Reading Analyses 4


Rebecca Wiltzen

HIST 2480-01: Gender Sexuality and History in Film

October 10, 2017


The theme of this weeks reading was largely based on the gender constructions of our society and whether gender is the base with which we execute a political standing for the argument of equality.  Both readings drew a large focus on the analyses of woman and what being a woman constitutes in a political standpoint. Scott from his work “Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference” argues the standpoint of the feminist saying that, “Equality that rests on differences – differences that confound, disrupt, and render ambiguous in meaning of any fixed binary opposition. To do anything else is to buy into the political argument that sameness is the requirement for equality.”[1] What I believe Scott is saying is that equality in the political eye is not so transparent when incorporating gender. There are differences in gender that should be accounted for but that shouldn’t change the argument of equality among men and women, rather these differences are as he says, “Ambiguous in meaning” and therefore inconspicuous in the argument of equality. Butler from his work “Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire” further elaborates and supports this argument in saying, “This rough sketch of gender gives us a clue to understand the political reasons for the substantializing view of gender,” he goes on to say, “The act of differentiating the two oppositional moments of the binary results in a consolation of each term.”[2] From a political stand point he’s explaining that it is indeed beneficial for politics to have a divide in gender because it perpetuates the cultural ideology therefore avoiding a dialectic relationship of any kind.

Another idea that I picked up on was that was new to me is the idea that inequality in gender, for one, is extremely complex, but also that it can be found in a lot of common places. For example, Scott from his work “Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference” elaborates on a story about Sears and their trial with inequality of it’s workers and their fight for what’s right.[3] It seems to be that I am ignorant to the fact that inequality can be perpetuated in many forms over various platforms and I believe in doing the readings this week that I am more aware. I believe that this new-found awareness will allow me to recognize and even stand-up for inequalities that I see in my own life thus allowing me to use my knowledge for an important cause.



Butler, J., “Subjects of Sex/Gander/Desire,” in Gender Trouble: 2-46.

Scott, J, “Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference,” Feminist Studies, 14, 1 (Spring, 1988):


[1] Scott, J, “Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference,” Feminist Studies, 14, 1 (Spring, 1988): 48

[2] Butler, J., “Subjects of Sex/Gander/Desire,” in Gender Trouble: 31

[3] Scott, “Deconstructing Equality,” 38

Reading Analyses 3


Rebecca Wiltzen

HIST 2480-01: Gender Sexuality and History in Film

October 2, 2017



The readings from this week reflect that of the portrayal of black woman in media and film and the ways in which black woman themselves view their own portrayal. Black people in America have an extensive history of being oppressed and marginalized. Upon the creation of film and modern technologies these ideological views were carried into and, in a way, highlighted these oppressions and marginalization’s. I think that the overarching theme carried throughout the readings, however, was not in the ideological view of oppression and marginalization but in the moving forward. In the re-writing of stigma and stereotypes and how we can portray black woman as strong, inspirational and independent of those views.

“Moving Beyond Pain” by Hooks, B., a critical look at Beyoncé’s Lemonade, shone a light on the important movement of re-writing black woman in film and media. Beyoncé took a creative approach and showcased a multitude of varying black woman, dancers and actors, of all ages and sizes. Although the context with which Lemonade is indevoured may be controversial in the way it is portrayed with a victim lead and a cheating boyfriend scenario it creates a place for black woman to unite. Re-writing the story of black woman in film and media in our world is not as simple as a Beyoncé hit – although inspiring to many and controversial to some – Hooks, B. brings up an important point about change. Hooks, B. says that change is nothing unless two parts of a whole come together for the same cause. That is, “if change is not mutual then black female emotional hurt can be voiced, but the reality of men inflicting pain will still continue.”1 I think that this concept not only relays to black female emotional hurt but in re-writing any oppression, marginalization, stigma or stereotype. We all must come together to re-write any past wrong doing. Men and women alike.

I think this material is crucial for me, as an Indigenous student, who is white in color but has experienced a different type of oppression to relay a positive notion for change. Although change takes time and hard work one must use their voice to bring people together rather then separating them. Knowledge is the key and your voice is the wheel which begins the movement.



Hooks, B., “Moving Beyond Pain,” Last modified May 9, 2016,

Reading Analyses 2



Rebecca Wiltzen

HIST 2480-01: Gender Sexuality and History in Film

September 18, 2017


How is it that a simple term used to differentiate biological differences has become so fluid and complex? Gender. A word that’s inescapable in everyday life yet so misogynistic.  The readings this week touched largely on gender ideologies portrayed through media that our society has so carefully constructed to depict a person’s role in these societal standards. The prominent argument was surrounding how the evolution of gender throughout history has changed drastically but has yet to stray from a divide in power, still carrying stereotypes that influence most people in everyday life. And that impact can be profound. To support this Gaye Tuchman from “Women’s Deception by the Mass Media” explains, “Considering present content to be variations on past themes minimizes any changes.”1 Furthermore, to expand on this idea that touch’s on if change in really change in gender ideologies Bordo from “Never Just Pictures” explains, “Images carry fantasized solutions to our anxieties and insecurities, and that’s part of the reason why they are powerful.”2 Although gender is evolving these reading describe a pattern of division and stereotyping that is learned and impacts us on a regular basis.

An alternate theme to these reading that I, as the reader, can take away and apply to my life is an expanded understanding of how embedded gender (and everything that that encapsulates) is in my life. I think that these readings have shown me that gender is inescapable but it also is a state of mind and awareness. I understand gender through what I have learned all my life growing up and that is largely incorporated in what I see though media.  In order to reverse or change these ideologies I must look as gender with an alternate perspective and re-learn what is mean to be a woman in this world. And in doing to I must revert from society, media and fully understand my bias’.

In using these texts through research and life I will allow it to be a foundation in what society perceives gender to be and the impact that can have on my life. To re-learn gender is to re-learn the world and I need to understand first what the world believes to move forward in a enlightened way.



        Bordo, S., “Never Just Picures,” in Twilight Zones: The Hidden Life of Cultural Images


Tuchman, Gaye, “Woman’s Depiction by the Mass Media,” Signs, 4,3 (Spring, 1979)



Reading Analyses 1




Rebecca Wiltzen

HIST 2480-01: Gender Sexuality and History in Film

September 9, 2017


Both readings this week: “It’s Just a Movie” by Smith, G. M. and “The Problem with Speaking for Others” by Alcott, L. challenge the reader to think beyond what is being written or spoken. They focus their pieces on individuality and uniqueness of differing analyses, whether it be through analyzing a film in a university class or analyzing a problem to which one will speak on behalf of. No matter the situation I believe that both readings have a clear message that interpretation can be flawed but is equally necessary to develop new ideas of the world.

In the piece “It’s Just a Movie” Smith, G. M. speaks with regards to his own experience in a university class teaching his students about the importance of film analyses. Greg explains various commonly asked questions with rich perspectives of film. What I, as the reader, have taken away most from this reading is relating to Greg’s claim that when analyzing art one should remove societal understandings of what and who is good and view art purely as it is and for what we truly interpret it to be.1 Furthermore we interpret and analyze pieces of art based on our experience with the world. For example, what we know, believe, understand and need at that time in our life all influence what we can take away when interpreting various pieces of art. To elaborate on this point Smith explains, “If we look for rich interpretations of a work, we may find them or we may not.”2 I believe this statement is a powerful one. It highlights how truly individual we all are in interpreting and analyzing art. This reading has taught me that analyses gives us the ability to reach into ourselves and into the piece of art to create new and enlightened understandings of the world. And what more could you as for?

The most important take away from these pieces that I can use in my academics and research must be the central idea that interpretation can be flawed. As human beings, we are unable to achieve this idea of perfect. What I believe, however, is that in knowing ideas and analyses are flawed this makes me more aware. And in being aware this allows me to be proactive, particularly in my academics, to effectively challenge those flaws and seek clarification or alternate perspectives.



Alcott, L., “The problem with Speaking for Others,” Cultural Critique, 20 (Winter 1991-92):5-

Smith, G. M., “It’s Just a Movie’: A Teaching Essay for Introductory Media Classes,” Cinema

          Journal, 41, 1 (Fall 2001): 127-134.

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