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June 1994


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Tom Byers <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 3 Jun 1994 15:00:47 EDT
note of 06/03/94 09:39
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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Department of English, University of Louisville
Phone: (502)852-6770 or (502)852-6801. Fax: (502)852-4182.
I'm a little puzzled, troubled, etc. A couple of days ago I tried to make a
fairly serious post about the issue of "strong women" in Hollywood, ending w/
a query as to what others have been reading in the area of Hollywood and
gender lately. At first there were no responses to this. Today there seem to
be two, though neither addresses my post directly. One is from "Denise," who
feels "a bit sarcastic and generally displeased with [what she sees as the]
hypocrisy" of the position I took on THELMA AND LOUISE--the position that it's
troubling that there were huge objections to the vengeful violence in that
movie while such violence produces far less objection when, as is common in
the film's genre, men and not women are the "buddies." I think we can
certainly take different positions on THELMA AND LOUISE, and one thing that
interests me is that the gender reversal in that film DID somehow "make
strange" a violence that has become "natural" to the genre on which this film
plays its variations. But I'm not sure what the substantive objection is to
the position that I took on the list, which is variously attributed by Denise
to hypocritical academe or the "STUPID" public.
    The other post suggests that the discussion of women in film has been too
much dominated by men. On this I'm split: on the one hand I too would like to
see more responses from women. On the other, the actual construction of the
debate so far seems to me pretty much utterly opposed to what an "identity
politics" might lead one to expect. I don't know quite what to do with all of
this; if nothing else it seems to me to show just how problematic these
questions remain--particularly the question of men's relation to feminist
Tom, who will try to shut up for awhile and watch this play itself out.
bitnet tbbyer01@ulkyvm; internet [log in to unmask]
Thomas B. Byers
Department of English/University of Louisville
Louisville KY 40292