Saturday, 10 March 2012

The resulting "theory" in feminist film theory is peculiar. What justification
does a specifically feminist theory have for adopting the patriarchal theory of
psychoanalysis? Why is theory needed at all; what is it a theory of or about?
What are its data; do they supply evidence in a non-circular way? How is theory
related to feminist action and social change? What is the relevant theory of
feminism itself? Theory has usually been more problematic in feminism. Feminist
philosophers question patriarchal theories and urge the need to link theory with
practice. Jane Flax in ³Women Do Theory² describes patriarchal theory as
"territorial" or "entrepreneurial" ‹ something used to prop up forms of
dominance [Flax 1979]. In the face of theoretical structures that are abstract,
hostile, unintelligible, and disempowering, she says, women understandably
panic. Similarly, feminist philosophers like Karen Hanson question why writers
in film studies have assumed science as a paradigm of theory [Hanson 1995]. In
doing so, they set up film theory as distinct from and superior or even
foundational to film criticism. Theory stands somehow over and above the more
primitive "data": it is ideal, abstract, permanent, austere, universal, and
true. Allegedly science/theory has the virtues of being unifying, coherent,
well-grounded, and explanatory. But film theorists naively invoke concepts that
are quite contested, such as explanation, justification, and systematicity. Nor
is there operational agreement within the discipline for what counts as
evidence, testing, or confirmation of a theory. This differs sharply from
feminism's more usual emphasis on the experiential. -

This quote basicaly outlines the point im trying to put across. What is the point in basing feminist film theory on Freudian psychoanalysis which is seen as very unscientific as it double backs on itself in a way that means it can never be proved right but can never be proved wrong. The unecicary need feminists seem to have for proof to back up something that is already so obviously there (women being repressed) actualy hiders them more than helps them as they are using "scientific" theorys thats are no longer taken seriously which just has a negative effect on feminism and feminist art as a whole. For feminist art and art by women as a whole to be take seriously, important sections such as the film industry/structure of films/film as an art form, what im focusing on, cannot be changed if the theorists/artists who are trying to change film so that it doesnt reduce women to objects use unscientific theories to back up their arguments for change. Even though a lot of focus of Feminist Film Theory is on Mulvey and her use of psychoanalyisis, in todays current Feminist Film Theory there is still a focus on Freudian theories and psychoanalyisis to "prove" feminist film theory right. Feminist Film theory doesnt need proving. Its so obviously right, all it takes is to watch a film and you can see the use of the male gaze and the way women and men are put into gender roles.

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