The Big Picture: Blecch, Dull Tests

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I'm pretty sure that when Bechdel created this test in a small comic strip back in the '80s that she would ever have imagined this to be such a big deal today. It doesn't bother me that a film may or may not pass the test as long as it's enjoyable and I am most certainly for more women on both the big and small screens not talking about men or relationships in general. What does bother me is how far people will take this test, using it as a sole measure (as the comic character did) on the quality of the movie. Bob, you're right in that many movies that are great, and many movies that star amazing female protagonists, do not pass the test except that is not the real point. Movies can be just fine without passing the test and movies can be really awful even with passing it.

The Bechdel test was really meant, particularly in the '80s when there was not a lot out there in regards to female characters onscreen, to show how few women get to be on screen in a role that isn't mainly limited to the love interest or the damsel in distress, something you call out quite frequently in your reviews and other critiques. It was more relevant then than now really, as we see Hollywood embracing a slightly more gender equity solution.

However, I have a feeling you already knew this and are just sick and tired of the test being taken so seriously. I can understand that for I too am a bit annoyed by it. It's like judging a movie only by how many Academy Awards it won.

I do disagree with the idea of a Mako test because having one great female protagonist among the many other male protagonists in a film does not balance things out, either mathematically or qualitatively. Perhaps in conjunction with the Bechdel test we can get a better idea of a film's gender equality status. And why not have more women onscreen, particularly when it isn't a period piece, where fun, amusing liberties can be taken with it? Hell, RDM made Starbuck a woman and that, imho, was fantastic.

Not every film has to be this way but when we get into the fantasy and sci-fi realms of film and TV, I often wonder why the hell they can't have more women being awesome, or even onscreen for crying out loud. Are we still so gender biased in the future? I certainly hope not.

Sometimes it really does get old to always see the men being the hero with a woman to save and that, for me, is why we still need the Bechdel test.

A lot of movies can fail the Bechdel Test because of the subject matter, same goes with those that pass it. A romantic comedy will pass it whilst a war film will fail. There's a reason for that. Just think about "The Godfather" for a moment. At no point during the opening wedding scene do two women talk about something other than a guy? Huh?

I find that if the test is a terrible thing to use on a case-by-case basis, it won't be good in aggregate like Bob claims. That's just summing up a bunch of bad results to craft a flawed narrative.

VMK:

Lucane:

thejboy88:
I'm glad you decided to address this issue. It's not that I uave anything against the idea of creating some kind of standard by which we can measure non-male-obsessed female characters in movies, but like Bob said it's beginning to undermine a lot of movies that I find myself liking recently.

Pacific Rim was a great example Bob brought up. I loved that movie and Mako's character especially, and the idea that she and the whole movie fail just because she's the only one bothers me a great deal.

I haven't seen Pacific Rim since it was in theaters (I'm planning on correcting that but the store was out of stock.)but Chernov Alpha was piloted by a man and a woman the "other" pilots weren't given as much background as Stryker's and Gypsy Danger's but Mako wasn't the only woman in the movie. (though I can't think of any other women in the movie that weren't apart of a crowd.)

I'll add to that a bit. Not only Cherno Alpha is driven by husband and wife, but wife is also the "dominant" member of the pair (just a little detail about the movie: pilot that operates right arm is the domminant one). This means that she has (at the very least) stronger mentality than her husband.

And regarding Mako: so, Pacific Rim did not "pass" this "test" because she didn't talk with, for example Sasha, about stuff that is not man? Or am I making a mistake here? Because if I am right, then it's a huge steaming pile of... Manure.

The test's intention I think, is to point out the trend of movies being written and cast to have men fill the lion's share of the roles or at least the ones with the most cross-interactions when not about romances or not being anything but an excuse to have someone talk about a different character when they are not there.

Take Transformers 2, Three/One (if you can call the 3 motorcycles all being referred to as Arcee as one entity) Arcee(s) is/are the only female Autobot(s) in the movie and Alice(?) the only female Decepticon excluding the human element they don't have a lot of women in the film when Alice is a brand new idea into the universe and they decided that her role was to try and get into the pants of the hero to get information from him not unlike a Bond girl villain. I really don't wanna recall to much more of the film but if any other women (they'd have to be human of course) did talk to each other they might have been taling about Sam as there were no prominent female soldiers or close friends to anyone in the movie who wasn't dating or married to one of the leads in the movie.

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra does the same if not worse with a wider array of women to choose from in the source material but only 2 made it into the movie Scarlet and the Baroness when they had so many well established characters to use like Lady Jaye, Zatanna, Jinx & Covergirl I'm not say it's a recent trend but it's seem to have gotten worse over the years in most cases for the most part.

Scarim Coral:
So in another word, we should have a more modern movies related test?

Modern? Why?

The problem with the Bechdel test isn't that it's outdated, but that it isn't useful for everything that people are trying to use it for.

However, as long as a large number of movies keep failing it, it still *is* a relevant signal of society in general being fucked up by sexism. It just doesn't tell anything else beyond that. And that else couldn't be measured by another "better" test anyways, only with discussion and analysis.

MatsVS:
Surprised how completely Bob missed the point here. The test is a tool to determine the quantity of female characters, not the quality. No one ever claimed differently, so not really sure what the point here is supposed to be.

Indeed. Pacific Rim fails the test, because even if it manages to have more than one female character, they are still few enough (and only one of them is a major character), that something this unrealistic can happen.

Just how many scenes were in Pacific Rim about two men discussing something else than women? There was that first scene, then the second, then the third, the fifth, the eighth, ninth...

Maybe Pacific Rim deserves a pat on the shoulder for having a strong female protagonist, but it also demonstrates that writers still tend to think of men as the default gender, filling stories with them, and only add a few special female characters where absolutely necessary.

Thank GOD for Moviebo- wait wrong show.

But seriously, good episode, touching on so many things about the resurgence of this test.

Now I was to see TV Tropes have a Mako Mori Test page. It needs one.

Elesar:
The biggest thing that I think can be said about how well the Bechdel Test fails to rate female characters is this:

The Room technically passes the Bechdel test, whereas Fargo fails it.

I'm pretty sure the only reason The Room even passes the test is because the Mom character very suddenly says, out of nowhere and with no resolution later, that she has breast cancer. Otherwise, the two women were always talking about freaking Johnny.

OT: I've never actually seen anyone in real life use the Bechdel test, only the internet. It's weird to think that theaters are now suddenly giving movies "Bechdel Ratings".

I have never heard any of the many feminists I've spoken to ever speak of the Bechdel test as anything other than the way MovieBob does: that it's interesting at demonstrating the wider cultural issues of implicit sexism, but totally not a judge of a movie's quality (eg, The Human Centipede also passes!).

I think I largely object to this video because MovieBob creates a world where many feminists do take it that seriously - and that's completely misrepresentative! It's entirely counter-productive for any man to attempt to say to any self-identifying woman that 'they're doing [feminism] wrong'. Like they need a man to tell them what they should be doing...

I also get that he's also tried to go for a pun on 'Blech, Dull' - but that's even misrepresentative of /his own opinion/. Bad video.

Eldritch Warlord:
Pacific Rim should pass the Bechdel test, GlaDOS talks to Mako about venting coolant.

This made me laugh so hard.

OT: I really like the Mako test. Because seriously, that is the real problem in Hollywood and male dominated storytelling in general; that there is a ridiculous dearth of female characters with their own character arcs that aren't about supporting a man.

redknightalex:

The Bechdel test was really meant, particularly in the '80s when there was not a lot out there in regards to female characters onscreen, to show how few women get to be on screen in a role that isn't mainly limited to the love interest or the damsel in distress, something you call out quite frequently in your reviews and other critiques. It was more relevant then than now really, as we see Hollywood embracing a slightly more gender equity solution.

I wouldn't say that 40% of movies failing the test instead of 50% is quite the differnce to be proud of.

http://bechdeltest.com/statistics/

Compared to the sheer implausibility of a movie in which there are no two men to talk about something else than women, even 10% would be a too high number.

The 80's had plenty of feminist icon female heroes, the problem was not with that, but with everyone else in the setting being male by default unless their femaleness was necessary for the plot, and even if there were two or three women out of a dozen characters, they had nothing to do but talk about the other (male) characters.

This is still a problem just like it was in the 80's.

My sincerest kudos Moviebob...this was one of the very few "Big Pictures" that actually did present the big picture. I like these kinds of shows the best. Keep it up

See, this just goes to demonstrate a larger point about feminism, and indeed a lot of issues with present-day culture: The central problem isn't that there shouldn't be any of X, or that Y must be everywhere, but that there's overall too much X and not enough Y. And that's hard to fix, short of just shaming everyone who creates something that contains any X or doesn't contain any Y.

Fun fact: I used to run a webcomic. While I wouldn't go as far as to call it un-feminist, its premise was... something I'm definitely not proud of, in hindsight. At one point it dawned on me that I had not only passed the Bechdel Test long ago, I actually had more individual strips that passed it than ones that didn't thanks to a story arc involving the protagonist and her friend that ran on way longer than I had expected. Even at the time, I knew that the strip ran afoul of the actual ideals behind the test, and considered making banner ads with the tagline "Proof that the Bechdel Test is useless." But I was worried that people would take that the opposite way than I intended.

How do films from other cultures fare when applied to this test?

manic_depressive13:
I disagree with the notion that the test doesn't give due credit to movies with strong female characters. It still raises the interesting question of why there is usually only one strong female character. Most of the movies you referenced as having a strong female character had multiple strong male characters. When a single strong female exists among a whole cast of male characters, it still undermines women because that character is seen as "the woman" and the exception to the rule.

Well firstly in real life the number of strong women will be heavily outnumbers by the number of strong men. For example in the army there's several times as many men as women, so in a movie about the army the majority of the soldiers would be male. However if it was a movie about being a nurse then the majority of the character would be female because there are more female nurses than male nurses.

Secondly most people who like action movies want to watch men fighting other men/robots/aliens so having a lot of women in the movie won't appeal to them. Another problem that occurs when there's a lot of women in the action movie is that these movies tends to be marketed based on how pretty the girls are (such as Charlie's Angels), rather than because of the action.

I mean, why couldn't the Terminator look female?

Well movie makers are limited by the actors who are willing to play the terminator. Also female villains tend to look less threatening, so this would make the terminator seems less of a threat to the audience.

The Hobbit already incensed fans by spreading itself into 3 movies in a blatant and pathetic money grab. They made up so much bullshit for those movies, but Tauriel was a huge concession? Give me a break.

Tauriel was a concession for the lack of female characters in other movies, nothing else.

Bob, you managed to make a 6 minute video about something I've never heard of. The idea of a "test" like that is really pointless, as the only worthy test that a producer can use is to produce the movie and see if people go and watch it. Who even is this Bechdel guy anyway?

It's true that some have taken the test a bit too seriously- it was never meant to be the end-all-be-all of feminist litmus tests, and I don't condone those that treat it like it is.

Still, you have to ask, could Pacific Rim had been made WORSE by simply including a major secondary female character? I think this is why people push the test, not because all these that fail it are bad movies, but because we just want filmmakers to be more conscious that movies can only be made better by adding more decent female characters that aren't singularly defined/concerned with men.

I never really thought Mako Mori was that great a character in the first place. If she's the standard, then we need a better one. A woman who simply kicks ass does not a good character make. She's not bad, but hardly a complex one. Especially considering Pacific Rim's anime roots, you can look at variety of anime movies shows to find much more complex female characters, even in a culture that is still patriarchal and male-centric.

The point being that movies should at least make an effort, rather than just putting the token girl in it and have her beat up some guys in order to prove she's a good character who deserves a place in the movie.

manic_depressive13:
I mean, why couldn't the Terminator look female?

lol, as opposed to what? Its a robot version of Arnold Schwarzenegger and its supposed to be intimidating, so why would it have metal breast[1]?

OP:Hmmm... the Mako Mori test, I like it. Makes more sense than the other test, which would tell you that movies like X-Men 3 fails even though Jean is a pretty strong character in the movie.

[1] Or any other characteristic that is identified as female.

MatsVS:
Surprised how completely Bob missed the point here. The test is a tool to determine the quantity of female characters, not the quality. No one ever claimed differently, so not really sure what the point here is supposed to be.

Honestly, all I've seen is people claiming the test claims differently; mostly people who are trying to set up a nice strawman to knock down. The test was, is, and will remain a good test of the industry, though, when looking at how many (or rather few) movies in total manage to pass.

That opening was superb, and I fully agree on the points raised.

I'm sorry but you can't just sacrifice the value of a test under the "isn't important on an individual level" field causing it to gain value under the "is a good reflection of movie society as a whole" field.

WHY is it a good measure of how films are as a whole? If it isn't valuable on an individual level and has proven time and again to actually ignore valuable characters and fail otherwise female empowering movies then how could it possibly be a reliable test to measure the entire CULTURE as a whole?

I think even Frozen is one conversation about chocolate away from failing. Do we need a test to show what movies almost fail the test and the percentage of times the women in it talk about things other than men together?

Steve the Pocket:
See, this just goes to demonstrate a larger point about feminism, and indeed a lot of issues with present-day culture: The central problem isn't that there shouldn't be any of X, or that Y must be everywhere, but that there's overall too much X and not enough Y. And that's hard to fix, short of just shaming everyone who creates something that contains any X or doesn't contain any Y.

The thing about saying there's too much of X, kind of implies something never given: the acceptable amount, or maybe the reasonable amount. Some media are going to fair whatever "sexist test" we might ever devise, and unless you want filler and contrivances to force things to pass, you kind of have to accept that. It creates a big problem in solving a problem when you don't even know the end goal, nor how close you are to getting there, not to mention resistance on the creator side that takes the shaming to mean that even if it was the only sexist thing put out, it would still get crapped on because people are much quicker to jump on things that fail than look at the bigger picture about how much passes.

JarinArenos:

MatsVS:
Surprised how completely Bob missed the point here. The test is a tool to determine the quantity of female characters, not the quality. No one ever claimed differently, so not really sure what the point here is supposed to be.

Honestly, all I've seen is people claiming the test claims differently; mostly people who are trying to set up a nice strawman to knock down. The test was, is, and will remain a good test of the industry, though, when looking at how many (or rather few) movies in total manage to pass.

Isn't that a tautology though? It's pointless on an individual level but is a good test for seeing how many of the whole pass itself?

It's like using a ruler that's only good for measuring the number of things that have been measured by the ruler. It's pointless.

redknightalex:
I do disagree with the idea of a Mako test because having one great female protagonist among the many other male protagonists in a film does not balance things out, either mathematically or qualitatively. Perhaps in conjunction with the Bechdel test we can get a better idea of a film's gender equality status. And why not have more women onscreen, particularly when it isn't a period piece, where fun, amusing liberties can be taken with it? Hell, RDM made Starbuck a woman and that, imho, was fantastic.

That will only work if the movie is set in an environment where there's likely to be an equal number of men and women. So a movie about war, the police, or criminal gangs would seem unrealistic if there was an equal number of men and women. Also having more women will change the group dynamic, so you need to think carefully before making a character female.

Not every film has to be this way but when we get into the fantasy and sci-fi realms of film and TV, I often wonder why the hell they can't have more women being awesome, or even onscreen for crying out loud. Are we still so gender biased in the future? I certainly hope not.

Fantasy movies are often like period pieces so it wouldn't make sense for there to be a lot of women in roles they traditionally wouldn't have done, such as being in the army.

Unless in the future any advantage men have from being stronger than women is negated by technology the gender ratios will still be the same.

In most of these movies only the protagonist can be awesome, especially in action movies. As a result all the females and other males can't be awesome. So it's not to do with sexism but more to do with bad storytelling.

Finally if the majority of the audience prefers fewer females in these movies then that's all that will be produced.

Sometimes it really does get old to always see the men being the hero with a woman to save and that, for me, is why we still need the Bechdel test.

Well as long as a man saving a woman is more popular than a woman saving a man this is all we'll get.

Why are all of the interesting fields traditionally male dominated? I dunno. I presume the answer we're supposed to give is 'well, because sexism'.

Is that so? The army is male dominated because men are better at fighting. And boys are taught that they can either grow up to be a killer or a coward.

I guess you could spin it as 'because sexism against men' but... oh just a sec, there are people with pitchforks and torches outside my window brb

Human made non-scientific tests rarely tell the whole story. They serve as useful tools for gathering general information but can frequently break down at the individual level. That isn't to say that they are useless and should be completely disregarded, but that they should not be taken as the final word on anything. The Bechdel test and the Mako Mori test can be used as indicators of whether or not the piece makes an attempt to be at least somewhat egalitarian but that is all. A work with strong female characters can fail both tests and still have strong, fully realized and interesting female characters. For example the show Vikings has two strong female characters (Lagertha and Siggy) who would completely fail the Mako Mori test and were it not for the final episode of the first season would also have failed the Bechdel test. If I were to have been simply told that Vikings failed both tests I might have given it a pass as I'm more and more interested in watching shows/movies and playing games with engaging female characters to the point that I generally don't bother with media that doesn't have them.

Captain Pooptits:

Is that so? The army is male dominated because men are better at fighting. .. oh just a sec, there are people with pitchforks and torches outside my window brb

Don't worry, they are just sissy feminists, bad at fighting, so I bet you can take them with hands tied to your back, bro.

hentropy:
I never really thought Mako Mori was that great a character in the first place. If she's the standard, then we need a better one. A woman who simply kicks ass does not a good character make. She's not bad, but hardly a complex one. Especially considering Pacific Rim's anime roots, you can look at variety of anime movies shows to find much more complex female characters, even in a culture that is still patriarchal and male-centric.

This is something that's been confusing me lately as well. I haven't seen Pacific Rim, but everything I hear about Mako Mori is either people claiming that she's this great example of a strong female character (with no real qualifiers) or makes her out to be a rather poor example of a strong female character. Yes, she's strong fighter who isn't skimpily dressed, but she also barely speaks, is submissive, worships the protagonist, freaks out and has to be saved, and has daddy issues. Now maybe the people who've said these are just exaggerating, but these don't seem like the traits of a character deserving of test named after them.

OT: Yes, the Bechdel test is not supposed to determine whether an individual movie is feminist, or has good female characters or anything of the sort, it's just an observation on the lack of female characters independent of men in movies. Funnily enough, the only people I've seen actually claim the Bechdel test is supposed to determine whether a movie is feminist or not are those who seem like they'd take any opportunity to take pot shots at feminism, with everyone else explaining what the test is actually for (to little success).

To Kill A Mockingbird, a fantastic adaptation of the fantastic book, all from the perspective of Harper Lee's real life experience as a child retold through a fictional female child, fails the Bechdel test.

Alien 3, a film starring one of the most well-known and applauded heroines in all of cinema, completely fails the test, as the only other female in the film other than Ripley is a corpse. Even the fucking dog is male. But its still a great film (imo) featuring one of the best character arcs of a female in cinema.

And then there are fantastic films that fail it, like Bob mentioned. 12 Angry Men, one of my favourite films, doesn't even have a single female character throughout the entire film.

The point though is that the Bechdel test isn't a litmus for quality of the film or characters, but is a thought experiment. Its meant to get people to realize that the movie industry is very male-oriented and tends to disregard female characters. Its not meant for what so many people unfortunately use it as. Moreso, I think it can be used as a point not just in regard to female characters, but how so many films do a poor job of integrating the characters into the film itself. For every action movie that has a character that has a personality beyond badass dudebro, villain, or damsel in distress, there's twenty action films that shamelessly use those tropes to a T. Thats not just a failing on the part of female characters, its a failing on the part of male characters as well. Hell, the Mako Mori test should be applied to male characters as well, because while I think there'd be higher percentages of success, it would still be rather depressing rate of success.

Captain Pooptits:
Why are all of the interesting fields traditionally male dominated? I dunno. I presume the answer we're supposed to give is 'well, because sexism'.

Is that so? The army is male dominated because men are better at fighting. And boys are taught that they can either grow up to be a killer or a coward.

I guess you could spin it as 'because sexism against men' but... oh just a sec, there are people with pitchforks and torches outside my window brb

Except I've never actually seen anybody ever get upset with somebody proclaiming this as true unless they're a very specific sect of self-proclaimed "radical feminists", typically those who says kooky shit like "all penetration in sex is rape". They're hardly representative of anybody who claims to be either an "egalitarian" or a "feminist". In fact, most self-proclaimed feminists I know are against things like conscription for both sexes, and recognize that to cut down the prevalence of sexual assault in society that sexual assault against men has to be fairly recognized and dealt with as fairly as how (ideally) sexual assault against women is treated. Stopping using woefully inaccurate strawmen, please.

hentropy:
Still, you have to ask, could Pacific Rim had been made WORSE by simply including a major secondary female character?

Well unless you changes one of major secondary male characters into a major secondary female character you'll need to come up with a new role for this character. This would either make the movie longer or involve removing other parts of the movie.

In summary adding more characters to a movie usually causes problems elsewhere in the movie.

I never really thought Mako Mori was that great a character in the first place. If she's the standard, then we need a better one. A woman who simply kicks ass does not a good character make. She's not bad, but hardly a complex one. Especially considering Pacific Rim's anime roots, you can look at variety of anime movies shows to find much more complex female characters, even in a culture that is still patriarchal and male-centric.

To explore a complex female character requires a lot of time so you either need to do this over a 26 episode series (such as Lain or Twelve Kingdoms) or make the entire movie about this female character. So if you want to make a movie about several characters they can't all be complex.

The point being that movies should at least make an effort, rather than just putting the token girl in it and have her beat up some guys in order to prove she's a good character who deserves a place in the movie.

They put token characters in because they need a female character but don't want to rewrite the whole movie just to add a female. The best way to prevent tokenism is for everyone to stop complaining when a movie doesn't have enough female characters. That way you'll only be left with female characters that the writers wanted to include in the story, who will generally be better quality female characters.

The Bechdel Test is a good metric of a certain type. It does not guarantee a good movie but if a film can have dozens of viable characters and not manage two female ones who can interact with-out referencing a man; THAT IS A PROBLEM! and the movie suffers because of it. There are actually more women on the planet than men so when a film can't manage more then one, even if it is a strong female presence, that film should be criticized until everyone gets the message. It can still be a good movie but that failing is something worth noting.

Also what the heck is it with everyone and Mako Mori? I recently saw the movie over the new year and it wasn't a matter of her being strong or weak... The woman got like 15 minutes of airtime and however much nuance she tried to inject into the one note role of monster butt-kicking there just wasn't enough to work with for me to actually pretend there was anything special or particularly well rounded with the actual character. Movie-bob seems to think a strong female character can be somehow judged by body count: it cant.

Repeat a joke often enough, and it becomes fact.

Which is also why memes are mostly dumb.

Abomination:
I'm sorry but you can't just sacrifice the value of a test under the "isn't important on an individual level" field causing it to gain value under the "is a good reflection of movie society as a whole" field.

WHY is it a good measure of how films are as a whole? If it isn't valuable on an individual level and has proven time and again to actually ignore valuable characters and fail otherwise female empowering movies then how could it possibly be a reliable test to measure the entire CULTURE as a whole?

I think even Frozen is one conversation about chocolate away from failing. Do we need a test to show what movies almost fail the test and the percentage of times the women in it talk about things other than men together?

Well, since the point of the test is to point out a lack of female characters talking to each other about something other than a man, it actually is valuable on an individual level. Using it on an individual level can be used to determine how many female characters there are in the movie, how they interact, and if they're not focused entirely on men.

But, while it is applicable on an individual level, it's better at pointing out an industry-wide lack of female characters who don't center their entire conversations around men. This approach takes into account that not all movies have to have female characters, or multiple female characters, or any focus on these female characters, to point out the the industry has a bit of a problem, not that every movie that doesn't pass the test has a problem. Since the entire point of the test was to point this out, it seems petty to fault it for not having as much worth in judging individual movies.

Bob, we don't always agree about movies.

But we almost always agree on social issues, which is to say we agree on common sense stuff.

If we ever happen to be in the same place at the same time, let's assume that means I owe you a beer just from the amount of typing in forums you've saved me over the years.

feminism? why not equalism

The Bechdel test should be combined with the Mako Mori test. Pacific Rim might have one strong female character, but only one. It falls for the Smurfette Principle trope. (Men are the standard and women are the exceptions.) Yes, it is better than having no female characters, or females characters that are only there to support the male protagonist, but it is still flawed.

Ok seriously, am I the only one on the planet who doesn't get this obsession with Mako from Pacific Rim? She's cliched and her character ark of *spoilers* going from "I have personal background issues that make me a liability in the field" to "I've overcome these issues and am now a badass" happens after one battle with no sign of her learning anything from that battle.

I haven't seen the movie since it's release but, honestly I don't remember anything genre breaking or mind blowingly notable about the story or characters. It was an awesome big monster/giant robot flick where these kind of developments usually and clearly did get pushed to the way side. It's not to say they're bad but, they're not elevating the genre and to compare Mako to Sara Conner who actually had character development and was a well written character is frankly a pretty big stretch.

I get on the other hand it's awesome for women to finally have a bad ass character akin to "our" archetypical bad ass characters but, I just don't see her being this big empowering thing and to regard her character as such, I think shows just how far Hollywood has to go still for writing good female characters.

Just my opinion

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