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Bad Women : Regulation of Female Sexuality in Early American Cinema - Janet Staiger

Bad Women

Regulation of Female Sexuality in Early American Cinema

Paperback Published: 1st August 1995
ISBN: 9780816626250
Number Of Pages: 248

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How did cultural tensions about "appropriate" behaviour for women play out in early 20th-century films? Janet Steiger examines a classical period in Hollywood cinema during which the notion of the "bad woman" was created, magnified and spread nationwide. She isolates 1907-1915 as the key moment in the struggle over the meaning of "woman" as a sign, and illustrates how such issues as sexuality and hygiene were being reimagined to define an appropriate version of, and explanation for, women's sexuality. The early 1900s saw the repeal of reticence laws, opening up issues of behaviour and sexuality for wide discussion. The movies of the time portrayed "good women" as intelligent, self-assertive, and desiring - as long as what they desired was appropriate and their desire was not excessive. "Bad women" in turn, were wayward and oversexed. She proposes that these images of "good" and "bad" women suggested a middle-class vision of sexual morality, a vision that was not necessarilly repressive, rather a response to how women and women's sexuality might most appropriately fit a developing consumer society. This work provides important and interesting insights about the role of cinema as a redemptive instrument during the progressive era. Staiger examines how self-regulation institutions within the film industry were advocates of one sector of the middle-class. She discusses what effect the formation of the National Board of Review and the New York City censorship board had on sexual regulation through an in-depth exploration of these films: Traffic in Souls", "A Fool There Was" and "The Cheat".

List of Illustrations
The Repeal of Reticencep. 1
Sex O'Clock in Americap. 29
Troublesome Picturesp. 54
From Boston to Bombayp. 86
The White Slavep. 116
The Vampp. 147
The Butterflyp. 163
Conclusionp. 179
Notesp. 183
Filmography and Bibliographyp. 207
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780816626250
ISBN-10: 0816626251
Series: Contradictions of Modernity; 4
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 1st August 1995
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.34

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