Wednesday, November 06, 2002


In this Globe and Mail Arts article, author Johanna Schneller argues that recent depictions of women on film and in tv shows is bad, bad, bad. I have to say I agree with her. The examples that she quotes are particularly illuminating. Women are, indeed, entering professions in higher numbers, entering management and corporate positions, and assuming leadership roles in society. Is the result, the backlash from this, the degradation and disempowerment of women on the screen? Why do these examples (and I can think of more) seem to semonstrate a regression in women's roles - because we're moving forward IRL do we have to move backward in fictional representations, in order to keep some kind of phony balance in the way culture and gender roles are perceived? As an example, Schneller discusses Spring fashions, which were either "Take care of me or take me now. Either way, it's a pretty fraught definition of womanhood." Submissive, sweet and defenseless or dominating, potent, and aggressive. Isn't there any middle ground here? Does one have to be a siumpering dishrag or a predatory bitch? Dualisms are so unproductive, and yet here we see another dichotomous relationship being set up. Women have to fit into one or the other, right? Infuriating. It's another instantiation of the virgin/whore thing, with a slightly different spin. And of course, like the virgin/whore, la puta madre, women are put into the wonderfully impossible position of having to be both, and unable to simpultaneously perform these dichotomous identities. Either way a woman's screwed, right? (pun intended - but don't blow it out of proportion).

- posted by laurie @ 11/06/2002 10:14:00 AM
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