Contains 40,000 articles from more than 100 journals, magazines, newsletters, special reports, unpublished papers and conference proceedings devoted to gender and women's issues. Holdings: The database contains a large body of archival material, in some cases, as far back as 1970.
Call#: Van Pelt Library HD9970.5.C483 U655 2006
Complementing other sociological reports for this paper, Helen Macnaughtan's article on women in the workforce provides intriguing insight into Tokyo Story's world. Traditionally, middle class women did not have jobs and instead were expected to take care of the home. Beginning after World War II, however, legislation, such as the 1947 Labour Standards Law, emancipated women in the labor force. Macnaughtan sees a few key trends following the war; first, the number of female workers increased significantly. Second, there was a noticeable increase specifically for middle-aged women. Finally, although women were working more than the past, they remained "supplementary to the core of predominantly male permanent workers," (40).
This trend of women in the workplace is visible in Tokyo Story through the characters Noriko and Shige. Both women, who in the past would not have had a job, are both full time workers. Had they not been working, they would have been responsible for taking take of and spending time with Shukishi and Tomi. For Shige, her job as a hairdresser takes away time that she would otherwise spend with her parents. While Shige can come off as an uncaring person, it is fair to blame her inattentiveness on post-war pressures and expectations of city living. Noriko, although full employed as well, is better able to manage her time. She dedicates tremendous amounts of her days with the parents, even though she is not even a blood relative. Through his writing and direction, Ozu gets his audience to love Noriko which clearly shows Ozu's love of the family. By casting a negative shadow on the less caring character, Ozu tries to promote family life in the face of modernity's new social roles.
Citation: LaSalle, Mick. Complicated Women : Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood. Boston: Saint Martin's Griffin, 2001. 1-1.
This book talks about the negative impact that the production code had on the portrayal of women in cinema. The author describes a time before the code when women could enjoy being women without having to apologize for it. She describes that women were allowed to “have fun”, “take on lovers and have children out of wedlock”. The introduction explains that part of the reason the code was implemented was to stop women from enjoying these freedoms onscreen and put them back in their place, the kitchen.
This section relates heavily to the character of Rio, played by Jane Russell in The Outlaw. Before the code, there would have been little to no qualms about her showing as much skin and cleavage. However, due to the Hays code, which aimed at making movies more moral, her character was stifled. Some of the controversy over the questionable integrity of the film was partly due to the fact that Jane Russell was a female actress attempting to express her female sexuality in a time where it was not appreciated.
Citation: Von Papen, Manuel. “Keeping the Home Fires Burning? Women and the German Homefront Film 1940-1943.” Film History. Vol. 8.1 (Spring, 1996): pp. 44-63
Within this article, Von Papen attempts to depict what constitutes a home front film as well as their impact on Gemran society. He explains that the Home front film can be described as an entertainment film. Typically, the home front film is a love story, comedy, or entertainment film that serves as a reminder of everyday life. The author goes on to describe, in detail, the components of film that would constitute it as a home-front film. First, Von Papen explains that the plot must contain a love story between a man off at war and a woman back at home, holding down the fort. Next, he explains that the woman must be employed in occupations such as a conductress, auxiliary nurse, or actress, and emphasizes the fact that, in home front film, women are always looking for a man. He further describes the crucial components of home front films by focusing on the fact that women in the films typically go through a learning process during wartime in which they come to recognize that their own private happiness may have to be put on hold for the greater good of their man and country. Additionally, the author reiterates that idea that, in home front film, lthere is little mention of the hardship of the war; rather, there is a positive mentality that is maintained throughout the films. Finally, it is noted that these films embody romances which stand the test of time and separation and end up with the lovers finding each other again after some time.
In his observation of Wunschkonzert, the author focuses on the fact that the film depicts war in a very light manner. For example, he includes the fact that soldiers within the film are always seen enjoying a musical performance or even their own engagement party, or seen writing letters to loved ones back home. In addition, the author emphasizes that only one death occurs in the film and the death is seen as positive due to the fact that the character suffered death in the name of his country.
This article helps us to fully gain knowledge on the aspects of the film that categorize Wunschkonzert as a home-front film. Indeed, the romance between Inge and Herbert fall under the criteria stated above and Inge plays the role of a faithful lover who is willing to stand the test of time and support the war efforts in the name and honor of her fighting lover. In addition, the author’s description of the lighthearted approach to war in the film proves to an even greater extent the way in which this film uses the notion of entertainment to show audiences that war does not have to be seen as aggression or violent fight against an enemy; instead, the film aims at demonstarting the importance of staying optimistic, loyal, and proud of not only their fighting loved ones but also Germany as a whole.
Citation: Giesen, Rolf. Nazi Propaganda Films: a history and filmography. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2003. 151-162
The chapter entitled “Black-Out: The Home Front, or “That’s Not the End of the World,” describes movies during the Nazi film period which focused on the environment back at home during wartime in Germany. Throughout the chapter, the author depicts the role of women during this period by showing that the typical bride or fiancé in many films would be waiting for their brave, faithful soldier to return victoriously. Within the chapter, Giesen discusses Wunschkonzert as an example of a home front film. He explains the way in which movies such as these strived to keep German spirits high through a focus on music and an upbeat screenplay that depicts war in a positive light. It is also important to recognize that Wunschkonzert can be used to better understand the role of women at the time. Through the character of Inge Wagner, we witness the way in which women in German society reacted to war. Despite being separated for three years, Inge waits for Herbert and remains devoted to him until they are reunited in a hospital.
Through Giesen’s depiction of Wunschkonzert, we gain a greater understand of the way in which entertainment film was used by the Nazi regime to unite German society and keep spirits high in the time of war. Indeed, through the character of Inge Wagner, women throughout Germany were given an example of what it means to be in support of soldiers and their country in a time of fighting, yet another way in which the Nazi regime gained support through entertainment film.
Leslie Harris writes her review of Ar'n't I a Woman? written by Deborah Gray White and compliments White's accurate depiction of slave women and their lifestyles. Harris mentions that the relationship between enslaved women and men was unusually egalitarian, sharing roles within the family. Also, they had different ways of sharing and "transmitting moral, sexual, and marital knowledge." She argues that this piece of writing serves as a basis for many studies of the gendered history of slavery, yet it still needs to further investigate the private lives of enslaved women.
Harris, Leslie. “Ar'n't I a Woman?, Gender, and Slavery Studies.” Journal of Women's History 19.2 (2007): 151-155,211. GenderWatch (GW). ProQuest. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. 1 Dec. 2008 < http://elinks.library.upenn.edu/sfx_local?genre=article;issn=10427961;title=Journal%20of%20Women%27s%20History;volume=19;issue=2;date=20070601;atitle=%22Ar%27n%27t%20I%20a%20Woman%3F%2C%22%20Gender%2C%20and%20Slavery%20Studies.;spage=151;sid=EBSCO%3Akeh;pid=Harris%2C%20Leslie2578359020070601keh.>
Le Fanu, Mark. "Geisha, Prostitution, and the Street." Mizoguchi and Japan. London: BFI Publishing, 2005. 69-95.
Mark Le Fanu's book provides excellent criticism on the surviving films of Mizoguchi. In the cited chapter, Le Fanu examines seven films that deal with the worlds of prostitution and the geisha of Kyoto. Le Fanu points out that the geisha's main function was an artistic one. He points out that Sisters of the Gion is primarily concerned with the characters' need for patronage and the geisha's exchange of freedom for money. He also sees Omocha as a free, brave spirit who stands out for her rebellion in a time when Japanese women were expected to be meek and submissive. Finally, Le Fanu confronts the problem of the film's ending. While many critics believe it to be too abrupt and explicit, Le Fanu believes that this change in pace is what gives the film its power: not only does Omocha's soliloquy explicitly point at the plight of geisha, but it is the only moment of the film in which we see such raw emotion (Kimura's bitter revenge is remarkably restrained).
While my emphasis in this project is on Japanese society as a whole, it is important not to ignore the fact that Sisters of the Gion examines the unique role of Japanese geisha in the 1930s. The principal motivation for Omocha's actions is to secure a new kimono for Umekichi so that she can participate in a dance. In fact, this is the only explicit mention of the geisha's artistic role; Mizoguchi largely overlooks it in order to focus on the importance of patronage. Perhaps Sisters of the Gion is a directed criticism of the geisha, but I am of the opinion that Le Fanu's analysis is too directed. It is not so much geishadom as a whole that Mizoguchi opposes (after all, the artistic role of the geisha does not come under fire), but rather the feudal values that surround it. Mizoguchi's chief criticism is the required subservience of women. These female performers, who carry out a highly celebrated artistic function (according to Le Fanu) must essentially sell themselves in order to survive. Yet in attempting to pursue this goal, they are resented or defamed for their methods. It may be an extreme case, but Kimura's revenge is a manifestation of this criticism.
Mellen, Joan. "Women in Japan." The Waves at Genji's Door: Japan through its Cinema. New York: Pantheon Books, 1976. 247-269.
Joan Mellen's book studies Japanese film by placing it in its historical, social, and political context. In this particular section, Mellen examines the traditional role of women in Japan. She claims that women in Japanese film (even after World War II) are rarely portrayed as independent beings with rights of their own. She then discusses the concept of giri (preconceived social obligations), claiming that even when women in Japanese film are pursuing personal inclinations, they are really only given the choice between different giri. Mellen then examines this concept in Shinoda's 1969 film, Double Suicide; her analysis yields a dichotomy in many Japanese films between "wife and whore" (or "wife" and "loose woman"). She then continues to examine the role of women in the films of Mizoguchi (she does not, however, look at Sisters of the Gion), stating that all of Mizoguchi's films reveal the director's belief that Japanese women are forced to sacrifice themselves by virtue of existing.
The feudal concept of giri resonates throughout Sisters of the Gion. Umekichi's devotion to Furosawa and her refusal to solicit another patron is as much a function of her love for the man as it is a result of her commitment to giri. Similarly, when Furosawa returns to his wife, he is fulfilling his own obligation to her; in the end, he chooses his giri to "wife" over that owed to his "whore". On the other hand, Omocha rebels against the notion of giri when she rejects Kimura and seduces Kudo. Additionally, by using Furosawa's poverty as a failure to fulfill his giri to the women in his life as justification for breaking Umekichi's giri, Omocha offers a glimpse at the double standard of Japanese society.
Yet perhaps more interesting, Sisters of the Gion examines the obligations between sisters. While appearing to reject the notion of giri altogether, Omocha's efforts to improve her sister's lot in life (by soliciting a wealthy patron) actually show a high level of commitment to her sister. Much in the same vein, despite finding Omocha's interference in her life to be despicable, Umekichi ultimately returns to her sister's side. Thus, while Mellen might believe that Mizoguchi laments that women who are forced to sacrifice their lives in the name of duty, there is no criticism of the social obligations between family. His problem, then, is not with the sacrifice of women in Japanese society, but the apparent subservience of the giri of women to the obligations of men (this is further demonstrated by the devastating effects of Furosawa's choice to return home to his wife).
Lopate, Phillip. "A Master Who Could Create Poems for the Eye." New York Times 15 Sept. 1995: H15+
Lopate examines the work of Mizoguchi in preparation for a coming Mizoguchi retrospective in New York City. Lopate raises the debate as to whether Mizoguchi can truly be considered a champion of women's rights; he claims that many feminist film critics believe that his attention to the sufferings of women is "disguised sadism". In particular, did Mizoguchi attempt to represent the pressures faced by the geisha in order to show the oppression of Japanese society, or was he in favor of the traditional practice that many feminists see as degrading women. Lopate points out that Mizoguchi often explored women's mistrust of men (he points explicitly to Omocha in Sisters of the Gion). He continues by considering the auteur's use of long takes in portraying extreme conflict or emotion.
The debate is particularly relevant to Sisters of the Gion; it is central to the issues surrounding the film's cryptic ending. While the detachment produced by the camerawork suggests a disregard for the fate of the film's characters, I find little evidence to believe that Mizoguchi is championing the traditional values that kept Japanese women on a lower social tier than men. After all, the traditional Umekichi, who remains faithful to her patron, does not end up happy at the end of the film. In fact, Furosawa's departure reflects a bitter cynicism towards the treatment of women at the hands of Japanese men. While Omocha's accident could be a form of punishment for her action, the sudden close-up at the end suggests that we are to identify with her pain rather than chastise her for her actions.
Wada-Marciano, Mitsuyo. "Imaging Modern Girls." Nippon Modern: Japanese Cinema of the 1920s and 1930s. Honolulu: University of
Hawai'i Press, 2008. 76-110.
In this chapter from Mitsuyo Wada-Marciano's books, the author explores the idea of the modern girl (or moga). Wada-Marciano claims that the "woman's film genre" reflects the discourse on the experience of modernity. She elaborates by saying that the function of the modern girl in movies was to give form to an "invisible, unacknowledged Japanese anxiety" (88). The chapter ends by considering the dichotomy between the modern girl and the traditional woman as representative of the Japanese society as a whole.
We can consider Omocha to be Sisters of the Gion's modern girl. When contrasted to the other characters around her, she demonstrates progressive ideas (notably, equality between men and women). If we consider her further to represent a problem in to the Japanese socioeconomic status quo, Omocha does not only represent the threat of feminism to the geisha tradition but also the threat of a powerful, modern women successfully manipulating men in order to achieve her desires. Meanwhile, Umekichi can be seen as the status quo; she is undemanding and willing to accept what life hands her.
Cherneff, Jill BR. " Dreams Are Made like This: Hortense Powdermaker and the Hollywood Film Industry." Journal of Anthropological Research. Vol. 47, No. 4 (Winter 1991), pp.429-440. JSTOR. 9 Apr. 2008. <http://www.jstor.org/action/showArticle?doi=10.2307/3630352&Search=yes&term=dreams&term=hollywood&item=5&returnArticleService=showArticle&ttl=3533&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dhollywood%2Bdreams;gw%3Djtx;prq%3Djeepers%2Bcreepers;Search%3DSearch;hp%3D25>.
This article largely chronicles and responds to Hortense Powdermaker’s study of Hollywood culture in the late 1940s. In the book, she wrote following her study, Powdermaker highlights the struggle between art and business and Hollywood and suggests the social underpinnings of Hollywood culture determine what types of films are made. Powdermaker’s original contention is that the Hollywood film has had an impact on human behavior as dramatic as that of the wheel’s invention. Powdermaker observed that the power of movies lies in it’s depiction of apparent reality—that what appears on the screen looks real and thus must accompany real values and ideas to be absorbed. The remainder of the article focuses less on Powdermaker’s conclusions and research in order to focus on analyzing the research itself. The author discusses the challenges facing Powdermaker in reporting on a population unlike those most anthropologists focus on. Further, the author notices the absence of women in important roles behind the lens in Powdermaker’s research and contextualizes this historically as well as socially.
On a superficial level, it is interesting how Powdermaker’s journey in conducting her research mirrors that of Tod in the film The Day of the Locust. Both leave a successful endeavor at Yale and go to Hollywood for a sociological investigation of sorts—Powdermaker an unbiased anthropological study and Tod an emotional snapshot of Hollywood’s locusts. Some of Powdermaker’s research sheds light on the images of the industry contained in the film, such as the hierarchy of production and the social constructs behind the films.
Call#: Van Pelt Library HQ1762 .J38 1995
Carty, Victoria. "Textual Portrayals of Female Athletes: Liberation of Nuanced Forms of Patriarchy?" Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 26.2 (2005): 132-172.
In Victoria Carty's article, she explores the portrayal of female athletes in today’s media by looking at print ads and television and radio commentary within the context of the radical feminist and post-feminist discourse. Carty states that while radical feminists embrace women’s increased opportunities to participate and thrive in competitive sports, they argue that the commoditization and subsequent exploitation of female athletes’ sexuality not only diminishes their athletic accomplishments but also reinforces the strength of the patriarchal system. On the other hand, post-feminists do not accept the objectification of women, but instead choose to work within the male-centered system that their radical feminist counterparts abhor. By choosing to use their sexuality as strength, post-feminists work to change the system from within by using the attributes that were once deemed as impediments to their advantage. Carty ultimately argues that female athletes and their supporters must ignore the oppressive qualities of commercialized competitive sports and instead use sports to their advantage.
While the film itself does not center around sports (although it is interesting to note that Dr. Peterson is characterized as a frustrated gymnast and avid swimmer during her introduction to Dr. Edwardes), the article becomes relevant to Spellbound if one approaches the work environment of Green Manors as a place not of competitive athletes, but of competitive intellectuals. Obviously there are differences between physical and mental competition, but in many ways the environments created by the competitive attitude are remarkably similar. The treatment of Dr. Peterson played by Ingrid Bergman is extremely similar to the atmosphere that Carty argues many female athletes encounter in today’s culture. While it appears that Dr. Peterson attempts to obscure her sexuality by wearing glasses and a baggy and unflattering lab coat in her work environment, a move that would find favor with radical feminist ideology, she also builds and nurtures strong relationships with her male coworkers, which according to post-feminists is one way to reinforce one’s heterosexuality and appear less threatening to the in-control males. Dr. Peterson constantly is forced to play within the boundaries that society has set up for her, case in point is her later encounter with the hotel detective. While she is portrayed as a strong female through out the film, she can never escape the behavioral expectations that force her altar her action and strategy in order to conform to the laws of men.
tagged discrimination sports women by merhaupt ...on 10-APR-08
After watching Pather Panchali, and reading an article like this, it becomes evident that a Satyajit Ray injected aspects of his own personality when molding characters for his movies. The elegance and calmness with which he viewed the world seems to be reflected in the father's character in the movie. Also, Durga seems to be the quintessential example of Ray's view of Indian women of the time, as he shows a young girl full of life, yet extremely responsible towards her family. Therefore, in order to understand Ray as a person, it is of paramount importance to watch his first, and possibly last film.
This article is very pertinent to Pather Panchali because although it is meant to be a story about a young boy Apu, the dominant characters of the film are played by two women - Durga and her mother. Apu is brought up in a household of three women who are at different stages in their lives. Thus overall the movie has a very comprehensive and real take on women of all ages, living in poverty in a small village in Bengal. Ray's depiction of women here is a mixture of the two ideas of the portrayal of women in Indian cinema. Although the mother seems to be more wary of her relationship with her husband, she is the sole caretaker of her two children, thereby stressing her role as both mother and wife. This is a realistic depiction of women in cinema, and came about at a time where people (Indian audiences) were not ready to accept such a strong reality. Thus, the movie was termed as an art-house film in India, although it received worldwide recognition.
tagged bollywood ray women by kjhalani ...on 10-APR-08
Call#: Van Pelt Library HQ1453 .R35 1996
Call#: Van Pelt Library HQ1236.5.S72 T55 1997
Call#: Van Pelt Library HQ1735.8 .W645 1995
Call#: Van Pelt Library DA380 .C74 1997
Call#: Van Pelt Library GT2465.G7 F57 2004
Friedberg, Anne. “An Unheimlich Maneuver between Psychoanalysis and Cinema: Secrets of the Soul (1926).” The Films of G.W. Pabst: An Extraterritorial Cinema. Ed. Eric Rentschler. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers UP, 1990.
Friedberg introduces her article with a look at the twin birth of psychoanalysis and cinema and argues that "Freud's theory of the unconscious. . .was, from the start, a theory in search of an apparatus. Yet the cinema, an apparatus which could reproduce and project specular images, from its beginnings, an apparatus in search of a theory" (41). Drawing on Chodorkoff and Baxter, Friedberg offers a reading of the history of the making of Secrets of the Soul, including Freud's rejection of the project. She calls the film the first 'that directly tried to represent psychoanalytic descriptions of the etiology of a phobia and the method of psychoanalytic treatment" (45). Friedberg points to the various ironic name puns having to do with Freud's lack of involvment in the film: that Pabst, the director of Joyless Street--Die FREUDlose Gasse (my emphasis) was asked to direct a film "mit Freud," when Freud refused to be involved; and that the actor who plays the pshychoanalyst in Secrets, Pavel Pavlov, shares his name with "Freud's mightiest theoretical opponent, the physiologist Ivan Pavlov" (46). Friedman goes on to describe and analyze the film, which she notes is separated into five parts: Pre-Dream; The Dream; Post-Dream; Analysis; and Cure. She notes that the happy ending of the film works as a kind of advertisement for psychoanalysis, arguing that Abraham and Sachs in consulting on the film, intented to "extol its curative virtues" (51).
Call#: Van Pelt Library PN1995.9.W6 S57 1988
Call#: Van Pelt Library CT275.G74 A3 1995
Call#: Van Pelt Library PS3507.O726 Z88 2001
Wood examines how Disney uses his film Cinderella to “civilize” his viewers by presenting models of proper behavior while entertaining them. Snow White, like Cinderella, sings while she does her household chores. In analyzing Disney’s conservative ideology, she touches upon how his views affect his other works, such as Snow White.
To keep his films entertaining, Disney reworked European marchen. He included well-loved romantic plots and added comic relief through subplots involving animals and secondary characters, such as the dwarves in Snow White. Marriage is based on love, rather than family constraints. “Love’s first kiss” wakes both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty from their slumbers. Disney used realism in his animated films to present a sense of immediacy to his audience. He included a solid plot and clear personalities to the characters so that viewers would feel a deeper connection with the story. The seven dwarves in Snow White each have their own unique name, temperament, and appearance. The recurring gags, often in the form of handicaps, also keep children viewers interested. For example, Dopey is mute and clumsy while Doc has a stutter and is absent-minded.
Disney supports wish-fulfillment, as is evident in his films. Dreams in Cinderella are similarly important in Snow White. While Cinderella sings of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” Snow White opens her story with “I’m wishing / For the one I love / To find me.” Disney reassures viewers that with good effort and self-control, one will get the desired result. According to him, the ultimate wish for girls is to marry the rich and handsome Mr. Right.
Shortsleeve tries to articulate the fear that Disney inspires in critics, and from where this fear originates. He views it as a slippery slope process. Beginning in the 1930’s, criticism of Disney’s corporate, artistic, and public influences worsened with time. Disney’s personal ideology, reflected in the way he worked with people, appears in his films.
Walt Disney elicits a range of complaints from critics. The primary one that appears is of the “Disneyfication” of fairy tales, the simplification of stories. Many critics view the Disney versions as patronizing and overly sentimental. Disney has created a form of entertainment that restricts thought-provoking expression. Others argue that the racial stereotypes Disney shows in his films encourage racism in viewers across the world and further US imperialist agenda. Feminists claim that depictions of Barbie-like heroines give young girls negative body images. Some say that Walt Disney has unacceptable labor practices in his studios and that he displays a false innocence to the media.
Shortsleeve believes that what frightens people is that the Disney Company has remained unchanged from its glory days in the 1930’s. After bitter arguments with his animators in 1941, Walt Disney lost his confidence, and the company ideologically stalled in the “magic” of the ‘30s. The company still exhibits contradictory values, with heavy-handed management of employees, yet support for the common man in its films. The incongruity of its totalitarian tendencies with its democracy attractions at its amusement parks leads to confusion from critics and the general public alike. This confusion has led to tension, suspicion, and paranoia.
Despite his criticism, Shortsleeve acknowledges the positive impact Disney has had on America, especially during the Great Depression. Audiences wanted to escape their dreary lives for two hours, to enter a fantasy world where everything ends happily. When Disney decided to create his first full-length animated film (Snow White), even his oppressed employees regained new hope and excitement at the thought of being involved in such a ground-breaking project.
Snow White exhibits the “Disneyfication” about which so many critics complained. It diverges from the original Grimm version toward simplification and sentimentality. Disney’s clear belief in self-reliance and hard work are evident in the dwarves’ “Heigh Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go” song, as well as in Snow White’s agreeable temperament while doing chores. Disney expected his animators to work just as willingly, but they were unhappy that they would not receive screen credit for their efforts, and so began the strike in ’41 that destroyed Walt’s confidence and locked the company in its ‘30s mindset.
Stone argues that Walt Disney has created household names of heroines in his films, but in so doing, is encouraging passivity and inaction from female viewers who are influenced by the pretty-but-dumb characters. Disney has changed the role of women from the original stories for the worse in his films. The Grimm brothers have 40 heroines in their tales, and not all are passive and pretty. Their villains are not always women, either. While Grimm heroines are often not rewarded for having spirit, Disney females are even less so. The three Disney films based on other fairy tales (Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella) all star an innocent, beautiful girl who is victimized by a jealous, evil villainess.
Disney encourages the image of a perfect housewife in his heroines. They all exhibit patience, obedience, passivity, diligence, silence, and beauty. To become a heroine for Disney, one must have all those qualities. To mute the heroine inside oneself, one must simply don dirty rags. While in Disney, Cinderella is only a heroine when properly cleaned and dressed, in traditional fairy tales, the heroines may be unattractive and disheveled. Their appearance does not affect their success. In Snow White, it is her beauty that eventually leads to her success. It is because of her face that the prince falls in love with her and frees her from sleeping death with love’s first kiss.
In recent tales, there is great disparity between hero and heroine characteristics. Heroes are judged on their ability to overcome difficulties. They succeed by acting. Heroines, on the other hand, do not develop throughout the story because they start out perfect, without defects. All they need is their beauty and passivity to succeed. This is apparent in both the Grimm and Disney versions of Snow White. Snow White’s beauty is emphasized, as is her kindness toward others and chipper attitude toward housework. She does nothing in either version, except clean house and look pretty, qualities that Stone believes Disney is encouraging in women throughout the world.
In this article, Dowd and Pallotta offer a sociological perspective on the movie genre of romantic comedies. Cultural ideals of romance, they say, have changed throughout time, and the changes of the 20th century can be analyzed through movies. Movies are imbedded with cultural scripts that reflect the social norms of various ages. Dowd and Pallotta aim to complete a systematic analysis of romantic comedies, and to do so, they set strict definitions for what would constitute such a movie, leaving out movies that were no longer available, movies that featured romance only as a side plot, movies that mixed genres, and more. After using their definitions to rule out all inapplicable films, they ends up 182 films that qualified, all made between 1930 and 1999. Though not individually analyzed, Sabrina was included in this group of films, thus contributing to the analysis as a whole.
Because this article takes a methodological approach, it is not very accessible for the average film scholar. It also talks about trends as a whole, leaving out the detailed scene analyses that those interested in films often enjoy. But the article does a good job of trying to examine what the medium of film might have to say about our culture, and its strength lies in its ability to offer empirical evidence of trends, such as an explosion of romantic comedies in the 1990s, as opposed to individual examples. In this way, we can look at the trends of particular decades. When Sabrina was released, in the 1950s, for example, romantic drama was more popular than romantic comedy, a reversal of what is currently true. Other subsets that are popular now, such as teen romances or romances that feature supernatural elements (like 1990's Ghost), were nearly nonexistent in the 1950s.
The study also found that cultural conditions have effectively killed many formerly popular plotlines of romance movies. Couples in different classes, for example, no longer offer a "convincing dramatic impediment." Movies that feature these aging romantic conventions," then, can only remain popular today as "relics of an earlier era." This statement serves to justify Sabrina's ongoing popularity despite its perhaps hard-to-swallow plotline. All in all, romantic films, even the current ones, do continue to reinforce some of the more conservative romantic tendencies in our culture, namely the importance of marriage and fidelity, and this has not changed since the days when Sabrina was released.
All three versions have the same essential Cinderella story skeleton. The "Cinderella" terminology that is often used in describing them is not quite apt, however, because the character of Sabrina is self-reliant and never depends on a man to save her. How strong she is does vary from version to version, though.
Wood argues that in the original play, Sabrina is autonomous, politically active, and well-educated. She returns from Paris not because she is in love with David Larrabee, but to escape a marriage proposal that she doesn't want to be tied down to. She doesn't need to be rescued, and her relationship with Linus becomes one of mutual companionship. Gender and class issues are sidestepped when Sabrina declares herself as self-supporting and her chauffer father comes into a windfall of money.
In the play's original adaptation for the screen, Wilder and his associates conceived Sabrina as a teenager in puppy love. Though her time in Paris leaves her sophisticated, this Sabrina is not educated or assertive, like her predecessor, and becomes an object to be passed between the Larrabee brothers. She chooses Linus, in the end, because she wanted to care for him. Wood argues that this allows the movie to become "a dark study of gender," because "Sabrina feels strongest when she is helpful to others, when she denies her own needs and desires." Wood refers to the theories of developmental psychologist Nancy Chodorow, which state that while boys develop intimacy problems, girls learn to doubt their identities. This can lead to passivity and vulnerability to manipulation in women like Sabrina.
Wood reasons that the 1995 film version, while not without problems, is instilled with better representations of gender politics. The Sabrina character is in the fashion industry, less domestic than cooking, and while in Paris she "finds herself." This autonomous description is at odds with her actions, though, as she still displays a tendency towards caretaking.
All three versions are at fault because class and gender problems disappear without explanation during the happy ending. The film versions, though, let Sabrina be manipulated by men and lose her own identity. Wood's analysis of the role of gender in the play and films gives readers a way to understand these ingrained cultural messages, rather than just consuming the film as entertainment.
Call#: Lippincott Library HD6079.2.U5 N53 1982
Call#: Van Pelt Library HQ800.2 .I85 2002
Call#: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks PS338.W6 P48 1997
Call#: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks PS338.N4 W22 1998
Call#: Van Pelt Library PR739.F45 A77 2003
Call#: Van Pelt Library PR739.F45 G75 2003
Call#: Van Pelt Library PS261 .S57 2002
Call#: Van Pelt Library PS338.W6 C73 2004
Call#: Van Pelt Library Reference Stacks PS338.W6 P48 1997
Women in the Israel Defense Forces : a symposium held on 21 November 2002 at the Israel Democracy Institute / [editor in chief, Uri Dromi]. [9657091683 ] Jerusalem : Army and Society Forum, 2003.
Call#: Van Pelt Library UB419.I75 W65 2003
Gefen and Ridings, both local Philadelphia scholars, begin by recapping women's and men's sociolinguistic patterns of discourse as prior discussed in the literature. They hypothesize that women, more than men, will wish to both receive support from and give support to a virtual community in which they are participating. In addition, they hypothesize that such support will influence women's assessment of the quality of that virtual community, and that women will more constantly than men rate their virtual community as having higher quality. They surveyed 39 discussion boards, which they divided into men's, women's, and mixed boards. As to be expected, women more than men were found to go to discussion boards for support. One of the interesting results they found is that the men surveyed also sought rapport and support, but did so more often in men's-only communities, presumably where an expectation of common language would be held, and did not rate them lower in quality, even though rapport-seeking can be considered as indicating inferior social status among men according to past sociolinguistic studies. When the men did seek rapport in mixed-gender groups, it did not affect their assessment of the board's quality because there was an expectation of rapport-seeking inherent in the mixed-gender environment, since women were present and rapport-seeking is a characteristic of women's speech. The authors admit that even as they tried to control for gender-bias in the chosen bulletin boards, that some of the communities were specifically support/rapport based (eg. cancer support) and that may have skewed the data towards women's speech and away from men's speech.
In this article, Herring discusses her research into both asynchronous communication via discussion list and synchronous communication via IRC in which women were subject to harassment and demeaning characterizations by men. In both instances, the result was that the affected women fell silent or complied with the male behavioral normatives. I think it is important to note the forums chosen, as there may have been some issues inherent to the discussion which should be considered above and beyond the linguistic patterns. The discussion list was Paglia-L, a group dedicated to discuss the writings of the cultural theorist Camille Paglia, who is often referred to as an "anti-feminist feminist" and who often generates polemical discussions among women as often as in mixed company. The IRC channel was #india which is primarily composed of expatriates from India living in English-speaking countries, and as such, specific Indian cultural patterns may have also influenced the speech found on that channel. What is most useful to me from this essay is how Herring defines harassment online, shows examples of its resistance and escalation, and finally shows how the female participants accommodate or conform to the degrading situation. If these examples can be extended across the internet, it would indicate that male-female communication suffers from similar breakdowns as those that can occur on the job or in any face-to-face situation where harassment may surface and as such, that we have a long way to go to address gender equality online.
PDF/full text available
Winter and Huff's study focuses on a 1996 survey of a women's only online bulletin board for computer scientists called SYSTERS. Although the study is 9 years old, it still brings voice to women who were previously marginalized as gender minorities in their field of work/study. The authors discuss the issue of same-gender boards being both "havens" and "ghettos" for women online, and also provide some support for Cass Sunstein's theory that the internet allows for the consolidation of like opinions - both positive and negative, as in the case of women's forums and online sexual harassment, respectively. Based upon their work, the authors felt that the differences between the genders in online communication was equal or magnified to that present in speech.
Soukup's study focuses upon two chatrooms - one sports-related and male-dominated, and the other female-based and female-dominated. His results support the ideas cited by Tannen and others in linguistic studies of discourse, in that the male chatters were more aggressive, argumentative, and power-seeking than the female chatters. It's unclear to me whether the results can be viewed as reliable or representative, since there may be an inherent social context to a sports-related chatroom/bulletin board that goes above and beyond being merely a male-dominant community. For example, Soukup cites the fact that the sports-related chatroom essentially turned into a locker room replete with profane and sexist language, including sexual put-downs and challenges between male chatters. He goes on to note that when male chatters entered the chatroom of the female-based community, that there was frequent inappropriate behavior such that groups of male chatters would take-over the room with sexist remarks or propositioning of the female members.
Shade's research, although not linguistic in nature, is useful to provide a background into women's roles in constructing the Internet. She begins by reviewing research on gendered uses of various communications technologies, including the telephone, radio, and television. She discusses cyberactivism and feminism, as well as public policy determining women's access to the internet. She cites a case study of women in China and internet access implementation and concludes with a discussion of whether women are merely consumers targeted by merchants or active citizens in an online sisterhood (discussions that we have held in class as well).
In this essay, Frederick examines the question of whether computer-mediated communication is truly a democratic utopia where feminist values can flourish. By studying data from 2 newsgroups, alt.feminism and soc.feminism, she demonstrates that discrimination and exclusion/hostility can continue to occur, even in a supposedly inclusive and politically feminist context. She concentrates on the ethos of the newsgroups as the basis for constructing either a welcoming or distancing communication arena. My interest in this article stems from this notion of ethos because I think that it a highly influencing factor which combines with inherent linguistic features of women's speech to produce a speech community. I believe that any future discussions of the social structure of online communication must address ethos as well as linguistic differences in order to prevent factionalization or balkanization of men and women online, much as one might approach a dialog about multiculturalism and the internet.
In this compilation of essays edited by Jones, the central theme is about how the internet is a virtual culture of its own and how that culture can be described in sociological terms. Of particular interest to me for fan related discourse is Watson's study of the Phish.net fan community, which describes an online fan base of 50K+ members and their interactions. Shaw discusses gender and sexual orientation and internet communities in his essay "Gay Men and Computer Communication: A Discourse of Sex and Identity in Cyberspace", which although does not related to women's speech, does deal with issues of communication and constructed identity. Later in the volume, Dietrich takes on gender and internet journals in their construction of a body politic. Finally, Zickmund addresses the problem of internet hate speech or "cyberhate" and how "the other" is defined online.
While I am not dealing with the subject of "cyberrape" as we read about LambdaMOO in the class assignment, if anyone is interested, Richard MacKinnon has a chapter in this volume titled "Punishing the Persona: Correctional Strategies for the Virtual Offender" which further discusses the rape and subsequent punishment of online offenders at LambdaMOO and elsewhere.
"A celebration of women's behind-the-scenes contributions to film. Divided into 13 main sections relating to directors, producers, writers, film editors, animators, stunt women, foreign notables, etc. Sketches contain filmographies and emphasize career accomplishments (and sometimes hurdles). Select bibliography; index of names, titles, and topics." (Balay, Guide to reference books, 11th ed, 1996)
"Writer/producer/director Acker's volume capably fills a surprisingly neglected gap in the film field by profiling more than 120 women directors, writers, producers, editors, stuntpersons, etc., who worked or are working in the U.S. film industry. Coverage is from the 19th century to the present day. Each entry includes a biographical sketch, emphasizing interview quotes, and filmographies (some selective). Acker wisely avoids any critical analyses of her subjects' films, and should be commended for her accuracy. Her resource is more compact, comprehensive, and useful (while more pricey) than works such as Louise Heck-Rabi's Women Filmmakers (Scarecrow, 1984)." (Library Journal, 4/15/91, Vol. 116 Issue 7, p94)
An extensive biographical listing with critical/analytic commentary. "A welcome addition to the growing number of reference works on women in the film industry, this book is more general in scope than works confined to cinematic contributions by women during a particular era (e.g., Anthony Slide's The Silent Feminists: America's First Women Directors, CH, Jan'97) or their occupations in the industry (e.g., Women Writers: From Page to Screen, by Jill Rubinson Fenton et al., CH, Feb'91). Its breadth of scope and inclusion of essays about outstanding women filmmakers complement Ally Acker's Reel Women: Pioneers of the Cinema from 1896 to the Present (CH, Nov'91) and Gwendolyn Audrey Foster's Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary (CH, Apr'96). Entries include filmographies and literature by (and sometimes about) the women profiled. A list of films in which women filmmakers have had a major role has several entries and gives credits and references for further reading. Illustrations enliven the text. A chronology of women filmmakers and indexes by nationality, occupation, awards, distributors, and film titles add greatly to the value of the work. General and academic libraries." (Choice, November 1998)
""In imaging female subjectivity and addressing the spectator as female, feminist filmmakers have created films which transform and innovate cinematic codes and conventions." Smelik switches the focus of feminist discourse from spectator to filmmaker. Unwilling to revive the auteur theory, which she considers to be elitist and phallocentric, she nevertheless investigates the works of such filmmakers as Sander, Campion, Treut, and Adlon and discovers ways in which they subvert traditional cinematic subjectivity, affect, and modes of representation. Smelik's arguments are, of course, deeply rooted in the feminist theory of Lacan, Mulvey, Silverman, Kaplan, Irigaray, et al., but she also includes such figures as Eisenstein and Barthes. She does not privilege any particular theory but uses whatever works for the particular filmmaker she is dealing with. Her choice of films is as refreshing as her method: one is too used to reading about the same feminist films in book after book. Smelik's knowledge of the field is encyclopedic, and her analyses are consistently persuasive. This welcome addition to the ongoing feminist discourse is recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty." (Choice, February 1999)
"This fourth volume of a series formerly published semiannually (1975-79) offers wider coverage than do articles in a single periodical issue, and it addresses a general audience. After a brief section defining feminist film theory and criticism, the essays treat individual films (The Women, 1939; Sunset Boulevard, 1950; Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979; Marianne and Julianne, 1981), individual stars (Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Marlene Dietrich, and Jane Fonda), or categories of film genres and authorship. This focus results in a gap between the stated methods and goals of feminist film theory and the subsequent essays that frame questions about women as image or author within traditions of literary analysis. Most contributors do rely on Laura Mulvey's touchstone essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" (written 1975) for its psychoanalytically based conception of women's cinematic representation and objectification as the target of a specified male gaze. But the paucity of theoretical development beyond this point makes both essays and bibliography (which appear to be five to ten years old) seem somewhat dated, almost nostalgic. There are notable exceptions, including Richard Dyer's extraordinary study of Marilyn Monroe and sexuality (also published in his book Heavenly Bodies, CH, Mar '87) and Susan Leger's essay on Margeurite Duras, which embraces concerns of women and language as well as early writings of French feminist theory. Usable from lower division onward" (Choice,July 1989)
"Unlike many other film criticism collections, which concentrate on the representation of a particular group or genre, this volume collects a range of writings on a number of very different and specific topics and links them together through the rubric of gender. Pomerance (sociology, Ryerson Polytechnic Univ., Toronto) has divided the book into three main areas: gender in non-American films, gender as coded through actions, and transgressive representations of gender that are held up as "paragons or pariahs." While the range of topics makes the volume difficult to pin down conceptually, the essays are, for academic work, quite readable. This collection is unusual enough to warrant a spot in most academic libraries with collections devoted to film studies or gender issues." (Library Journal, 05/01/2001, Vol. 126 Issue 8, p88)
Linguists such as Deborah Tannen and Robin Lakoff have sought to examine the conversational styles and practices between men and women in order to formulate theories of gender-specific discourse. In my final paper, I plan to take the theories of such linguists and apply them specifically to Internet venues (chatrooms, discussion boards, and Yahoo groups) to highlight differences in male and female user communication strategies. It is my theory that while online, female members employ more verbal deference mechanisms and more consistently defend the use of “netiquette” than male members of similar age and regional background in order to preserve group unity and cohesiveness while discouraging group divisiveness. From the theoretical readings assigned in class, I plan to cite from Republic.com by Cass Sunstein, and possibly also the 2 articles by Henry Jenkins, in addition to the other bibliographic citations.
Pfaelzer, J. (1999). Salt of the Earth: Women, Class, and the Utopian Imagination. Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, 16 (1): 120-31.
This is an article that deals with representations of working women and class in the film.