To Yoshie, and anyone interested

Catherine Driscoll cdriscol at
Fri Feb 26 01:42:28 PST 1999

Yoshie writes:

>Maybe I was not making myself clear. I wanted to suggest that sometimes
>feminists' focus on the dominant gendering (necessary though it has been
>and still is in many ways) may end up taking what sexist culture wants us
>to see _at its face value_:
> girls/women = eroticized objects = being looked at
> boys/men = non-eroticized subjects = looking.
>The sort of dichotomy that Laura Mulvey's influential theory highlighted.

Of course this is a reasonable criticism of Mulvey & co., which perhaps I take too much for granted now. But, interestingly, I think, looking at River Phoenix or DiCaprio woudl seem less to undermine these genderings than to reinforce them by making them apply to male bodies too. I think that theory is in fact, as many people have argued, more problematised by looking at male bodies outside of that explicit adolescent frame -- say Schwarzenegger -- because 'male adolescence' since its invention has always been feminised precisely in the mode of being gazed upon (as well as in its 'malleability').

>>These I don't know at all. I don't think my Japanese reading is up to
>>commentary. I'll do author searches but any other suggestions as to where I
>>might look for translations of Hashimoto?
>Right now, I don't know if any exists. Let me look around, though, and see
>if I can find one.

That would great. I'll try myself, but if you find anything I would be grateful for the reference.

>>>OK, except that the term 'global girl culture' sounds strange, in that it
>>>doesn't seem to have an objective reference in reality.
>>Well you're right and yet it does have reality in effect -- not only
>>descrbing but shaping products, distribution and consumption.
>You haven't told us what you think about girl culture, where it's at, where
>it's going, etc. in Australia or elsewhere. Maybe you're busy now, but I'd
>like to hear from you about it when you have some time.

Well I can't do it justice in the time I have but I'll say here that --- I think girl culture because of its historical centrality to discourses on 'global culture' is a very interesting way of looking at what it might mean and at its limitations as a concept --- girl culture is also fascinating because it can only possibly exist as an effect of globalised conceptions of cultural production and yet it is also certainly operative in effect in so many different cultural contexts.

And there's a lot else I think about the role of girl culture within Western and globalised culture, which I can't and wouldn't unfold here. Of course I'm happy to answer specific questions, or even refer you to things I've written (which seems a bit shameless), but it's just hard to know where to start on the question of what I think about girl culture...

>I saw it here, but I'm sure it would have been popular over there. Come to
>think of it, lately (meaning since I left there) there have been a few from
>down under: _Crush_; _An Angel at My Table_; _Heavenly Bodies_.

Do you mean _Heavenly Creatures_? The last two should in all justice be called NZ films (though I'm less sure about _An Angel..._). International releases from Australia would also include _Strictly Ballroom_, _AngelBaby_, _Metal Skin_, _Romper Stomper_, that Diana film, and many others (for which my boundaries are probably looser than others' -- I think _The Piano_ is a girl film). Those are just a few 90s films (because I'm in a hurry).


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