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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Women and Feminism

This paper is a response on the topic of cinema and gender studies. There are three articles involved in the paper and these are Afterthoughts on Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema which is written by Laura Mulvey, The Hypothetical Lesbian Heroin by Chris Straayer, and Film and the Masquerade: Theorizing the Female Spectator written by Mary Anne Doane. Since cinema and gender studies are two related topics and deeply intertwined with each other, the analysis to be presented should be simple and clear.

In the Film and the Masquerade: Theorizing the Female Spectator, the author pointed out that the real nature of a woman can be viewed on what signifies man. It was supported by several analysis of Freud, Burch, Irigaray and many others. Most of the authors agree that women steal masculinity and the only way to hide it is to emphasize feminine flirtation. The strength of these arguments lies on the capability of women to excel just like as men and possess physical bodies that defy mystery. On the other hand, the weakness of the arguments is related to the fact that not all circumstances that it could be applied.

Moreover, in Afterthoughts on Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, the author believes that the third person masculine always catches as the right audience for films. Despite the fact that some people look for the representation of women, several ideas surpasses such fact which points to the power of masculinity points of view. This argument of the author was supported by the analysis of the film Duel in the Sun which reflects heroine’s crisis of sexual identity. The weakness of the argument starts with the overlapping of the ideas on the unacknowledged problem posed in the auditorium and the dramatic moving pictures in films. The strength of the argument is the fact that men overpower the presence of women characters in most films which makes the latter supporting characters only to the former.

In The Hypothetical Lesbian Heroine, the author focused on considering lesbian desire and sexuality. It was supported by analysis of films involving lesbian viewers and its effect to their gender. The strength of the article is the ability of the author to include the difference between how men fall in love and how lesbians find their love interests. The weakness of the article is that the author failed to analyze which of the two genders could create more effect towards keeping attraction more intense. Where women could attract more men, it is not always true that lesbians could attract more women.

Lastly, the article on Film and the Masquerade: Theorizing The Female Spectator is more informative compared to the others. However, the article written by Straayer about lesbians is more interesting because it touches issues that are less popular. All things considered, gender representations in films are always analyzed based on different factors in order to take a more positive and informative knowledge on the subject of inquiry. There should be no bias in understanding men, women, gays and lesbians in relation to cinematic presence.

Works Cited

Laura, Mulvey. Afterthoughts on Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema

Chris Straayer. The Hypothetical Lesbian Heroin

Mary Anne Doane. Film and the Masquerade: Theorizing The Female Spectator

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