Newt In A Tea Cup

{January 19, 2007}   Cinderella and Friday’s Word on Masturbation!

May I just say how much I love Ever After? Drew Barrymore is such a fantastic model for young girls in that film and doesn’t get saved by anyone once (except maybe, the bit where Da Vinci opens a door for her but let’s not quibble over something so small). I love that she stands up for herself and those she loves from beginning to end and doesn’t compromise her beliefs. Yeah, it’s really cheesy and somewhat over acted but it hits the spot. And both my parents were enjoying it at the end.

I need a pick me up. I figured out the other day that sexism is a key theme of all my classes and rape is discussed in near all classes. It seems to be one of the most common of all themes in literary or film (and least understood or misrepresented). Watching the rape scene from A Clockwork Orange in our course on Shocking Cinema made me feel so very ill. Having people claim that some elements were humorous scared me even more. I found it completely terrifying and nauseating. But then what does that matter? I’m sick of all our classes dealing with rape cases and yet refusing to call them for what they are – Measure for Measure by Shakespeare, Phantom of Liberty by Bunuel both feature a scene where a woman is coerced for sex against her desire. That’s called rape.

Thank God for the progressive stuff out there. Thank God I’m not blind to all that.

So here’s for the Friday Word- I’ve decided to put a poem I like:

Against Coupling by Fleur Adcock

I write in praise of the solitary act:
of not feeling a trespassing tongue
forced into one’s mouth, one’s breath
smothered, nipples crushed against the
rib-cage, and that metallic tingling
in the chin set off by a certain odd nerve:

unpleasure. Just to avoid those eyes would help-
such eyes as a young girl draws life from,
listening to the vegetal
rustle within her, as his gaze
stirs polypal fronds in the obscure
sea-bed of her body, and her own eyes blur

. There is much to be said for abandoning
this no longer novel exercise-
for now ‘participating in
a total experience’-when
one feels like the lady in Leeds who
had seen The Sound Of Music eighty-six times;

or more, perhaps, like the school drama mistress
producing A Midsummer Night’s Dream
for the seventh year running, with
yet another cast from 5B.
Pyramus and Thisbe are dead, but
the hole in the wall can still be troublesome.

I advise you, then, to embrace it without
encumberance. No need to set the scene,
dress up (or undress), make speeches.
Five minutes of solitude are
enough-in the bath, or to fill
that gap between the Sunday papers and lunch.


Liz says:

I love Ever After too – yes, its cheesy but I’ve always loved the fact that the main character is so strong and outspoken and has progressive views 🙂

I know what you mean about rape – especially A Clockwork Orange because that scene made me feel ill and horrified. I can’t believe anyone could find it humourous to see a woman experience something so horrifying. Because that’s the problem – why are people so numb to a woman’s pain? People also argue that coerced sex isn’t rape because the woman ultimately “consents” – yeah right. If a woman is unhappy about what’s happening to her and her body then it is rape.

I love the poem, it’s very powerful. I’m glad I found yet another fantastic feminist blog! 🙂

tcupnewt says:

Hey Liz!

It’s amazing how they turned Cinderella into an active, progressive story. Good use of my £5! 🙂

I see that scene as achieving what it set out to do (make a rape more frightening because of the rapist’s insouciance) incredibly well. The problem is that people don’t get how to react to rape- like they don’t think it’s something that happens in reality. The view of coercion as okay shows how much this culture is used to ignoring women’s pain even when it’s right in front of their eyes.

Great blog, good job getting it all together 🙂

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