In a world ordered by sexual imbalance, pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female…In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness

— Laura Mulvey

The most killer Laura Mulvey quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

Woman, then, stands in patriarchal culture as a signifier for the male other, bound by a symbolic order in which man can live out his fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of a woman still tied to her place as the bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning.

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It seems to be generally acknowledged that sexism is far from defeated, flourishing through religions and other reactionary ideologies, which would definitely and gladly erase the concept of feminism.

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By now, a younger generation of women participate in extremely lively debates in which questions of gender, sexuality and representation on screens and across media are approached from perspectives that had not yet been articulated in the 1970s.

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I am not sure that there has been a "lack of progress.

" On the contrary, the concept of feminism is not only well established but is now also attracting interest from young women, including teenagers and pre-teens. But a new interest is also symptomatic of the failure of the feminist project and the need for its renewal.

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One absolutely crucial change is that feminist film theory is today an academic subject to be studied and taught. "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" was a political intervention, primarily influenced by the Women's Liberation Movement and, in my specific case, a Women's Liberation study group, in which we read Freud and realised the usefulness of psychoanalytic theory for a feminist project.

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