Women and representation

by Jane Gaines

from Jump Cut, no. 29, February 1984, pp. 25-27
copyright Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media, 1984, 2005

New debates around pornography offer familiar resonances to those who follow feminist film criticism. Feminist analyses of pornography's industry, image and "effect" have overlapped at times with issues in contemporary film theory: the marketing of diversion and pleasure, the relation between violent acts and representations of violence, and the institutionalization of voyeurism.(1) Since the controversial Barnard College conference on "The Politics of Sexuality" last year, the paradigms evoked in the discussions of porn have seemed more and more like the dominant cinema-counter cinema model introduced into feminist film theory in the mid-seventies, but now undergoing change. Now feminist critics are asking, in the struggle against the monoliths serving male desire, is woman's pleasure as counter-pleasure a viable oppositional practice? To raise the question of women’s pleasure implies the need for an alternative imagery — and ultimately leads to speculation about a radical pornography for women.

While the Barnard College “pro-sex" conference seems not to have produced the political theory of sexuality that feminists hoped it mould produce, it may have lifted some prohibitions which have been blocking other intellectual developments. Until recently, the U.S. feminist stand on pornography appeared to be consistent with the toughest line of the most visible anti-pornography activist group. Some of the first signs of falling away from the hard line on pornography can be seen in Heresies (no. 12), the “Sex Issue.” A variety of arguments can be found there for challenging the watchdog position on porn, among them that pornography does not cause violence against women but rather represents a symptom of patriarchal power relations, that to concentrate on the extreme and exotic can eclipse or even excuse the more common acts of degradation related to the requirements of heterosexuality, and even that pornography may have a subversive potential in a sexually repressive society.(2) In "Pornography and Pleasure," Paula Webster turns a critique of the anti-pornography movement into a statement of feminist strategy based on shifting our emphasis from men's pleasure to women's. She says,

"In placing the gratification of men above our own, we pose absolutely no danger to male dominated society."

The "active pursuit of our own gratification” is then a political act. This pursuit, she acknowledges, needs to address the more difficult sexuality and power issue. What if women are aroused by the imagery designed exclusively for male satisfaction?(3)

With the following reviews in this edition, JUMP CUT picks up feminist film criticism at a moment of exasperation with cataloging and analyzing male pleasure. New work on popular fiction for women such as Tania Modleski's Loving With a Vengeance (Archon, 1982), reviewed here, marks a redirection of interest away from forms now established as "male" to forms we might call "female." Since the mid-seventies, it has been the critical vogue to study the cinematic pleasure in the classic realist text — the male look or "gaze" controls viewing within the film and sets the spectator's "looking position." Analysis in this tradition has considered "sexual difference" as the eroticizing hinge on which classical Hollywood cinema turns. For the female, there are two places of sorts in this construct — as either overvalued "fetishized" star (imagine Mae West or Marlene Dietrich), exhibited and displayed, no more than a sign in a "patriarchal exchange," or in the audience, but occupying the point of view reserved for the male. In other words, since these are negative spaces, the female is excluded. She cannot speak or act out to shape culture from an indentation. Much of the thought included here in JUMP CUT, no. 29, is in some regard a reassessment of this particular formulation of female image and cinema. Dealing with woman as spectacle poses a special challenge to the feminist filmmaker who would create alternative representations and a political commentary on the photographic "uses" of the female body.

Since two academic books reviewing the field have now been published, this would seem a milestone year in feminist film theory. Yet, the reviewers of Ann Kaplan's Women and Film (Methuen, 1983) and Annette Kuhn's Women s Pictures (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982) lament that what was so recently an on-going, open discussion has quickly solidified into a respectable field of study. Sara Halprin regrets the way the books' publication has cemented the debates and canonized the films at the center of these discussions so that what is left over becomes relegated to the periphery. Jacqueline Levitin's sense of Women's Pictures is that it has shut down activity.

Sara Halprin (aka Barbara Martineau) was a contributor to Women and Film, the first journal devoted to the subject, started in 1972. Martineau reported there on the earliest women's film festivals in Europe, Canada and the U.S. Those festivals occurred at a point to which we will not return, when the same two films always represented Third World and lesbian perspectives (SAMBIZANGA, Maldoror, 1972; MAEDCHEN IN UNIFORM, Sagan, 1931), and the sole criterion for exhibiting a film was that it was directed by a woman — regardless of what the film's politics might have been. Feminists had only begun to consider how to gauge the politics of a film text. Now, although the relation between feminist politics and film aesthetics has been more adequately theorized, these books may give readers the impression that the issues have been settled. The books imply that, using the specified combination of psychoanalytic theory, structuralism and semiotics, feminist critics can locate the ideological — in this case, the inscription of patriarchal social relations in narrative and photographic codes. In giving this impression, both Kuhn and Kaplan privilege the work of a small group of British feminist theorists.

The history of feminist film criticism in Britain and the U.S. might be written as pre and post "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" by Laura Mulvey — the source of inspiration and method for no much of the current work on woman as spectacle. Concepts such as "visual pleasure" and "passionate detachment" (the title of one of Kuhn's chapters) date from that article, which also introduced Freudian terms such as "The Law of the Father" and "disavowal" into feminist film criticism — although they had been suggestively used along the same lines in Cahiers du Cinéma's collective analysis of MOROCCO, (4) originally published in 1970 but not translated into English until 1980. First delivered in a seminar in 1973 in the French department at the University of Wisconsin, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" was published in the British Screen in 1975 and reprinted two years later in the U.S. in Karyn Kay and Gerald Peary's Women and the Cinema anthology.(5) In the previous issue of Screen, Christian Metz's "The Imaginary Signifier" had appeared in translation along with a forward on the integration of Lacanian psychoanalytic concepts into film theory, giving some background on the relation of the symbolic and the imaginary, desire, the unconscious, and "the look."(6) Such Lacanian concepts were also central to the Mulvey article and now, it seems, are the favored currency of exchange on women and cinema, with an entire publication in the U.S. (Camera Obscura) devoted to this approach.

Mulvey's identification of the female image as phallic substitute and/or fetish image may not have been inspired entirely by Hollywood glamour images. Just before the publication of "Visual Pleasure," she undertook an attack on Allan Jones, one of the most notorious "exploiters" of the female form in the British art world. "You Don't Know What is Happening Do You, Mr. Jones?," published in Spare Rib is an encyclopedic review of Jones' visions of female body contortion and torture. Fettered in the classic imagery of the private fetishist — belts, spike heels, rubber corsets, brassieres and garters — the Jones' models do articulate the worst things that feminists had imagined in male fantasies about women.(7) Was Mulvey still fuming over Allan Jones when she developed her theory of women in cinema as fetishized projection of the male consciousness?

Some feminists have opposed all the uses of Freud in criticism. Why borrow a method which is based on describing women's "repressed place" in language and society, they argue. What new understanding of oppression can it yield? To be fair, the British feminist use of psychoanalysis follows Juliet Mitchell's re-reading of Freud, which she takes to be a kind of description of the ideological or an illumination of the site of gender construction.(8) But Freudian theory is slippery. If one says, as Kaplan does in Women and Film that "… the pleasure in the cinema is created through the inherently voyeuristic mechanism that comes into play," does this mean that pleasure in looking is innate rather than learned? Here feminists can lose their best argument: that gender differences are socially constructed.(9) Freud strikes a mean between the biological and the social and can be interpreted both ways.(10) Often, Freudian concepts as used in film theory encourage intellectual short cuts which can misrepresent exceedingly complex relations, such as the historical connection between the invention of motion pictures and the discovery of the unconscious, often represented in the metaphoric use of mechanism to refer to the cinema apparatus and the unconscious, as though the Freudian term proved a correspondence.

For Marxists, the use of psychoanalysis, which privileges an autonomous realm, is especially problematic. With no clear means of connecting gender construction to historically shifting economic conditions, feminists may have difficulty implementing programs for political change. Christine Gledhill has discussed this problem in her critique of feminist film criticism. Evaluating the impact of Althusser's introduction of Lacan into the Marxist theory of ideology, Gledhill argues that if feminists are up against the "ideologically positioned" subject, political change begins to look like an impossible task. She estimates,

"… we are clearly in a very weak political position if rupturing the place of the subject in representation is our chief point of entry."(11)

The other criticism of British feminist film theory consistently leveled by other Marxist feminists has been directed at the special knowledge reading such theory requires and the elite position it can foster. On this point, Kaplan was originally one of the clearest and strongest critics of the British. Her review of "Women's Cinema as Counter-Cinema" and Pam Cook and Claire Johnston's work on Raoul Walsh and Dorothy Arzner in JUMP CUT (no. 12/13) stressed that a background in psychoanalytic theory was a prerequisite to these discussions. Furthermore, to make sense of the arguments at all, the render had to unquestioningly go along with the Freudian premises on which they were based. Kaplan asked then what might be new about Freudian interpretations, already established in literary criticism:

"The predictable nature of such interpretations takes away from their interest … given the premises, everything else follows like clockwork."(12)

In retrospect, it is clear what is new. British feminists have used psychoanalysis to extend important work on film as language. But Kaplan's remark about the predictability of Freudian analysis still describes much feminist film criticism on woman as spectacle, and this means the bulk of the academic work extending feminist film theory in the U.S. To the insider, this criticism explicating the "look" and unraveling the Oedipal can come off "like clockwork." (This may be some of its appeal.) To the outsider, such criticism is often as impenetrable as the patriarchal unconscious it hopes to penetrate. In the U.S., the incorporation of psychoanalysis into feminist film criticism has coincided with acadamizing the study. Has the study of popular film, once not no respectable, been suddenly made distinguished and serious via the female scholar's association with French theory?

Another explanation for feminist film criticism's concentration on male pleasure might be that Mulvey and Johnston set the destruction of narrative fiction film as the priority in feminist film criticism. As Mulvey puts it, those cinematic codes which

"create a gaze, a world, and an object … must be broken down before mainstream film and the pleasure it provides can be challenged."(13)

As this has been interpreted, work on the language of mainstream cinema must precede the construction of a "new language of desire." Although Mulvey here makes the creation of a feminist cinema contingent on challenging dominant forms, elsewhere in "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" she seems to say that since new forms of pleasure can't as yet be imagined, we might as well do what we can do while we are waiting – “break down" the pair of pleasures classical cinema offers: voyeuristic "looking" and narrative closure.

"Breaking down" seems also to have been interpreted largely as formal analysis, although it can refer as well to counter-cinema practice which fragments and interrupts classical cinema's illusion. Johnston's "Women's Cinema as Counter-Cinema" more clearly posits that the constructing of new forms depends on destroying the old by means of filmmaking practices. She writes,

"New meanings have to be created by disrupting the fabric of the male bourgeois cinema within the text of the film.”(14)

Camera movement, continuity editing, framing, narrative unity, spectator point of view, and the spectacle of woman are all analyzed in feminist counter-cinema. In theory this is a continuation of Godard's project to combat ideological forms with film form. Counter-cinema also borrows from Brecht's idea that annihilating pleasure and identification can effect critical distance and ultimately a change of consciousness in the theatrical audience. The final "test" of counter-cinema has to do with whether the film shows that what we are seeing is shaped by cinematic form and that beyond the experience of the film, there is no such thing as unmediated reality to know.

Leftist filmmaking will find drawbacks to this approach. First of all, this is a very difficult concept to grasp. Those of us who eat, sleep and breathe political theories of representation, who have made the politics of meaning our life's work, are not always aware of the degree to which our own consciousness is shaped by words, images, or other signifying material. Are we asking too much of a film text if we expect it to effect change on its own, especially if it is seen out of the context of political organizing and education efforts? Second, why should a film which considers its own signification process necessarily have to require its audiences to know advanced film theory in order for them to enjoy, appreciate and, hopefully, reflect on what they see?

The Black women filmmakers Claudia Springer interviews in this issue of JUMP CUT agree that it is more important for them to make their films comprehensible than for then to experiment with subverting classical Hollywood narrative. The content of these films (Black body language and image, child custody, childbirth, single parenting, prostitution as survival, rape, and women's retaliation against sexual abuse) certainly constitutes a strong political challenge to white male society. Do these films represent any less of a challenge because they use conventional forms?

Can filmmakers afford to undertake an abstract analysis or make an educational statement about representation if it is politically imperative that they represent a "brutal actuality" in order to counteract its ideological version? As Kimberly Safford points out in her review of LA OPERACIÓN, the most direct way to demystify "sterilization" for the filmmakers is to use documentary realism to demonstrate that since the tubes are always severed in surgery, the operation is not easily reversible, as many Puerto Rican women continue to believe. LA OPERACIÓN makes this argument with a conventional journalistic verite technique — graphic detailing of the seldom seen (here the surgery itself). The theory here is that photographic "reality" which directly contradicts viewers' conceptions has the power to reverse these conceptions.

Still, the traditional documentary format may have its limitations when it comes to representing the complex ideological function "sterilization" has for Puerto Ricans. Historically linked with migration to the U.S., sterilization as a policy has contributed to maintaining the idea that Puerto Rican economic problems are due to overpopulation. Within Puerto Rico, where the operation was first performed in 1925 as a means of controlling malnutrition and poverty, sterilization has come to be seen by poor women as the only birth control measure. The concept of birth control choices or options is thus culturally unimaginable. Finally, because of cultural ideas about fertility and sexuality, sterilization has only "liberated" Puerto Ricans' sexual expression in theory.(15) Here, also, is a challenge to the cultural bias of middle class feminist histories which cite freedom from worry about conception as provided by dependable birth control to be one of the milestones in the course of sexual liberation.

For all the interest in counter-cinema as theory, U.S. feminist filmmaking practice seems to have been influenced very little by British models. To begin with, there have been few examples offered by British feminists since THE NIGHTCLEANERS (Berwick St. Collective, 1975) and RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX (Mulvey and Wollen, 1977). Mulvey's own high theory film austerely avoids continuity editing and withholds narrative resolution to such an extreme that women viewers have often found it disorienting. The subversion of sexual looking, fascinating as a concept, does not become so riveting in its translation to the screen. THE NIGHTCLEANERS, although equally difficult for viewers, may have worked as political education because it was produced in conjunction with an ongoing union campaign.(16)

U.S. feminist filmmaking has served a woman's movement which is more visible but more politically diffuse than its British equivalent. This may explain why more than one tradition of radical filmmaking is currently thriving here. Documentaries in the style of UNION MAIDS (Reichert and Klein, 1976) have been strong with unions and community groups. Using the rhetoric of archival footage or testimonial interview, these documentaries employ existing cinematic conventions without questioning than. As the films have been effective as organizing tools, they pose another challenge to the counter-cinema theorem that "revealing" in photography the "truth" of woman's oppression cannot effect change. Many feminist films which have taken up the issue of representation and ideology have done so with less deference to Godard. Now we are seeing more inventive solutions to this problem in political aesthetics: how to make an engaging film that uses disengagement.

Michelle Citron's WHAT YOU TAKE FOR GRANTED, reviewed here by JoAnn Elam, shows that the film viewing experience is another one of those aspects of bourgeois life which we "take for granted." One way this film points out the "taken for grantedness" of camera "reality" is slowly to reveal to the viewer that what appears to be documentary-style interview footage of women talking about the "realities" of their murk lives is actually acted — a convincing reenactment. Beyond that, the women "characters" contradict themselves -saying one thing about their careers and personal lives in the documentary interview sections and refuting earlier statements in the "story" sections. In trying to make sense of the film, the viewer has to consider the contradictory nature of bourgeois consciousness.

JoAnn Elam's LIE BACK AND ENJOY IT, with its title's ironic reference to "advice" given to rape victims (a phrase that represents one of the most grotesque distortions of women's experience), uses the analogy between violation and representation to argue the political implications of the act of photographing women. Reviewer Claudia Gorbman notes that the film uses several fresh strategies for "acknowledging" its own construction — the voice-over debate about representation in the film itself and references to the sound recording. With humor, Elam asks,

"What if women were the only ones who could photograph women?"

While Mulvey' s essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" may have set up an equation between mainstream cinema and male privilege which had diverted the attention of feminist scholars, it also seems to have provided an "out" for them  — introducing an interest in the spectator into contemporary film theory.(17) From there, questions about the class, race and gender of the spectator have inevitably arisen. The articles in this section suggest that the very questions Mulvey did not address have become the most compelling: Is the female spectator restricted to viewing the female body on the screen from the male point of view? Is narrative pleasure always male pleasure? Various strategies of reappropriation imply that the female "look" can cancel the male point of view and that textual reading can actively "resist" the flow of classical narrative.

In November 1980, at the Lolita Raclin Rogers Memorial Feminist Film Conference held at Northwestern University, Lucie Arbuthnot and Gall Seneca presented a re-reading of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, launching one of the most convincing challenges to date to seeing cinematic pleasure as male. They argue that in this film Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe "resist objectification" and project an intimacy with each other which offers a new vision to female viewers, inviting both identification and a kind of female voyeurism.(18) In this tradition, Chris Straayer's reconsideration of PERSONAL BEST, included here, suggests that the power and force of the female "look" has been underestimated, as has the complexity of female audience response. Her interviews with lesbian viewers propose a model. She finds evidence in lesbian respondents' ingenious viewing strategies for the study of woman's consciousness as potential revolutionary consciousness, harboring conflict and opposition. In contrast with formal analysis, sociological studies such as this may seen relatively "messy" in the way they deal with "real people" and their "gut" feelings, inarticulate responses, and "just plain opinions." Straayer 's study reminds us that meaning is always social, and that hothouse studies of film language cannot alone construct a semiotics of the cinema.

Considering the lesbian as spectator shifts all of the premises of feminist film theory centered on male voyeurism.(19) In the introduction to the Lesbian Special Section, appearing in JUMP CUT (no. 24/25), Edith Becker, Michelle Citron, Julia Lesage, and B. Ruby Rich describe how the exclusion of a lesbian perspective has seriously "warped" contemporary film theory:

“A true recognition of lesbianism would seriously challenge the concept of women as inevitable objects of exchange between men, or as fixed in an eternal trap of "sexual difference" based on heterosexuality. Feminist theory that sees all women on the screen only as objects of male desire — including by implication, lesbians — is inadequate.”(20)

To consider the exquisitely "fit," female fantasy bodies in FLASHDANCE only in terms of male desire, one would have to ignore women's responses to the film. LIANNA features a wholesomely attractive lesbian and represents her sexual awakening. To consider that film in terms of the male "look," especially within the film, would be to negate its premises.

Lisa DiCaprio's review shows that conceptually LIANNA is not the film a lesbian would have made. Visually it is probably not the film a heterosexual woman would have made either. LIANNA is apologetic and cautious about photographing women. The tentative representation of lesbian lovemaking, for instance, tries not to intrude voyeuristically or shape salaciously. The film attempts to reverse the cliché of looking at women on the street in the montage of bodies Lianna sees just after she has first made love with Ruth. But LIANNA is an object lesson in how å to try to undercut male "looking." Showing wholesome lesbian bodies with restraint neither withdraws the image entirely from male view nor subtracts the "to-be-looked-at" connotations from the female body. Finally, as a film about female desire, LIANNA is incredibly pallid.

FLASBDANE, in contrast, sets up an alluring inducement to give oneself over with abandon to looking at the dancers. Judging from the film's reception, women audiences have taken up the invitation with enthusiasm. My informal poll of friends shows that both gay and straight women have claimed this film. Some said it was the first film in years that they had gone back to see a second time. Does the "fantasy of control" Katherine Kalinak describes in her review explain why women are dancing along with FLASHDANE videocassettes in their living rooms and signing up for classes in jazz dance after seeing the film?(21) If women read this as "their" film, do they then accept or reject the long-stemmed roses and the preferred reading that Nick was right? That Alex should not stubbornly squander her opportunity to try out just because he had used his connections to get her the dance troupe audition.? Conceivably, women could choose to see that Alex has refused the "break" the backstage hoofer in the 30s musical was always glad to get. To Alex, the "big break" is a handout.

Have Black women seen the same fantasy of transcendence and control in DIVA? Ernece Kelly points out in her review of DIVA that even though the film highlights the operatic performance of exceptionally talented Black singer, Wilhamina Wiggins-Collins, the plot line eroticizes and trivializes her characterization. The exotic Black beauty is an old stereotype, presented in updated form in this homage to Godard' s New Wave style. Black women viewers, however, have liked the film because it provides a rare chance for them to see a Black in a significant role.

Does the response first to PERSONAL BEST and now FLASHDANCE suggest that women are suddenly "ready" for their own eroticized imagery, which would mean that they would no longer have to steal their glancing pleasure in the cinema or reroute their own plots? It is not as though historically women's sexual fantasies have never been served. Feminist work on women's traditional fiction, such as Harlequin and gothic novels, melodrama and soap operas, shows that women have turned to these forms because the genres direct their readers through familiar conflicts with loved ones and provide releases and gratifications women need but probably won't find in conventional marriage.

For example, Ann Barr Snitow calls mass-market romance "women's pornography." She shows that we must reconsider narrative forms previously dismissed as reactionary if we find that they contain the rhythms and outlines of women's sexual imagination. She says,

"The romantic intensity of Harlequins  — the waiting, fearing, speculating — are as much a part of their functioning as pornography for women as are the more overtly sexual scenes."(22)

Jane Feuer, in her review of Tania Modleski's Loving With a Vengeance, stresses that the value of Modleski's work on soaps for feminist film theory is that it promises a model for the emerging feminist aesthetic. Feuer notes that the chapter on soap opera identifies female narrative forms which are quite distinct from male forms, and that these forms derive from those experiences which are thought to be woman's "lot in life" — waiting, anticipating, and the state of being constantly interrupted. Modleski's  argument implies that women's forms of pleasure won't necessarily be “made from scratch," but that existing forms need to be reclaimed for ourselves, since, as she says,

"this pleasure is currently placed at the service of the patriarchy."(23)

This formulation of the female narrative strategy shares something with Annette Kuhn's conception of the "feminine voice" which she finds in four contemporary avant-garde films made by women: THRILLER (Potter, 1979), DAUGHTER RITE (Citron, 1978), LIVES OF PERFORMERS (Rainer, 1972), and JEANNE DIELMAN (Ackerman, 1975). These films organize a different pleasure through rearrangement of the "relations of looking" and rejection of narrative closure. Still, however, she carefully separates examples of "feminine writing" and counter-cinema, although the distinction between the two may be losing its usefulness.(24) The idea that "taking back our pleasure" is political in its own right seems to be gathering more force, both in feminist film theory and within the women's movement.


1. For further elaboration of these similarities, see Julia Lesage, "Women and Pornography," JUMP CUT, No. 26 (December 1981), pp. 46-47.

2. Ellen Willis in "Who is a Feminist?: A Letter to Robin Morgan," Village Voice (December 1981), p. 17, has argued that women's enjoyment of pornography could be seen as a "form of resistance to a culture that would allow [them] no sexual pleasure at all."

3. Paula Webster, 'Pornography and Pleasure," Heresies 3, No. 4 (Fall 1981), p. 50.

4. “MOROCCO," Cahiers du Cinéma No. 225 (November-December 1970), pp. 5-13; Diana Matias, trans., reprinted in Peter Baxter, ed., Sternberg (London: British Film Institute 1980), pp. 81-93. I am indebted to Chuck Kleinhans for pointing out this correspondence to me.

5. Laura Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Screen 16:2 (Autumn l975)’ 6-18; reprinted in eds. Karyn Kay and Gerald Peary, Women and the Cinema (New York: E.P. Dutton, 1977), pp. 412-428.

6. Metz, "The Imaginary Signifier," trans. Ben Brewster, Screen 16:2 (Sumner 1975), 14-76. Julia Lesage's "The Hunan Subject  — You, He, or He?" which challenged the editors of Screen on their incorporation of psychoanalytic terms into film theory appeared in this same issue, reprinted from JUMP CUT.

7. Laura Mulvey, "You Don't Know What is Happening, Do You, Mr. Jones?" Spare Rib 8 (February 1973), pp. 13-30; reprinted in Marsha Rowe, ed., Spare Rib Reader (London: Penguin, 1982), pp. 48-57.

8. Juliet Mitchell, Psychoanalysis and Feminism (London: Harmondsworth, 1975).

9. Michelle Barrett, in Women's Oppression Today (London: Verso, 1980), p. 73, objects to the same sort of thing when she points to the usage of the term "sexual difference" in psychoanalytic theory. Gender difference is the social construction, she says, not sexual difference, which has generally meant the biological distinction between male and female.

10. For further elaboration on this see Sebastiano Timpanaro, The Freudian Slip (London: New Left Books, 1976), p. 12.

11. Christine Gledhill, "Recent Developments in Feminist Criticism," Quarterly Review of Film Studies 3:4 (Fall 1978), 483.

12. Ann Kaplan, "Aspects of British Feminist Film Theory: A Critical Evaluation of Texts by Clair Johnston and Pam Cook," JUMP CUT, No. 12/13 (December 1976), p. 54.

13. Mulvey, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," p. 17.

14. Claire Johnston, "Women' s Cinema as Counter-Cinema," in Claire Johnston, ed., Notes on Women's Cinema (London: Society for Education in Film and Television, 1973), p. 29.

15. Iris Lopez, paper delivered at "Feminist Issues in Communication" Conference, Hunter College, New York, December 1983.

16. Claire Johnston, "Re-thinking Political Cinema," JUMP CUT, No. 12/13 (December 1976). p. 55.

17. Mulvey has since modified her provocative position that spectator point of view in the cinema is consistently the male point of view. In "Afterthoughts on 'Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema' Inspired by DUEL IN THE SUN," Framework (1981), she admits that her masculinized spectator-screen image relation was a calculated irony and that the real gender of the viewer was not a consideration here.

18. Lucie Arbuthnot and Gail Seneca, "Pre-text and Text in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES," Film Reader 5 (Winter 1981-82), p.14.

19. Edith Becker, Michelle Citron, Julia Lesage, and B.Ruby Rich, "Lesbians and Film: Introduction to Special Section," JUMP CUT, No. 24/25 (March 1981), p. 17.

20. Ibid., P. 21.

21. Interview with Bobbie Embree, instructor, Bounds Studio of Dance, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, November 10, 1983.

22. Ann Barr Snitow, "Mass Market Romance: Pornography for Women Is Different," Radical History Review 20 (Spring/Summer 1979), p. 157.

23. Tania Modleski, Loving With a Vengeance (Hamden, Connecticut: Archon Books, 1982), p. 104.

24. Annette Kuhn, Women's Pictures (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982), p. 169.