The Official Blog for ENGL 41416.

Jackie Torres


              The article by Mary Ann Doane presents theories by Freud which deal with the female and Freud’s lecture on Femininity. Doane elucidates the way Freud interprets the poem by Heine.  Doane explains that Freud’s theory is really regarding the idea of the man and what signifies a man. She continues to discuss Freud’s theories and incorporates his “eviction of the female spectator”. Freud compares women to hieroglyphics as a complicated distant way of writing which in conclusion does not really relay a message. However, according to Doane, “the hieroglyphics is the most readable languages”. Doane contradicts the theory made by Freud when he uses the hieroglyphics as a comparison to women. Doane enters into the understanding of what a woman should be like in the cinematic world. “The cinematic apparatus inherits a theory of the image which is not conceived outside of sexual specifications”. The woman is seen as merely a sexual figure that is the only category she will fall under.

          The article also mentions the idea of the woman’s femininity as a mask. The female has a mask to conceal her lack of secureness in being a woman. There is no reason why she will want to be a woman, in order to protect this feature she must overly project her feminine ways.  Doane says, “The masquerade, in flaunting femininity, holds it at a distance”. According to theorist Joan Riverie, womanliness is a mask, “to hide the possession of masculinity and to avert the reprisals”. Doane concludes that this mask can in some ways be fatal to men if women decide to reveal what is underneath, because the power that can be held within the mask is what threatens and intimidates men. However, my question is how can a person’s gender and natural ways be a mask which can come off and on?


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