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The Women Who Knew Too Much was written by Tania Modlesky in 1988 to give a critical analysis of male and female spectators in a film. This is done by focusing on Alfred Hitchcock’s seven films, which portray male and female spectators as different contributors in a film. The film includes “The masters’ dollhouse: the rear window”, the “touchstones” and many more. The analysis looks into how women through film have been undermined in society. Just like it happens in many communities today, the people in these films are advancing the cultural practice of placing male identity above female.
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The society is very patriarchal and does not give women an opportunity to express their plights freely. Unlike their male counterparts, they are expected to conform to the traditional beliefs, which dictate that they should be submissive and should not attempt to play any aggressive role in the society. This is evidenced in her relation in the films. For example in the movie, “The masters’ dollhouse: the rear window” women are only seen as spectators. In this movie, the woman is reduced into some who should provide men with pleasure and opportunities. In this critic, we find out that women are even more popular than men like in the case of Lisa in the movie, “The masters’ dollhouse: the rear window” who is more important than the male protagonist Jeff. This is clearly seen when Lisa and Jeff propose different views on the role and ways of women behavior.
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Despite the fact that everyone knows that they have plights that need to be amicably addressed, no one cares to listen to them this is clearly seen in touchstones. They are only supposed to be passive characters, whose voices should never be heard at any one time. This comes out at a time when Modlesky appears to be hanging in the balance. When we look at the movie “The masters’ dollhouse: the rear window” Modlesky appears to suggest that female characters should not have a double role as active and passive spectators. This is the case of Lisa since she seems to have limited powers in comparison to the males.
Although women appear to be subjected to violence from the male spectators, they cannot allow themselves to be fully assimilated into the patriarchal structure; that is, they still have some force, which can hold them stronger irrespective of the strong wave from the patriarchal males. This is typically shown how Lisa fights up to the end to receive recognition. Their assertion is very threatening to the males who only expect them to be creatures vulnerable to their dominance. Cultural stipulations are favorable to the male folks since it produces pleasurable feelings and comfort for them. These challenges the feminist approaches in handling films. However, as Modlesky explains, it is paramount for the cinema crew to shun chauvinistic ideologies in generating their works.
As already highlighted above, Modlesky’s writings were written from a feminist perspective. The issue of misogynist should be treated very cautiously when we look into the movies she critics we find out that it can be dangerous to produce a film that only advances the prowess of a section of the spectators. Everyone is naturally equal and should be accorded equal chances to express themselves. Females should not be downtrodden by males. This is not justified because they also stand a better chance of empowering themselves to do better things.
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Conclusively, Modlesky’s approach of adopting the Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosocial development is quite commendable. It sheds more light on the role of aggression in determining the conduct of human beings. Even though the society has placed men’s identity above women’s, there are still chances of eradicating such practices to produce a fair society, in which everyone is given equal treatment. Tania Modlesky should be commended for advocating for equity. Gender should not be used to discriminate spectators or characters in the films or any other literary work.
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