Woman fucks man. Woman: subject; man: object.

“Man fucks woman. Subject: man; verb: fucks; object: woman. That’s OK. Woman fucks man. Woman: subject; man: object. That’s not so comfortable for you, is it?”

- DSI Stella Gibson, The Fall, in surely one of the best lines ever delivered on a television show.

5 responses to “Woman fucks man. Woman: subject; man: object.

      • Hey, just joshing.

        But thinking about it in the context of the show, maybe not. The guy that Stella fucked (woman subject) presumably rather enjoyed it (the WPC found two condoms) although he didn’t get much of a chance to express said enjoyment, seeing as how he got shot. As I recall it, the discomfiture was on the part of Stella’s beardy boss, who wasn’t getting any action (although he had done in the past). We don’t know whether he would rather have been subject or object but again, it doesn’t seem to be a dealbreaker.

        My point is that there are some women (Ms Anderson and many of the characters she plays among them) who are deemed to be strong (subject) and also sexually attractive. Maybe there is something transgressive about this, because yes, the norm is still for female attractiveness to incorporate passivity, weakness, the need to be protected or rescued. But lots of men (a significant minority?) do have the hots for Anderson, Helen Mirren, Sharon Stone, Jamie Lee Curtis, Lucy Liu *because* of their perceived strength and self-assurance and I’m sure these men, simple creatures as we are, wouldn’t object to being objects for half an hour. Damn, I’m old enough to have been at university with weird public schoolboys who had big posters of Margaret Thatcher on the wall, and I’m sure it wasn’t just the politics that worked for them.

        The question is: in casting “strong and attractive” actresses such as GA are producers making a feminist statement or just catering to a different niche of the Male Gaze Industry?

        Oh, and although the lines were delivered superbly by Ms Anderson, they were written by a man.

        • Oh. Yes. Saw this comment, meant to reply, forgot.

          This is the struggle for me. Most of my TV watching these days involves some sort of “strong” female character at its forefront but, as you say, said woman is generally beautiful, sexy, assertive (but often in that alluring and mysterious) way etc. etc. So I have been pondering on them all lately: is TV finally starting to critique and invert the traditional portrayal of women or is it still catering to, as you say, the male gaze? Another, but related, issue: much new TV though relatively progressive in many ways still, seemingly deliberately, portrays women as sexualised objects and, often, the victim of violence and/ or rape. So I’ve been asking about that also: is this an attempt to reflect and therefore critique the reality of a woman’s lot or is it, yet again, more titillation for the boys? I don’t know.

  1. That’s a series I should probably watch again. Gillian Anderson was very good but for some reason I spent about two episodes wondering where I’d seen her before and not being able to place her. If only there were some kind of international movie database available on some sort on network of interconnected computers that I could search.

    On the subject of fucking isn’t it better to consider it a mutual act that one shares with another (or others) rather than something that someone does to someone else? I think so. The subject-object clauses aren’t or shouldn’t stand. What matters is you had a shag.

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