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Ray Girvan

"Either way, it isn’t good ... This is also part of a long history of the subjugation of women"

Michel Foucalt's ideas seem very applicable. He argued that sadomasochism's adoption of trapppings of historical prisons, punishment and slavery reflected a similar behavioural subtext in "strategic power". Exactly the same could be argued about this excessive hardware used in gynaecological examination and childbirth; it suggests the designers' attitudes were very creepy. Cronenberg's "Dead Ringers" springs to mind.

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