The Big Picture: Blecch, Dull Tests

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Waaaaait, Alien doesn't count because the Alien is a metaphor for rape i.e. assault, forced insemination, unwanted pregnancy, horrible birth etc., and thus it counts as male. *flies away*

But seriously, good episode. Crying sexism at everything doesn't solve anything.

Wait, wait, wait: People take the Bechdel Test SERIOUSLY?! I t was meant to be satirical in the first place!
Oh, what am I saying, this the Internet: where satire and irony come to die.

As for Swedish movie theaters showing individual movies' Bechdel ratings, I'd like to hear from an actual Swedish person about that.

But The Croods was a terrible movie, why are you putting the "main" girl in the good list? Because she can punch good? We have how many female characters in the movie and they still can't talk about anything other than a guy? And they sold the movie like it was Brave in the stoneage, but it turned out to be all about _the dad_ and _the new young man_ and _the dad_ trying to stay relevant.

Sorry, no, just no. That one actively makes me angry.

Also Tauriel, while I was okay with her being there, adds nothing to the movie other than a checked box. Also a love triangle that I don't understand. I appreciate the gesture, but, like Legolas in this case, she doesn't really need to be there in the narrative. If you have to have Legolas and you wanted a lady elf, then fine! Great! I was expecting her to be a guard captain or maybe one of a few women that helped Legolas on his hunt for the dwarves, (if that must be there). Hey, one of the main dwarves could be a secret woman, (with a beard and all), and nobody would know until she finally says a line in movie 3. And then kicks butt in the battle! Would you care if one of the non talking dwarves was a lady? I wouldn't. Maybe if we actually saw Lobelia Sackville-Baggins instead of just cutting her out of the movie?

The problem is oversimplification of ideas, like in most things, causing a false picture. I would argue for some kind of Bechtel-Mori test but what that is really calling for is a succinct review of a film. You're right, you can't just apply robot logic to this, the question is "Does this film have well written female characters?" and the answer is often quite lengthy and complex.

Interestingly enough this oversimplification or application of a particularly narrow set of ideas or ideologies is what tends to irk people about this deluge of Online 'Feminism'.

I thought I remembered seeing that the test was originally from a comic strip (I think Bob himself had pointed it out before) but it's still amazing that a comic-strip has birthed what's essentially a modern philosophy.

Also, I find it interesting that this debuts the same week Jim talks about taking jokes at face value - well done Escapist if that was planned.

You see, the objective of this and other test is to be, well... objective. They don't enter in the realm of quality because there's a lot of subjectivity involved. For instance, for me, everything points that the Hobbitology will be the worse big budget trilogy of all time. But some people love it. And use it like an example. And.... Sorry I can concentrate in the text. Every time I thing in the Hobbit... starting laughing.

Really sorry.

Alterego-X:

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.

Not sure if serious.

Alterego-X:
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.

Well said. Let's imagine for a moment if the test was inverse, and that to pass it you had to have two named male characters you had to talk to each other about something else than a woman. The final list would only include EVERY SINGLE FILM EVER MADE. There is more women than men in this world, so that the result should be so drastically different just makes absolutely zero sense, unless we start analyzing the industry through a feminist prism.

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 the proof sort of in the pudding, though? I mean, if you look at the test itself and nothing else, that is literally what it's measuring.

Like you said, tho... People like to score imagined point against the test, preumably in some attempt at scoring imagined points against feminism as some sort of monolithic institution. These are silly people, not really worthy of time and consideration.

Darth_Payn:
Wait, wait, wait: People take the Bechdel Test SERIOUSLY?! I t was meant to be satirical in the first place!
Oh, what am I saying, this the Internet: where satire and irony come to die.

As for Swedish movie theaters showing individual movies' Bechdel ratings, I'd like to hear from an actual Swedish person about that.

The Bechdel Test definitely shouldn't be taken seriously in its own right. But it does highlight some of the issues regarding female characters in Hollywood. That one or a dozen movies don't pass the test means nothing. But as Bob pointed out, when you realize almost no movies have two women talking about other shit does say a lot. Why would we have so hard a time finding such a benign behavior like that? Nearly every movie would pass a male Bechdel test, so why does the reverse remain so monumentally difficult to find?

Bilingual bonus in the title... In German "Blech reden" means "talking nonsense"

schwegburt:

Darth_Payn:
Wait, wait, wait: People take the Bechdel Test SERIOUSLY?! I t was meant to be satirical in the first place!
Oh, what am I saying, this the Internet: where satire and irony come to die.

As for Swedish movie theaters showing individual movies' Bechdel ratings, I'd like to hear from an actual Swedish person about that.

The Bechdel Test definitely shouldn't be taken seriously in its own right. But it does highlight some of the issues regarding female characters in Hollywood. That one or a dozen movies don't pass the test means nothing. But as Bob pointed out, when you realize almost no movies have two women talking about other shit does say a lot. It is such a benign behavior that why is it so hard to find? Nearly every movie would pass a male Bechdel test, so why is the reverse so monumentally difficult to find?

Type of story, their setting, and most importantly their focus. Stories can't imitate reality, you have limits in a movie before it starts to breakdown. I would have figure most people would have realize that right now. The shit was a joke from the get go.

This is actually a thought I've had for a while. Thanks for covering this, Bob!

I still don't get what's so revolutionary about Mako. I found her character to be just as forgettable as the rest of them. After all, she was just "I was in danger once as a kid, this guy saved me, now he's overprotective when I want to get with this other guy, who I instantly fall in love with for no real reason". Pretty much a normal father-daughter thing going on there, and the love interest kinda felt wrong to me.

And anyway, GIANT KAIJU-RIPPING ROBOTS.

Never new about this "test" until now, and boy was I in for a surprise of how stupid people can be. Seriously, even when i already believe that everything is stupid on fundamental level up to the point of corrupting everything else something comes out from the side and surprises me. Geek culture is as bad as global one, it's only the methods of stupidity and madness that differ. And this is not first time that subversive joke ends up as measuring stick but I cant even laugh at this.

As for theaters, they do whatever they can to appeal to public. Movie theaters are not fairing well so they grab any trend they can latch on to sell few extra tickets. I don't believe for a second that they mean those ratings seriously.

And you think Mako Morri is a good character? I haven't seen worse character in movie that doesn't know its characters are just piss poor excuses in a long time. Nothing about her is realistic, interesting, clever or well written. I would call her movie prop but that would elevate her character too much for me. She is as forced as character as Jhon Matrix in Commando but with "serous character" intentions (btw, I'm one of people who see Pacific Rim as Godzila vs Supa Robboto without any charm of past B movies. Guillermo del Torro disapointed me with this after few great movies. At least it was awesome spectacle)

uanime5:

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.

Who said anything about adding characters? There is only one other female character besides Mako in the movie, and that is the Russian woman who has like two lines before (SPOILER) dying. (END SPOILER)

It would have been rather easy to make any number of those other major male characters with lines to be decent female characters. Military leader? Oh no, that can't be a woman. Math nerd/scientist? Oh no, girls can't do math and science stuff, can't be women there (although I thought Charlie Day played the best character in the movie and I probably wouldn't trade him out for anyone, male or female). Hannibal Chau? Oh no, a girl can't be some black market mastermind. Rival Aussie Jaeger team? Gotta make them two meat heads, because there aren't already enough meat heads in the movie.

In some ways making more female side characters says more than making a female main, because the female main always tends to be the love interest. Making one that does not play a love interest shouldn't be treated as some kind of challenge or quota, because it's really not incredibly hard.

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.

There's an anime OVA called Little Witch Academia that characterizes at least three good female characters in the length of 24 minutes. Not episodes, minutes. If you need examples of decent-to-good female characters in both protagonist and antagonist roles in the length of a feature length movie, you can more or less pick out any Studio Ghibli or Satoshi Kon film. It's really not as hard as you think to just create a decent character, and you can do it in a lot less time than you think. Just make them human, with sensible motivations and actions that correlate with those motivations, rather than just them being a pretty girl the hero can kiss at the end to make everyone want to cheer.

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.

No one's asking them to "rewrite the whole movie". That's the point, it would just be nice if it was a factor from the start of preproduction, not the biggest factor or even a major one, just something from the beginning when you're just coming up with the basic story/characters, before anything is written in stone, that film makers say "hey, why can't this one character here be a female?" You don't have to fundamentally change much about the character itself, and often times it doesn't require any titanic changes. Just make a side female character who does things relevant to the story, and who isn't a love interest. Many times writers might want to include female characters, but it's those producers who want to make everyone male because of misguided formulaic business practices.

I won't add much to the topic but I do have to echo the sentiment that Mako Mori is a terrible character to base anything around. Sure, she's there, but her development is absurd and unbelievable. The Sarah Connor or Ellen Ripley test would be more acceptable with popular culture's sake, though are tons of other characters to chose from that are waaaaaaaay above freaking Mako Mori. If we're going with choosing a character from recent memory, I'd say the "Daenerys Targaryen" test would be even better. Pffft...Mako Mori.

Captcha: Run away!

Alright, I'll do that, before the angryness.

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.

If that's what the test is meant to measure, it seems that would be a strange criteria to pick. It seems cliched to say "quality over quantity" here but wouldn't you be more concerned with what the female characters in the film are doing over how many there are.

Therefore, would that not lead to Hostel 2 getting a better rating than Terminator 2, if you can imagine such an outlandish scenario.

In other news, this topic has reminded me to go watch Pacific Rim again sometime soon.

The problem here is that humans tend to get pathological about anything that gets trendy. And right now, feminism is, on top of everything else it is, trending. So the Bechdel Test is being repurposed by marketing drones that want to draw the female dollar as a bullet point about as meaningful as the litany of 'gluten free' stickers in the bottled water aisle at your local grocery store.

Now, I'm not complaining about feminism being trendy. I'm all for it.

I just wish people would stop trying to buy my opinion with it.

I will have to start using the "Mako Mori" test with movies I see from now on. It really is confusing as to what the internet will latch on to!

VaporWare:
The problem here is that humans tend to get pathological about anything that gets trendy. And right now, feminism is, on top of everything else it is, trending. So the Bechdel Test is being repurposed by marketing drones that want to draw the female dollar as a bullet point about as meaningful as the litany of 'gluten free' stickers in the bottled water aisle at your local grocery store.

This guy gets it.

I'm an ardent feminist, but it's beyond irritating to see the Bechdel Test being used in marketing like this. It's being misappropriated by people who have no idea what it's actually for in an attempt to corner the feminist market, and all it's doing is feeding into the "wah, the nasty feminists want to take away our toys because they don't pass their stupid test" crowd's mindset. And then those of us who do understand the test end up having to try and explain that no, we don't have a problem with [insert movie here] just because it fails, and no, we're not saying [blatantly sexist movie] is ok or somehow superior just because it passes.

Urgh >.<

MarsProbe:

If that's what the test is meant to measure, it seems that would be a strange criteria to pick.

It's strangely defined, to tell more about female presence than just the raw number of characters.

Just try to search for any show that DIDN'T have a single scene of two men talking about anything else then women. Even if you did think of one, it probably has an extremely odd scenario with very few on-screen characters, or a "last man on Earth" plot, or something.

Compared to that, the fact that 40% of movies would fail to reach something as basic has having two female characters hold a general dialogue about something other than man, reveals that:

#1: Many movies have zero or only one female character out of dozens.

#2: Even the ones that have two, are often side characters on their respective sides, and never even meet each other.

#3. Even if they meet each other, due to the general rarity of women, they don't get to talk about anything else but the male characters that they are surrounded by.

We could just say that "28% of movie characters are women", or "only 32% of character screentime is used by women", but this statistic also provides that the way female characters are positioned, they fail to meet even the most minimal expectation of dialogue that would happen in a diverse environment.

MarsProbe:

It seems cliched to say "quality over quantity" here but wouldn't you be more concerned with what the female characters in the film are doing over how many there are.

Qantity is what you can measure with basic tests and reduce to a numerial value.

Maybe the quality of femle characters is ALSO an important issue, but the disturbing lack of female characters in movies is a rather interesting statistic on it's own.

MarsProbe:

Therefore, would that not lead to Hostel 2 getting a better rating than Terminator 2, if you can imagine such an outlandish scenario.

Sure, it's outlandish, if you want to use the test as the judgement of specific movies, rather than a litmus test of the industry's general mentality.

Hence Bob's video. Like he said, some movies have a perfect excuse. A movie about Jean d'Arc would almost certainly fail it, no matter how feminist it's perspective is, because it is about a woman in a male role. Others have a personal excuse for the producer, who might not *personally* be a sexist for being interested in gangsters as a theme, but that his and many other producers' preferred themes happen to be about men, definitely raises a flag about our movie culture in general.

erttheking:

Zhukov:
Thank you.

I don't know which group annoys me more. The ones that use the test as an absolute measure or the ones that get hilariously defensive at the slightest mention of the test.

Seriously. It's a good yard stick to measure overall trends in the industry, but I thought it was established that that is all it was good for.

I think it's useful with movies that have very large casts and a lot of talking and at least an attempt to show some kind of diverse world.

There is no reason why a fantasy epic like LOTR shouldn't pass, apart from the fact that it was based on books written in the 50's.

There were some good points, but then you had to go and ruin it by accusing the entire internet, yet again, just like every other video content creator/entertainer.
Yes, yes, I know, you only mean some people, but would it kill you not to keep focusing on the obnoxious posters and make the entire intarwebs out to be an extended 4chan?

Do people seriously believe in the Bechdel test anyway? It's a hyped radscum tool directed at Hollywood, nothing else.

Eamar:

I'm an ardent feminist, but it's beyond irritating to see the Bechdel Test being used in marketing like this. It's being misappropriated by people who have no idea what it's actually for in an attempt to corner the feminist market, and all it's doing is feeding into the "wah, the nasty feminists want to take away our toys because they don't pass their stupid test" crowd's mindset. And then those of us who do understand the test end up having to try and explain that no, we don't have a problem with [insert movie here] just because it fails, and no, we're not saying [blatantly sexist movie] is ok or somehow superior just because it passes.

Why mention, defend or explain it at all?
You know it's a deeply flawed test born out of a joke, so why not save the energy or use it to ask people about what they think and then challenge their answers?

Here's the thing people(as in masses and groups, not individuals) hate about feminists: They don't like getting told what to think. Don't bother telling them statistics or how this movie passes some hypothetical test or lives up to feminist standards, because the only thing that accomplishes is guilting and bullying people over to your side at best and alienates them at worst.

If you can't convince people on their own terms, through their own perspective or sense of morality, then you can't reach them.
What you can do instead, is have a calm and polite conversation and introduce the idea that maybe more female leads might make for more interesting movies or that every movie that has a woman in it doesn't have to be about some token romance scene or a string of body shots.
Find examples of female characters that work outside the usual confines, like Anne Lewis from Robocop, who's the only person that believes in Murphy and stakes her life on their friendship, or point out the spots where Neytiri from Avatar is a competent survivalist and ruthless fighter. Obviously there are more qualities to women than emulating typical male traits or jobs, but it's an angle to work on and it's an icebreaker that won't make you come off as another moralist trying to lecture others.

And stop saying "we" as in feminists or some subgroup of feminists. Think for yourself and don't limit your character, convictions and values to what others think of feminism. People don't care that you're a feminist, they care about the people in their immediate vicinity.

I disagree with the opening on this basis-Just because some piece of knowledge hasn't been discovered doesn't mean it is undiscoverable. This is exactly the reasoning of a creationist that demands evolution be cast away because you can't name every ancestor you've had since proto-cellular repeating chemical arrangements so instead favors "Proteus stole fire from Zues to help his creations" because of 'feels' and 'passion makes us human'.

This same way of looking at things could be applied to popular music. Mathematically, the top 100 spots have become progressingly more simple sonically since the 1960s. That has the same meta-validity and lack of individual validity that the Bechdel test does (there are good individual simple songs and complex noise) that points to the music industry as a whole attempting to mimic itself to guarantee financial success even if it undermines and ostracizes the new minded artists that are the foundation of its business in the same pathetic way triple-A games do now and Hong Kong cinema did when Bruce Lee died. That only means that we should reform our hypotheses, not throw up our hands and cry "Apollo, please drop me a base."

Long story short, the Bechdel test not serving the purpose charlatans are trotting it out for doesn't mean some assessment or means of assessment someday will not.

This is why I've said since I first heard of it that the Bechdel Test is bullshit and doesn't prove anything.

canadamus_prime:
This is why I've said since I first heard of it that the Bechdel Test is bullshit and doesn't prove anything.

Well, you were wrong about that, since it proves that the movie industry has a shocking lack of films in which two women talk about something else than men.

PlasmaCow:
I wonder if Zero Dark Thirty passes? After all it is a movie in which nearly every conversation is about one male terror suspect or another (or just straight up about Bin Laden), yes the majority of it is told from over the shoulders of two female characters.

I actually was curious enough about this to skip through the movie quickly to try and find a conversation that has more than a passing remark about something other than a man.

It fails.

The closest it gets is a female agent asking Maya whether they should do lunch sometime, but that's in a conversation that's primarily about finding some new morsel of information (about a guy) in the haystack.

So yea, the movie with quite arguably the strongest and best-written female protagonist character in recent memory fails the bechdel test. I think I can see Bob's point.

Apart from the bit where Pacific Rim was quoted as having good character development of any kind. Seriously, regardless of how cool robots vs aliens looked, that movie's character development on any front was paper-thin at best. And I'm not entirely convinced I want to hail a character as an example of good writing when I need to haul out my micrometer to compare depth.

Alterego-X:

canadamus_prime:
This is why I've said since I first heard of it that the Bechdel Test is bullshit and doesn't prove anything.

Well, you were wrong about that, since it proves that the movie industry has a shocking lack of films in which two women talk about something else than men.

Yes, but that's hardly news. Besides, as Bob pointed out, many films that fail the stupid test have great depictions of women and many that pass have piss poor depictions of women so it really doesn't prove much.

Daaaah Whoosh:
I still don't get what's so revolutionary about Mako. I found her character to be just as forgettable as the rest of them. After all, she was just "I was in danger once as a kid, this guy saved me, now he's overprotective when I want to get with this other guy, who I instantly fall in love with for no real reason". Pretty much a normal father-daughter thing going on there, and the love interest kinda felt wrong to me.

And anyway, GIANT KAIJU-RIPPING ROBOTS.

There are not very many well portrayed Asians in the movie industry, let alone Asian women. It's revolutionary in the sense that it's one of the few that actually does "OK".

As another example of this, you can count on one hand the amount of movies made about Japanese American internment.

So, all I get from this is that the Bechdel Test should have remained what it was to start with - a one-note joke in a comic that nobody cares about any more.

Seriously, reading that comic except doesn't make me start thinking philosophically about the roles women have in modern films. It makes me think about that Simpsons episode where Lisa is talking with somebody who declares himself to be a Level Five Vegan, who "won't eat anything that casts a shadow" - a selection of criteria so excessive, arbitrary, irrelevant and dogmatic that they deny themselves a whole other world of experiences. It says more to me about the character in the comic than the test she applies.

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...

... enlistment was restricted to men until fairly recently (and still is in much of the world).

Huh, very interesting, I never knew the source of the test... I've personally previously viewed it as a sometimes useful but in no way universal bit of shorthand, but it seems even that might be beyond the scope of what it was originally intended for...

canadamus_prime:
Yes, but that's hardly news. Besides, as Bob pointed out, many films that fail the stupid test have great depictions of women and many that pass have piss poor depictions of women so it really doesn't prove much.

Well it's a good thing that the test has absolutely nothing to do with how the women are depicted, otherwise everyone complaining about how bad movie X passes while good movie Y fails might actually have a point. It only exists to point out a lack of female characters in movies and the industry as a whole, not how well they're depicted.

As for a lack of female characters not being news, well no it's not, but most people probably don't really think about it all that much if at all (I know I really didn't), which would make a test that points out just how bad it is rather valuable.

So can someone point me in the direction of a flow chart to simplify what Bob is trying say here? Heh

I vaguely remember hearing about the "rule" before, and well I agree there's probably waaay more movies that fail than pass, I hardly take that as damning thing. I could make up probably make up plenty of arbitrary ground rules for internet to follow too , Like Family friendly movies where older white people try entirely too hard to be hip and say a catch phase younger people say like that is wacked! (or rap) in them fails as a movie.(usually to teens or child to show them how cool they are.) It happens a lot. Does make any movie that happens in innately bad...no as Mrs Doubtfire is not a bad movie, but Robin Williams totally rapped in that movie.

I never felt like entertainment had to answer to the some form of affirmative action. (I don't think any aspect of life should for that matter.) If someone wants create an all white remake of the color Purple starring Nick Cage, then that's their business. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eExfV_xKaiM ) I'd just prefer people set out to make best damn movies they want to make, and let social stuff sort itself out along the way. If gets aided, bonus, but I don't go to the movies to feel smug about what films I watched "reached" some social awareness based off a random rule. I go to have a good time and be entertained.

Well, the problem I have with this "test" is that it ironically winds up excluding almost all movies made by women for women, the classic "chick flicks" which make a fortune at the box office by giving women what they want. Women tend to be a lot more relational than men when it comes to movies and what they want, guys tend to not really care all that much if there is a romance subplot or not, women on the other hand are rarely interested if there isn't one that at least has some focus. What's more a lot of the "strong female characters" mentioned here like Sarah Connor, rarely seem to make many women's list of the characters that they relate to. To geeks she's cool because she's one of the quintessential female action heroes, doing the kinds of things that you would normally see a male protagonist doing, but that doesn't actually make her all that appealing to women, who do indeed produce their own action heroes and such, but it tends to be done a little differently.

It should also be noted that this test largely only works when aimed at movies, largely because they generally have right around two hours to do everything they set out to do, all of the narrative, plot/world building, character development, etc... has to happen within that time frame. As a result the time major characters spend discussing things that don't in some way related to the other major characters tends to be fairly minimal, and unless pretty much the entire cast is women, that means a dude is going to probably be involved in what they are talking about.

When it comes to TV shows, you can't easily do the same thing, because you tend to have a lot more screen time and in the scope of a series don't always have to get right to the point, though episode by episode, you might be able to make this case to some extent.

The point here is that the very idea of the "Bechnel" test implies that there is something wrong with how things are, and that this state of affairs has largely been brought about by men as some kind of perhaps unintentional oppression. I think that's far from the truth.

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