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Carried away: 'revisioning' feminist film theory toward a radical practice.

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posted on 2021-05-24, 14:09 authored by Kimberley Radmacher
""It's difficult to believe that after over 30 years of feminist theory "breaking the glass ceiling" is still a term often heard from women professionals. Still, while women continue to make up a trifling percentage of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, and are continually paid 72% of the wages of their male counterparts, 2 small advances continue to be made by women in both these areas? Yet, one profession that stands out as persistently keeping women on the outside looking in is mainstream filmmaking, especially directing. Indeed, no woman has ever won an Oscar for directing, and women are rarely nominated in the category, most likely because women direct less than 1 % of mainstream films. While women continue to chip their way up the corporate ladder, albeit excruciatingly slowly, women directors of mainstream films are actually declining in numbers. It is ironic that it should be in the area of filmmaking that women have made such small progress. The implication of feminist film criticism's rifts and divisions, played out in theories of heterogeneity or what makes up a feminist aesthetic, typifies the continuing contribution that feminist criticism has made to critical and ultural studies on a whole. Much current critical theory is indebted to feminist film theory, but in tum, critical, psychoanalytic, post structuralist and cultural studies' influences on radical feminist theory have effected--or at least influenced--a shift that tends to privilege a critical practice dealing primarily with image/representation. As a result, feminist approaches to media have centred on '[re]reading' popular culture through a narrow feminist paradigm which in film criticism, especially, has meant that dominant critical strategies chiefly have been limited to a political tactic of "reading against the grain," rather than a tactic of producing contemporary feminist films."--Pages 2-3.



Master of Arts


Communication and Culture

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Scott Forsyth