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Encyclopedia > Feminist film theory
Feminism

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Feminists redirects here. ... The feminist movement (also known as the Womens Movement or Womens Liberation) is a series of campaigns on issues such as reproductive rights (including abortion), domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, sexual harassment, and sexual violence. ... Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical, ground. ... Feminist economics broadly refers to a developing branch of economics that applies feminist insights and critiques to mainstream economics. ... Feminist sexology is the study of sexuality from a feminist viewpoint, i. ... The term women’s rights typically refers to freedoms inherently possessed by women and girls of all ages, which may be institutionalized or ignored and/or illegitimately suppressed by law or custom in a particular society. ... ђЂЖЖж Pro-feminism refers to support of the cause of feminism without implying that the supporter is a member of the feminist movement. ... Antifeminism refers to disbelief regarding the economic, political, and or social equality of females as a sex. ...


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The term womens suffrage refers to an economic and political reform movement aimed at extending suffrage — the right to vote — to women. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Suffragette with banner, Washington DC, 1918 The title of suffragette (also occasionally spelled suffraget) was given to members of the womens suffrage movement, originally in the United Kingdom. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... American women were granted the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920 Suffrage parade, New York City, 1912 The effort to obtain womens suffrage in the United States was a primary effort of those involved in the greater women...


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First-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom and the United States. ... Second-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist activity which began during the early 1960s and lasted through the late 1980s. ... Third-wave feminism is a term identified with several diverse strains of feminist activity and study beginning in the early 1990s. ...


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Amazon feminism is dedicated to the image of the female hero in fiction and in fact, as it is expressed in art and literature in the physiques and feats of female athletes, martial artists, and other powerfully built women, and in gender-related and sexual orientations. ... Anarcha-feminism combines anarchism with feminism. ... The current incarnation of Black Feminism is a political/social movement that grew out of a sense of feelings of discontent with both the Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement of the 1970s. ... Chicana feminism, also called Xicanisma, is a group of social theories that analyze and historical, social, political, and economic roles and of Mexican American, Chicana, and Hispanic women in the United States, especially as they concern issues of gender. ... Christian feminism, a branch of feminist theology, seeks to interpret and understand Christianity in the scope of the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually and in leadership. ... Cultural feminism is the ideology of a female nature or female essence reappropriated by feminists themselves in an effort to revalidate undervalued female attributes. ... Difference feminism is a philosophy that stresses that men and women are ontologically different versions of the human being. ... Ecofeminism is a minor social and political movement which unites environmentalism and feminism[1], with some currents linking deep ecology and feminism. ... Equity feminism is a phrase coined by Christina Hoff Sommers in her book Who Stole Feminism (Simon & Schuster, 1994). ... Equality feminism is a submovement of feminism. ... Fat feminism or fat-positive feminism is a form of feminism that argues overweight women are economically, educationally, and socially disadvantaged due to their size. ... Gender feminism is a phrase coined by Christina Hoff Sommers in her book Who Stole Feminism (Simon & Schuster, 1994) to critique the mainstream of the contemporary feminist movement, which she felt was unduly gynocentric. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A symbol of Islamic feminism, incorporating the Crescent Moon and Star of Islam into the female symbol Islamic feminism is a form of feminism that aims for the full equality of all Muslims, regardless of sex or gender, in public and private life. ... Jewish feminism is a movement that seeks to improve the religious, legal, and social status of women within Judaism and to open up new opportunities for religious experience and leadership for Jewish women. ... Lesbian feminism is a cultural movement and critical perspective, most popular in the 1970s and early 1980s (primarily in North America and Western Europe) that questions the position of women and homosexuals in society. ... Liberal feminism is a form of feminism that argues that equality for women can be achieved through legal means and social reform, and that men as a group need not be challenged. ... Marxist feminism is a sub-type of feminist theory which focuses on the dismantling of capitalism as a way to liberate women. ... New feminism is a predominantly Catholic philosophy, and is a form of difference feminism. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Pro-life feminism is the opposition to abortion based on feminism. ... Radical feminism is a branch of feminism that views womens oppression (which radical feminists refer to as patriarchy) as a basic system of power upon which human relationships in society are arranged. ... Feminist theology is a movement, generally in Christianity and Judaism, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of their religion from a feminist perspective. ... Separatist feminism is a form of feminism that does not support heterosexual relationships due to a belief that sexual disparities between men and women are unresolvable. ... Sex-positive feminism, sometimes known as pro-sex feminism, sex-radical feminism, or sexually liberal feminism, is a movement that was formed in the early 1980s. ... Socialist feminism is a branch of feminism that focuses upon both the public and private spheres of a womans life and argues that liberation can only be achieved by working to end both the economic and cultural sources of womens oppression. ... Although third world women have always been engaged in the feminism movement, they criticise it on the grounds that it is ethnocentric and does not take into account the unique experiences of women from third world countries or the existence of feminism(s) indigenous to third world countries. ... Transfeminism is a form of feminism that includes transgender and transexual rights and issues, especially those of transwomen. ... The word womanism was adapted from Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alice Walker. ...


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Feminist movements in Latin America started at the grassroots level in each of the distinct nation-states. ... Feminist history in the United Kingdom covers part of the Feminism movement in the UK from 1800 to the present day. ... This is a history of the role of women throughout the history of the United States and of feminism in the United States. ...


Lists
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This is a list of important participants in the development of feminism, listed by feminist ideology. ... . ... This is a list of topics related to the issue of feminism, womens rights and womens liberation: All-women band Christian Feminism Coeducation Eco-feminism Erotophobia Female superiority (or male inferiority) Feminazi Feminist censorship Feminist history Feminist history in the United States Nineteenth Amendment to the United States...

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Feminist film theory is theoretical work within film criticism that is derived from feminist politics and feminist theory. Feminists have taken many different approaches to the analysis of cinema both in the elements of film they look at and their theoretical underpinnings. Film theory debates the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for analyzing, among other things, the film image, narrative structure, the function of film artists, the relationship of film to reality, and the film spectators position in the cinematic experience. ... Film criticism is the analysis and evaluation of films, individually and collectively. ... Feminism is a social theory and political movement primarily informed and motivated by the experience of women. ... Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, or philosophical, ground. ... Feminists redirects here. ...

Contents

History

The development of feminist film theory was influenced by second wave feminism and the development of women's studies within the academy. Feminist scholars began applying the new theories arising from these movements to analyzing film. Initial attempts in the United States in the early 1970’s were generally based on sociological theory and focused on the function of women characters in particular film narratives or genres and of stereotypes as a reflection of a society's view of women. Works such as Marjorie Rosen’s Popcorn Venus: Women, Movies, and the American Dream (1973) and Molly Haskell’s From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in Movies (1974) analyzed how the women portrayed in film related to the broader historical context, the stereotypes depicted, the extent to which the women were shown as active or passive, and the amount of screen time given to women.[1] Second-wave feminism refers to a period of feminist thought that originated around the 1960s and was mainly concerned with independence and greater political action to improve womens rights. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Sociological theory can refer to: contemporary sociological theory social theory sociological paradigms (also known as perespectives or frameworks) See also list of theories in sociology. ... A genre [], (French: kind or sort from Greek: γένος (genos)) is a loose set of criteria for a category of literary composition; the term is also used for any other form of art or utterance. ... For other uses, see Stereotype (disambiguation). ... Molly Haskell (born September 29, 1939 in Charlotte, North Carolina) is a feminist film critic. ...


In contrast, film theoreticians in England began integrating perspectives drawn from psychoanalysis, semiotics, and Marxism, and eventually these ideas gained hold within the American scholarly community in the later 1970’s and 1980’s. Analysis generally focused on “the production of meaning in a film text, the way a text constructs a viewing subject, and the ways in which the very mechanisms of cinematic production affect the representation of women and reinforce sexism.” [2] Psychoanalytic theory is a general term for approaches to psychoanalysis which attempt to provide a conceptual framework more-or-less independent of clinical practice rather than based on empirical analysis of clinical cases. ... Semiotics, semiotic studies, or semiology is the study of signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ...


More recently, scholars have expanded their work to include analysis of television and digital media. Additionally, they have begun to explore notions of difference, engaging in dialogue about the differences among women (part of movement away from essentialism in feminist work more generally), the various methodologies and perspectives contained under the umbrella of feminist film theory, and the multiplicity of methods and intended effects that influence the development of films. Scholars are also taking increasingly global perspectives, responding to postcolonialist criticisms of Anglo- and Eurocentrism in the academy more generally. Increased focus has been given to, “disparate feminisms, nationalisms, and media in various locations and across class, racial, and ethnic groups throughout the world.” [3] Audio & Visual Medias Digital media (as opposed to analog media) usually refers to electronic media that work on digital codes. ... In philosophy, essentialism is the view, that, for any specific kind of entity it is at least theoretically possible to specify a finite list of characteristics —all of which any entity must have to belong to the group defined. ... This article is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Eurocentrism is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing emphasis on European (and, generally, Western) concerns, culture and values at the expense of those of other cultures. ...


Key themes

The gaze and the female spectator

In considering the way that films are put together, many feminist film critics have pointed to the "male gaze" that predominates in classical Hollywood filmmaking. Laura Mulvey's essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" gave one of the most widely influential versions of this argument. From an explicitly psychoanalytic viewpoint, Mulvey argues that that cinema provides visual pleasure through scopophilia, (pleasure from looking, related to voyeurism) and in identification with the on-screen image (arising from Jacques Lacan’s idea of the mirror stage). Using various film techniques, such as the point of view shot, men are able (consciously or unconsciously) to influence film production to create images that satisfy their desires. The camera makes the woman an object of the male lead’s gaze. The woman exists for the possession of the male lead, and, by extension through identification through visual pleasure, for the viewer as well. [4] The concept of gaze (often also called the gaze), in analysing visual media, is one that deals with how an audience views other people presented. ... Classical Hollywood cinema designates both a visual and sound style for making motion pictures and a mode of production that arose in the Los Angeles film industry of the 1910s and 1920s. ... Laura Mulvey (born August 15, 1941) is a British feminist film theorist. ... “Voyeur” redirects here. ... Jacques-Marie-Émile Lacan (French IPA: ) (April 13, 1901 – September 9, 1981) was a French psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and doctor, who made prominent contributions to the psychoanalytic movement. ... child and mirror The mirror stage was the subject of Jacques Lacans first official contribution to psychoanalytic theory (Fourteenth International Psychoanalytical Congress at Marienbad in 1936). ... Special effects (FX): 3-D film for movie history Stereoscopy for 3D technical details 3-D computer graphics Computer-generated imagery Digital compositing Optical effects Bluescreen/chroma key Stop trick Stop motion Editing: Timecode A Roll B Roll Cross cutting Cutaway Cut in Cut out Dissolve Establishing shot Hairy Arm... A point of view shot (also known as POV shot) is a short scene in a film that shows what a character is looking at. ...


Critics of Mulvey’s analysis of the gaze challenge that she does not allow for the female spectator. B. Ruby Rich argues that women’s relationships with film is instead dialectical, consciously filtering the images and messages they receive through cinema, and reprocessing them to elicit their own meanings. [5] bell hooks, coming from a black feminist perspective, put forth the notion of the “oppositional gaze,” encouraging black women not to accept stereotypical representations in film, but rather actively critique them. [6] Janet Bergstrom’s article “Enunciation and Sexual Difference” (1979) uses Sigmund Freud’s ideas of bisexual responses, arguing that women are capable of identifying with male characters and men with women characters, either successively or simultaneously. [7] Miriam Hanson, in “Pleasure, Ambivalence, Identification: Valentino and Female Spectatorship” (1984) put forth the idea that women are also able to view male characters as erotic objects of desire. [8] Coined by B. Ruby Rich, New Queer Cinema refers to seemingly simultaneous appearance on the independent film circuit of films dealing openly and even aggressively with queer culture, politics, and identity in the early nineties. ... Gloria Jean Watkins (born on September 25, 1952), better known as bell hooks, is an African-American intellectual, feminist, and social activist. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ...


Laura Mulvey, in response to these and other criticisms revisited the topic in “Afterthoughts on ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ inspired by Duel in the Sun” (1981). In addressing the female spectator, she revised her stance to argue that women can take two possible roles in relation to film: a masochistic identification with the female object of desire or a transsexual identification with men as the active viewers of the text. [9]


Realism and counter cinema

The early work of Marjorie Rosen and Molly Haskell on representation of women in film was part of a movement to make depictions of women more realistic both in documentaries and narrative cinema. The growing female presence in the film industry was seen as a positive step toward realizing this goal, by drawing attention to feminist issues and putting forth alternative, more true-to-life views of women. However, these images are still mediated by the same factors as traditional film, such as the “moving camera, composition, editing, lighting, and all varieties of sound.” While acknowledging the value in inserting positive representations of women in film, some critics asserted that real change would only come about from reconsidering the role of film in society, often from a semiotic point of view.[10] Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to document reality. ...


Claire Johnston put forth the idea that women’s cinema can function as "counter cinema". Through consciousness of the means of production and opposition of sexist ideologies, films made by women have the potential to posit an alternative to traditional Hollywood films.[11] In reaction to this article, many women filmmakers have integrated "alternative forms and experimental techniques" to "encourage audiences to critique the seemingly transparent images on the screen and to question the manipulative techniques of filming and editing".[12] Claire Johnston (1940-1987) was a feminist film theoretician. ...


See also

Laura Mulvey (born August 15, 1941) is a British feminist film theorist. ... Dai Jinhua (*1959) is chinese feminist film critic. ... Claire Johnston (1940-1987) was a feminist film theoretician. ... Teresa de Lauretis is an Italian born author and Professor of the History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. ... Kaja Silverman is an American film critic. ... The term womens cinema usually refers to the work of women film directors. ...

References

  1. ^ Erens, Patricia. “Introduction” Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. pp. xvi.
  2. ^ Erens, Patricia. “Introduction” Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. pp. xvii.
  3. ^ McHugh, Kathleen and Vivian Sobchack. “Introduction: Recent Approaches to Film Feminisms.” Signs 30(1):1205-1207.
  4. ^ Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. Amelia Jones, ed. London: Routledge, 2003, pp. 44-53.
  5. ^ Rich, B. Ruby. “In the Name of Feminist Film Criticism. Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990, pp.268-287.
  6. ^ hooks, bell. “The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators.” The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader. Amelia Jones, ed. London: Routledge, 2003, pp. 94-105.
  7. ^ Erens, Patricia. “Introduction” Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. pp. xxi.
  8. ^ Erens, Patricia. “Introduction” Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. pp. xxi.
  9. ^ Erens, Patricia. “Introduction” Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. pp. xxi.
  10. ^ Erens, Patricia. “Introduction” Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. pp. xviii.
  11. ^ Johnston, Claire. "Women’s Cinema as Counter Cinema." Sexual Strategems: The World of Women in Film. Patricia Erens, ed. New York: Horizon Press, 1979, pp 133-143.
  12. ^ Erens, Patricia. “Introduction” Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Patricia Erens, ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990. pp. xix.

Further reading

  • Sue Thornham (ed.), Feminist Film Theory. A Reader, Edinburgh University Press 1999
  • Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism, edited by Diane Carson, Janice R. Welsch, Linda Dittmar, University of Minnesota Press 1994
  • Beyond the Gaze: Recent Approaches to Film Feminisms. Signs Vol. 30, no. 1 (Autumn 2004).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Feminist film theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (262 words)
Feminist film theory is theoretical work within film criticism which is derived from feminist politics and feminist theory.
These include discussions of the function of women characters in particular film narratives or in particular genres, such as film noir, where a woman character can often be seen to embody a subversive sexuality that is dangerous to men and is ultimately punished with death.
In considering the way that films are put together, many feminist film critics have pointed to the "male gaze" that predominates in classical Hollywood filmmaking.
Feminist horror film theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (602 words)
Critical discussion of gender roles within these films were basically discussion on the one-dimensional characters and the subjugation, sexual objectification and brutal murder of female characters.
The theory during the 1970s and 80s was that the motivation for the crazed psycho killer, was the negative feelings that he associated with a relationship with a woman.
This theory springs from the perception of the masculine voyeur (whom the viewer identifies with - according to 70s/80s theories) vs. the feminine victim (who is being looked at, by both the murderer and the male gaze of the audience).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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