning that the film fails the Bechdel Test. However, since Mako is such an important character in the film, it is undeniably more feminist than some films which scrape past the Bechdel test by having one conversation between two random women.

The Bechdel Test should realistically be considered less than the minimum bench mark for modern films, since it is entirely possible for a film to pass the test but still be horribly misogynistic. Even a Mako Mori test pass should really be considered barely scraping by, since it is far past time for women in films to receive equal weight, and one woman with her own story arc may still be eclipsed by a film full of men.

Earlier Roots: The Russ Test

In the July 1979 issue of the feminist publication, "Sojourner," Russ said:

"The crucial test of feminism in a work is the presence of at least two women who are friendly. Not one, and not two who are rivals . Male works which try (sometimes honestly) to be feminist almost invariable focus of the woman-man couple among male colleagues. The secret of feminism is what happens when women talk to women, advise women, love women. The two may be lovers, friends, friendly strangers, or friendly colleagues, but this is the absolute precondition for (a) feminism or (b) truth."

This quote by Russ was used by Leslie Fish in her 1980 essay Feminism (Or the Lack of It) in Trek-Lit. In this essay, Fish coined the term The Russ Test.

Fish's essay, and a companion essay by Mary Lou Dodge called, Feminism in Trek-Lit (1980 essay), caused much discussion in the letterzine Interstat beginning in March 1980, where it was specifically referred to as The Russ Test.

See Interstat #29 and #30.

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