hormonal reality

Its a pretty tenuous stretch of credulity to assert that Elizabeth Taylor is a feminist. She was radically subservient to dominant male culture and all her so-called rebel actions have to be looked at within the context of acceptable behavior within the materialism and consumerism that defined her era. She was Mad Women. There was little that was emancipatory about her. In fact, she reinforced the cult of celebrity that forms the basis of our communal lives and after a lifetime of attracting attention and appealing to mass market America, she leaves little residue as an individual complicit in the struggle for gender equality. Marriage is intrinsic to the prevailing economic and social order. She used the system and it used her…

“To me, Elizabeth Taylor’s importance as an actress was that she represented a kind of womanliness that is now completely impossible to find on the U.S. or U.K. screen. It was rooted in hormonal reality — the vitality of nature. She was single-handedly a living rebuke to postmodernism and post-structuralism, which maintain that gender is merely a social construct.”…

---Whereas, Elizabeth Taylor "instinctively understands the camera and its nonverbal intimacies." Paglia went on to write that Taylor "takes us into the liquid realms of emotion" where "economy and understatement are essential." She says that "an electric, erotic charge vibrates the space between her face and the lens." While I couldn't claim, in technical terms, that Taylor was the better actress, I understood why Paglia preferred her to Meryl Streep. With Streep, every acting movement is highlighted in the same manner that an operatic diva's high C's are designated to get massive applause. She transforms the fluidity of human emotion into a catalogue of mannerisms: the flick of the hair, an accent, a hand gesture, they all become tics and inflections that call attention to her acting abilities rather than revealing more about the character she is playing.--- Read More:http://www.criticsatlarge.ca/2011/03/electric-ladyland-elizabeth-taylor-1932.html

…”She wields the sexual power that feminism cannot explain and has tried to destroy. Through stars like Taylor, we sense the world-disordering impact of legendary women like Delilah, Salome, and Helen of Troy. Feminism has tried to dismiss the femme fatale as a misogynist libel, a hoary cliche. But the femme fatale expresses women’s ancient and eternal control of the sexual realm.” ( Camille Paglia )Read More:http://www.humblelibertarian.com/2011/03/elizabeth-taylor-pre-feminist-woman.html

Lord’s idea is akin to Marcel Duchamp and anything is art idea. In a purely conceptual sense Taylor is a feminist. Everyone is a feminist then. But to a real feminist she is no feminist. Or she is one without political ideology that would question sexism and other structural issues. At best its about gender equality among people of the same social standing. After all, much of Taylor’s appeal was based on status and distinction.  A feminist to those who are white, upper class and unthreatening to the male power architecture. The implication of a Taylor or even a Gaga, or Madonna is their popularity is partly based on their persona which quells fear of feminist agitation.

…Still, social critic M.G. Lord wants us to regard Taylor as a sort of inadvertent women’s-rights advocate.

Ms. Lord’s “The Accidental Feminist” is a valiant effort to make the case, as her subtitle has it, for “how Elizabeth Taylor raised our consciousness and we were too distracted by her beauty to notice.” In Ms. Lord’s view, the violet-eyed actress began introducing the movie-going masses to gender-equality issues at age 12, when she played a cross-dressing young horsewoman in “National Velvet” (1944). Her feminist credentials were only enhanced by the career that followed, or so we’re told….

---Lord, a baby boomer who grew up when the tabloids were still full of stories of Taylor’s romances, said she had a eureka moment after watching a weekend of Elizabeth Taylor movies with two other generations of friends. “We were gobsmacked by the quality of her performances and by the film’s feminist content,” said Lord, a journalist who also teaches at USC.--- Read More:http://www.thestar.com/living/article/959531

Cleopatra, one of Taylor’s gaudiest roles, does make a nice change from Susan B. Anthony or Willa Cather as a subject of feminist discussion, but the book’s thesis is too tenuous, the evidence too sparse, to be persuasive. When Ms. Lord describes how Taylor in “Giant” (1956) …

…demonstrated that “she wants no part of a culture that demeans women,” that hardly closes the sale. The movie is filled with uxorious clichés from the 1950s, with manly men fighting over big oil and Taylor, at home on the ranch, schooling her husband (Rock Hudson) on his moral shortcomings, most notably his lack of what we would now call multicultural sensitivity. Ms. Lord’s analysis of the feminist message of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966)—”patriarchy crushes men and women alike”—also seems like a stretch. Does anyone seeing the play or movie—in which failed ambition, thwarted hopes and unfulfilled longings are savagely mocked and exposed—come away thinking that “patriarchy” is the villain? Even if that was playwright Edward Albee’s intention, it surely has little to do with anything the actress did while reciting his lines… Read More:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203806504577180911637463738.html

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