Re: Feminism for Men

From: Jack Sargeant (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jan 17 2007 - 16:46:05 PST

the problem with 70s feminist theory in cinema is that it is
dogmatic. it essentialises gender, normally from a psychoanalytic
perspective (ironic considering the phallocentric roots of that
discourse!). in doing so it limits engagement to a specific
conceptual framework that negates plurality, thus all men are - as
the quote below indicates - framed within a reactive negative discourse.

> "...the aggressors and lawmakers."

moreover, feminism is fixed as a certainty, again negating the
multiple feminisms that actually exist (socialist feminism,
postmodern feminism and so on).

such a discourse also works on a binary of active / passive, which
itself is part of the conceptual 'problem' it seeks to engage with,
so by implication masculinity is constructed as aggressive hence its
'opposite' femininity' is passive, this is of course nonsense and
reveals the failure of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic feminist
film theory.

by examining or engaging in both narrative and experimental film (and
I am aware this is a false distinction) from a multiplicity of
theoretical perspectives, always aware of the pitfalls, beyond '70s
Screen (the journal) theory there is a far greater scope for analysis.

if you look at my writing on Tessa Hughes Freeland in Deathtripping I
examine the way all of these ideas function in her experimental film
(p.161-2). or if you want to look at other criticisms that also offer
alternative modes of engagement look at Shaviro's book The Cinematic
Body where he uses (if I recall correctly) a Deleuzian approach to
these issues.


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