Women/Film: Expressions, Ideas

John Berger, Ways of Seeing

In painting, literature, advertising, journalism, and TV:

“The essential way of seeing woman, the essential use  to which their images  are put, has not changed.

Women are depicted in a quite different way from men–not because the feminine is different from the masculine–but because the “ideal” spectator is always assumed to be mal and the image of woman is designed to flatter him.”

Lambroso, Cesare, The Female Offender

The female criminal is monotonous and uniform, compared with her male companion.”

Denis  de Rougement:

“Society requires that women have husbands, but in novels, it is found necessary that they have lovers.”

(In L. Fiedler, Love and Death, p. 76)

Georges Sanders in Albert Lewin’s The Picture of Dorian Gray:

“Women, as so many Frenchmen put it, inspire us with the desire  to do masterpieces and always prevent us from carrying them out.”


A cycle of films about independent women who are villainized , showing them as career women without families, being driven into pathological behavior.

When the father transgresses, the whole family is punished.

When women transgress, they’re personally punished and punishment is wreaked on their bodies.

The Hand that Rocks ; Fatal Attraction; Basic Instinct

Kramer Vs. Kramer: Joanna seeks fulfillment and is denied access to her child.

Fatal Attraction: Alex wants  a job and a child and dies violently

Terms of Endearment: Emma enters her husband’s workplace and is punished with diagnosis of cancer

Women in James Bond Movies

Picasso’s wife: Who Is She Without Him?

Breaking In Is Hard to Do: Women in the Film Industry

The Lost Generation:

Susan Anspach

Candice Bergen

Jacqueline Bissett

Karen Black

Joanna Cassidy

Valerie Perrine

Katharine Ross