Thursday, November 8, 2012

phallocentric power twice

this late 19th century poster illustrates phallocentric power @ the height of the struggle for women's suffrage in the U.S. take a look at the role of "men." a policeman hold the woman down (his reddish nose a sign of having been roughed up by a "masculine woman" epithet used against the suffragettes at the time).

a dapper mustached man vexingly steps on the woman's chest while force-feeding her through a funnel (an apt symbol of repressed desires). we're dealing with man's resentment. women's claim for political equality is presented as victimization. predictably, the "victims" become the tormentors, punishing the effrontery to challenge undisputed phallocentric power.

who said punishing cannot be both exemplary and fun?

meanings multiply with contexts: a little more than a century later force-feeding becomes water-boarding, a policy of the phallocentric state (instead of women, now we got terrorists). both suffrage and terror are subversive acts.

who typifies the well-dressed man?

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