The Russ Test

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The Russ Test was coined by Leslie Fish in March 1980 in the letterzine Interstat #30 in an essay called Feminism (Or the Lack of It) in Trek-Lit.

According to Fish, "The Russ Test" was based on Joanna Russ' quote in the February 1980 issue of "Ms Magazine," and addressed the topic of feminism, of women's relationships with each other as portrayed in popular culture. Fish extrapolated on this topic as she addressed the lack of female characters and their relationships with each other in fanfic.

This theory and label is a precursor to the Bechdel Test.

Russ' Quote

"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."