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...came here linked from a book review, and I am glad to have done so! The thread discussion is a fantastic and easy to digest example of a fairly pervasive ideology and how it seeks excuses and exemptions rather than submit itself to some honest and critical thinking. The "test" is the invention of a comic strip character, not a manifesto. Interestingly enough, the test can be a simple tool to keep in mind if a person has plans to do some critical thinking about sex and gender equality. As a simple tool, it won't teach its user critical theory or lay bare any lofty conspiracies. What it might do though, is provide a tiny lens for examining visual literature (or any cultural product) from a new angle. What it might do is plant the seed of a worthy question in the mind of someone who thinks about it. I think that real, critical thinking begins with little practice steps like this. A thinker may never be able to completely set aside their unique (or pervasive) position, but identifying that position at all is a step in the right direction. A little idea like this test is an excellent way to practice being critical of the cultural products a thinker processes. If you really want an engaging thought game, try applying the test criteria (loose or strict, or even user 99's sex-inverted test) to popular music. Who's singing? What are they singing about? What word choices are made, and what could be the motivations for specific word choice? Want to really be freaked out? Try listening to yourself when you talk. What words do *you* use that indicate gender or sex? How do you use them? As much as I dislike it I find that I use "guys" the way my grandmother uses "y'all." A never ending, and fun game of examination is the result. I have learned something from it. I bet most anyone could if they wanted to. So yes, the test isn't a thought revolution, but I think it might have the seed of one inside it...should a thinker desire to cultivate it.
Toggle Commented Apr 12, 2011 on The Bechdel Test at Parabasis
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Apr 12, 2011