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Just a note re the gender and cinema tools/instruments thread:

This conversation about 'astonishment' of sexual portrayals of women
without a similar astonishment about stereotyping, even sexually
narrow, portrayals of men is in itself a most astonishing phenomena.
Are we (film and gender scholars) blind, too narrowly focused on our
own gender navels, too unable to see the effects of such one-dimensional
focus on women?  An unarticulated assumption of such a focus on
women seems to be that men are favored by the tools of cinema
production.  But "favored"? Advantaged in some way?  How?  If men
inherit a culture's conditioning for taking up tools and instruments
and the resulting authority or 'power' to create the stories and
images of our lives, how is that burden in the long run only an
'advantage' for their gender--and somehow a disadvantage for
women?  Are power and authority to create
because they (men) inherit the disposition to make the stories of our
lives only an advantage?  And if women do not inherit an equal
disposition to take up the tools and instruments of creating our
culture's stories thereby disadvantaged... ONLY?

What seems more and more clear as film and gender scholars press into
gender research is the paradox of advantage/disadvantage and
empowerment/disempowerment... not the opposite... that women,
for instance, are somehow ONLY victimized or that men are
ONLY, by implication, favored or advantaged.  The line of
questioning and conclusion drawing of this latest discussion
thread seems to be astonishingly one dimensional.

Surely, the interest (somewhere in us) is to see both men and women
inherit from our culture's conditioning (or redirect gene construction...
if that is what must happen) a similar disposition for wielding the
tools and instruments of cinema.  But to invest scholarship in just a
one-dimensional take on women is surely not the best way to go
about achieving this end.

All comments so far seem healthy, intelligent, and correct, but
could we not open up the subject a bit more, to complicate it...
as it surely needs to be?




In a message dated 1/26/03 10:54:25 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:

<< Most of us are sensible to the surprising
>>  resurgence [laugh] of the male gaze in visual media.

>> I for one am bored and intellectually astonished at the frequently
obscene,
>> let alone sexist, portrayals of women, their lives, and their actuality
in
>> media.

the propensity of mass culture and mass media to
see/portray women as "essentially" sexual, hardly
needs to be argued . . . and this tendency is, as
susanna suggests, very much having a "resurgence"

. . . still, this does not necessarily entail the corollary
claim that the instruments of sexism are themselves
gendered male and inherently [if not "essentially"]
sexist . . . even though some tools or instruments
seem predisposed to lead in certain specific
directions [e.g., the apparatus of television seems
to entail different cultural formations than the
apparently similar apparatus of cinema] it surely
remains possible to appropriate a single apparatus
or mechanism for radically different purposes . . . the
fact that the camera has been appropriated for
sexist purposes may say much more about access
to money and other resources [including cameras,
film, support systems, etc.]  than about anything
inherent in cameras themselves
 >>

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