Can anyone forget the Louisiana town where Negro soldiers were shot down like dogs in the public square? Why has it been necessary for the President to issue an executive order on fair employment practices for such states as New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania? Why do you suppose Negroes right in Westchester County have had crosses burned on the lawns of homes they have purchased? And why the Detroit riots? White America has not accepted the emancipation of the Negro.
And for white America to see parade across the silver screen Negroes as they would like to see them — in their so-called places — would tend to bring to the surface many of those inhibitions which have been laying dormant in their breasts. There would be a field day for the South. I daresay the South would give MGM a medal for such a picture. The plea for the Jew against his oppressors has, I believe, certainly not helped him with the American people and there are an alarming number scattered throughout this country who are against him.
I remember when I first started going to Hollywood, various people with whom I came into contact, whispered in unpleasant terms about the Jew owning the town and then I noticed that after Hitler got away with his viciousness against these people, the voices grew continuously louder and more abusive. And so it goes. Anything the picture industry does in regards to the Negro today must be of a militant nature. America has got to realize that Black America is dying on the battlefields, buying war bonds, paying taxes, helping to hold down the homefront and turning out implements of war, not to be tolerated or handled with kid gloves, but by God, for freedom from want, from discrimination — to be treated like men and women in a free democracy — for an opportunity for education, etc.
Why must the moviemakers always dig back into the files and drag out something which they feel will please the bigots? Why cannot there. That stories based on some of our accomplishments be made. John Rankin, a decorated World War I veteran and Mississippi congressman from , was a renowned racist, anti-Communist and anti-Semite. The Sojourner Truth project was built specifically to house black workers, many of whom had moved to Detroit as a consequence of wartime labor demands.
Played the daughter in John M. Eva Rieger The female voice In the research environment of the waning s, we were not historically trained enough to recognise and address theoretical and historiographical problems. In feminist discussions, women were initially seen as victims of a patriarchally structured society.
But it became apparent that this was too sweeping a generalization. Women knew then, and know now, how to defend themselves, and many women singers certainly knew how to use their power. It could seduce and unleash magical powers. The Sirens and the song of Circe are early examples of this. The female voice was considered a source of sexual and cultural power, and as a result, was subject to restrictions.
It could not be heard in church, except within the congregation. A long line of negative attributions, fuelled by fear of female superiority, ran from the ancient Greeks to the present. What men were permitted, women were blamed for. The singer Giulia di Caro, who lived around , was resented for her numerous love affairs, and because she loved to ride in an open coach through Naples surrounded by admirers.
You could hear her loud laugh from far away. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the high voice was even given preference over the low. One went so far as to. Thus, a castrato could play a woman, and a woman a man — so long as they both had high voices. Women played virtuous suffers, powerful sorceresses, coquettes, and sleepwalkers, and they radiated power and passion in these roles. The voice can also be understood as a metaphor for power, for the woman singer is appreciated for her song, which no man can replicate. Behaviour patterns that were considered unrefined in bourgeois society were required of the female singer: strength, endurance, awareness of power, activity, egoism, and absolute professionalism.
Thus, women singers were quickly blamed for losing their femininity and appropriating male privileges; they were considered jealous, egoistic, capricious, lesbian, corrupt, vulgar, erotically demanding, lacking in maternal instincts, and mercenary. Gertrud Elisabeth Mara, one of the first German prima donnas, tells in her memoirs how, in , she took revenge on the composer and conductor Johann Friedrich Reichardt, who had annoyed her. She was singing a stuffy aria in one of the operas he had composed, and he was conducting.
At the end, she held out a trill so long that Reichardt lowered his hands. She made me a laughing-stock in front of the entire audience. I advise every Capellmeister not to spoil things for the prima donna. Eva Rieger was born in Great Britain and moved to Germany at age Has lived in Liechtenstein since She is the author of numerous books and refers to herself as a feminist.
Adorno [Sirenes] In myth each moment of the cycle discharges the previous one, and thereby helps to install the context of guilt as law. Odysseus opposes this situation. The self represents rational universality against the inevitability of fate. He must escape the legal conditions which enclose and threaten him, and which are, so to speak, laid down in every mythic figure.
He satisfies the sentence of the law so that it loses power over him, by conceding it this very power. Defiance and infatuation are one and the same thing, and whoever defies them is thereby lost to the myth against which he sets himself. Odysseus does not try to take another route that would enable him to escape sailing past the Sirens.
But he has found an escape clause in the contract, which enables him to fulfill it while eluding it. Bonds belong to a stage when the prisoner is not put to death on the spot. He listens to the song of pleasure and thwarts it as he seeks to thwart death.
The bound listener wants to hear the Sirens as any other man would, but he has hit upon the arrangement by which he as subject need not be subjected to them. Despite all the power of his desire, which reflects the power of the demi-goddesses themselves, he cannot pass over to them, for his rowers with wax-stopped ears are deaf not only to the demi-goddesses but to the desperate cries of their commander. The epic says nothing of what happened to the Sirens once the ship had disappeared.
In tragedy, however, it would have been their last hour, as it was for the Sphinx when Oedipus solved the riddle, fulfilling its command and thus disenchanting it. If they are satisfied, then the myths right down to their most distant relation will suffer for it. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment. Philosophical Fragments , Stanford University Press, Courtesy of Stanford University Press. Germaine Dulac The Music of Silence There was a time, not so long ago, when the art of cinema sought not to define itself, as it does today, hopelessly through the mistakes of commercial interpretation.
It found satisfaction through form of an almost traditional kind, one that allowed for its technical evolution toward a considerable degree of perfection while remaining unconcerned with its higher aesthetic. By its aesthetic we mean the inspiration that deploys technique for spiritual expression. The combination of sensitive film stock and an appropriate mechanism meant we could now photograph life and record its diverse manifestations and movements. To photograph, one aimed the lens in the direction of tangible forms in motion within or toward a goal.
Apart from these same forms, the idea of photographing the imperceptible would have been considered folly. I say imperceptible and not invisible. The invisible, the materially existent that lies beyond our visual perception has long been caught by the cinema. One discovery affects proportionality and delves into space, thereby impressing our vision. Other improvements in lighting enable the projection of vibrations with a more powerful effect on our vision.
For example, a horse clears a gate; our eye gauges his effort synthetically. The same holds true for our gauging of the growth of a germinating grain of wheat. The cinema, in decomposing movement, makes us see the beauty of a leap analytically, through the succession of rhythms that compose a rhythmic whole.
And when we focus on germination we get not only the synthesis of growth in movement but the psychology of that movement. Visually, through its rhythms and line — straight and curvilinear — movement gives us a relation to a life of complexity. I have constantly on my lips — and with no fear of contradiction — the words visual, visually, sight, eye, look. However, there does exist a factor of contradiction.
Although cinema may, in its technique, be solely visual, it happens that by virtue of its moral aesthetic, it disdains the purely visual image. Rather, it focuses on the representation of expression in which the image may take the first, but not the most important, place.
Current work focuses not on the value of the image or on its rhythmic movement, but on silent dramatic action. There is a world of difference between silent dialogue and the music of silence. Until now cinema has tended to be silent dialogue rather than music. Two actors in a scene talk to each other. This is wrong; only their silent facial expressions will be visual. But, sadly, in dramatic films the factual counts more heavily than the expressive. To sum up; the cineographic instrument is conceived in its scientific potential for one purpose; cineographic inspiration pursues another goal.
Where lies its truth? In the technical instrument that has created the seventh art. Do you know how your scene will unfold visually? Should we not take up the struggle? The cinema can certainly tell stories, but we must remember that the story is nothing but a surface. The seventh art, the art of the screen, lies in the depth beneath this surface, in musical imperceptibility. Those who accept this dictum see the in-rolling future as living reality and the past as reality entombed. They also regard every human faculty as having an evolutionary history.
For these straight-line thinkers memory is a mere glance over the shoulder along a past seen as a progression from the near end of which mankind goes forward. They are also, these characteristically occidental thinkers, usually found believing in the relative passivity of females. And since women excel in the matter of memory, the two beliefs admirably support each other. But there is memory and memory. And memory proper, as distinct from a mere backward glance, as distinct even from prolonged contemplation of things regarded as past and done with, gathers, can gather, and pile up its wealth only round universals, unchanging, unevolving verities that move neither backwards nor forwards and have neither speech nor language.
Once a woman becomes a partisan, a representative that is to say of one only of the many sides of question, she has abdicated. Listen to their outpouring. Chatter, chatter, chatter, as men say. And say also that only one in a thousand can talk. For all these women use speech, with individual differences, alike: in the manner of a facade. They talk to banish embarrassment. It is true they are apt to drop, if the confrontation be prolonged, into what is called gossip and owes both its charm and its poison to their excellence in awareness of persons.
This amongst themselves. In relation to men their use of speech is various. In its insistence on contemplation it provided a pathway to reality. In becoming audible and particularly in becoming a medium of propaganda, it is doubtless fulfilling its destiny. But it is a masculine destiny. The destiny of planful becoming rather than of purposeful being. It will be the chosen battle-ground of rival patterns, plans, ideologies in endless succession and bewildering variety. It has been declared that it is possible by means of purely aesthetic devices to sway an audience in whatever direction a filmateur desires.
Perhaps British Instructional, with the entire medical profession behind it, will kindly shorten them again. It is a medium, or a weapon, at the disposal of all parties and has, considered as a battlefield a grand advantage over those of the past when civil wars have been waged disadvantageously to one party or the other by reason of inequalities of publicity, restrictions of locale and the relative indirectness and remoteness of the channels of communication.
The new film can, at need, assist Radio in turning the. And multitudinous within that vast chamber as within none of the preceding councils of mankind, is the unconquerable, unchangeable eternal feminine. A field over which lies only the shadow of the censorship. And the censorship is getting an uneasy conscience. British educational and documentary film production company founded by Harry Bruce Woolfe in By the end of the decade, almost one hundred of these had been produced.
In November , the Educational Department, headed by Marry Field, was founded to supply educational films. That the critic put a label on herself as a certain kind of feminist is not so important as her making explicit the assumptions which underly her analysis of film and her value judgments about films. We are oriented to write criticism of the film itself rather than the whole film process milieu1—maker s —film—audience—milieu2 because of the close relation between film and literary criticism.
We bring to film criticism New Critical, psychoanalytic and structuralist approaches. Auteur criticism is, for example, marked by a psychoanalytic approach—the search for themes, archetypes, underlying psychological patterns. Since most films are sexist in both form and content — and this includes documentaries, feature fiction films, and experimental films that are not abstractions — the feminist critic finds herself coming to terms with the fact that she, like most women, still enjoys these films.
We have not abandoned Hollywood nor the whole bulk of past films. However, and here women in audiences already differ, some women flatly reject films sexist in content but their definition of a sexist film differs from woman to woman. At this point the feminist critic finds herself criticizing films other women may praise and finding reasons to like films others may reject as sexist.
I can give a few examples from my own reviewing experience. I put in these personal examples to indicate that it is at this level that feminist film criticism currently engages movie goers in lively debates, and that analyses of content from a feminist perspective are both popular and useful. In particular we have no feature films presenting a view of the lives of lesbians. Rather we must use our capacity as feminist critics to see what is in these. We do not have to promote just films having a didactic function, but I would hope that it would be from feminist critics that a woman director gets her best critique.
Courtesy of Julia Lesage. Published in print until ; since then, online only. Caroline Sheldon Lesbians and Film [ Film is an excellent vehicle for this strategy in its pretension to reality, dependent on our conditioned acceptance of the meaning of film language, hiding behind the notion of simple entertainment. These films fulfil voyeuristic desires whilst warning women to stay in safe heterosexual domesticity, despite the implied inadequacy of their own sexual competence.
As I have pointed out, on the whole, lesbians and indeed feminists are attracted by films containing independent and sensitive strong women, but a frustration for lesbians in watching such films is the potential lesbianism of the heroine s which never surfaces. This little fantasy on a well-worn plot variations are endless, as Hollywood discovered serves to emphasise a point made by Joan Mellen1 that.
The taboo nature of homosexuality made it for a long time an unknown fact how many people realised that Gertrude Stein was a lesbian? If we are concerned about the way that film promotes its illusions, then there is a need to reflect in our film making practice on these devices and strategies as Jan Oxenberg has begun to do in Home Movie and, with the help of the lesbian community, in Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts.
Inasmuch as women are beginning to establish the ways in which the language is male in its assumptions they are also discovering that this is true of film language. This essay has been an early discussion of a certain filmic vocabulary related to lesbianism. It is one that will only take place in the public eye if a wider variety of films are in general distribution and the techniques of film criticism and film making are in the hands of that very public.
From: Richard Dyer, ed. Courtesy of Richard Dyer. Four women, who have all had some cinema experience prior to this project, work with the engaged independent theatre owner to provide a cinema programme for women every Thursday evening. Here, women will be able to see films that interest them, and that they — and not necessarily their male companions — enjoy. This would be socially and pedagogically worthwhile but would still be marginalising politically.
The Berlin women see it as one of the main tasks of their cinema to make these various kinds of feature, documentary and experimental films accessible to an audience. About to films by. No prior censorship of the films under discussion takes place. An initial requirement that all members of the initiative see a film before it is shown could not be maintained. It therefore cannot be assumed — though the audience often does so — that the cinema women identify with the films screened.
Films by men are not excluded a priori. However, this concept was abandoned. The exchange of experiences between the audience and women film professionals is also vital. In this way, questions of film politics — such as problems with the terms of production and distribution, or with feminist film criticism — can be tied into the discussion. The programme selection reveals how important this aspect of their work is to the Berlin women.
On the contrary, the programme pays little attention to whether a film is playing in other nearby cinemas soon, or on television. This presents a considerable risk in a city like Berlin, which has a wealth of first-run cinemas and independent theatres, and even an additional institution like the Arsenal. For reasons of performing rights, every visitor must be a member of the initiative. The expense is a 1-Mark contribution for a quarter year, plus 4 Marks for the admission ticket. In the first quarter, the initiative had members; from December to March, there were The percentage that made up the core audience, who were members the entire time, was low.
Men are excluded from the viewership, which has led to the age-old allegation of sexism and ghettoization, particularly with screenings of rarely-seen films. They resurface in the memories of other cinema owners, distributors, and the audience, thus perhaps providing them with a chance to be appropriately represented, at least in off-theatres. Films are made by men; they reflect the perspective of their male makers; and furthermore, they are aimed at the perceived interests of the people who make up most of the film audience.
Men carry even more weight as potential consumers, when one considers that women seldom go to the cinema alone. Her companion is her boyfriend, husband or partner, who usually decides which film the couple will see together. The sex-specific division of labour that ties women to children and household provides accordingly concrete arguments. Certainly, even Hollywood has started to ask why the proportion of women in the audience is so small. But fundamentally, nothing changes, since the existing power structures remain in control of the material. She worked for more than twenty years as a television journalist and wrote for newspapers and radio.
Today she is a freelance author and responsible for the magazine of the German society for the promotion of garden culture. The first idea was to organise festivals but since most of the films were foreign, it was more efficient to buy copies and subtitle them, as is customary here. Thus, distribution grew organically, proving to be the ideal form of film work to satisfy this and further ambitions.
During the first years, the goal was to make contacts with foreign filmmakers. This was the task of Phil van der Linden and Nicolaine den Breejen, two of the eight founders who built up the business and led it for over 40 years. In addition, Cinemien conducted film history research from the beginning, discovering legendary films by women in archives, which they included in their distribution catalogue. The other essential task was to create an audience.
Beginning in , they took part in annual. They also travelled across the country by car, with a projector and screen, to present the films. In order to also do justice to thematic and formally inventive feature films by women, Cinemien sought access to alternative cinemas. We screened a wide selection of films by women, among them several from Cinemien. Beyond this, premieres at the Rotterdam film festival, and their echo in the press, attracted the interest of alternative cinema operators. This helped Cinemien win over the gay and lesbian audience.
Cinemien implemented its commitment professionally, gaining an increasingly wide audience for their increasingly ambitious films. Today, Cinemien is the most important of the so-called art house film distributors in the Netherlands. It continues to be concerned with the support of films by women.
Her extraordinary book Women in the Silent Cinema. Ruby Rich Prologue. Instead, they were the only chance, like those signs for gas before crossing the desert — in this case, emerging from a century-long desert. Women wrote one another around the world, passing on tips of filmmakers rediscovered or long-lost prints reclaimed. No wonder an air of expectation and momentum hung over them.
At the same time, they were politically instrumental in their very essence. Institutions are increasingly using a variety of materials to focus on this issue. The medium of film is rapidly becoming one of the most common methods. In fact, during the past several years there has been an increasing interest on campus in films about women. Film festivals about women are becoming commonplace. Instant success made for an immediate trend. Here was the public face of feminism. Here was proof positive that women were capable of something big, had made great films, and then — due to sheer sexist injustice — had been denied recognition, relegated instead to obscurity, early retirement, and the withdrawal of backing.
The festivals had a shared rhetoric that carried the message of the day. Often the statements were collectively written, reflecting the organizational style of the festivals themselves. Everything was dead serious: there was a point to be made. They had a mission. One of the best was the issue of Take One, a now-defunct Canadian film magazine of considerable influence in its time. In addition to the kind of historical recuperation that was de rigeur, they sought out a variety of opinions, however transgressive, from older as well as younger generations.
I just find them tiresome, if not vicious. So does [sic] Viva. So does every woman I know who has really done anything. You can cop a career any way you want. Now everything they say I totally agree with. Here are these poor chicks. Every planning process was inevitably a political process as well. Debates took place on everything from programming choices to day care accommodations to ticket pricing.
Every decision was ideologically charged. Although there are many and diverse reasons for holding such a festival, it might be helpful to consider some of the following questions in organizing a festival of films concerning women: What are the goals of the festival? What are the criteria for selecting films? Will the festival revolve around a central theme? Such rhetoric today would be unthinkable in the context of a program of films. There was lots of disagreement and a bit of consensus, along with inevitable coups, resignations, and takeovers.
That was the tenor of the times. Festival committees were full of missionary zeal, situating their exhibition projects with unerring precision within the context of the larger feminist organizing project that they were eager to join, sharing their intentions via the printed page with their friends and enemies, local audiences, and international colleagues.
Happily, these texts are still available, making a convincing case for difference between our moment today and the provisional ideological moment occupied by these festivals. Close friends,. The relationships between the people working on the film and the people on the screen are neither mysterious, objectifying, nor hierarchical. Being unimpressed with the competitive mentality, this was never a criteria [sic] for selection, and we have excluded mentioning such in the programme notes. We assume every woman and man seeing these films to be capable of forming their own opinion. The central issues centre around how far women directors have presented a critique of their position in society, or alternatively how far they have merely reflected dominant ideology.
Video is being used as a vehicle for social change — using it as a feed-back tool for consciousness-raising groups, women with marriage and family problems. You can make your own television!! Philadelphia, Washington, Iowa City, and others followed. But Chicago? My relationship to feminism was still marginal. Intent on expanding my horizons, though, I was reading everything I could find and meeting everyone I could manage, but film won out over feminism as my priority. Not because they necessarily would be better, but because they would be different.
A questionnaire was sent to many women directors, producers, screen writers, editors, and critics. The majority of the responses came from women who seemed interested in the concerns of women in the profession and in society as a whole. I do dominate them. And they like it! I know, I know, this is regarded today as a Neanderthal attitude. Copyright, , Duke University Press.
Courtesy of www. Ruby Rich is a well-known film critic, festival programmer, cultural theorist, and chronicler of social trends on screen and off. She coined the term queer cinema. All six are smoking; one of them knits. The point of departure for their discussion is their recently shared experience at demonstrations on 8 March. Often, the woman speaking is not visible on-screen. We see listeners rather than speakers: faces concentrating solely on what a female voice is saying outside the image.
Without the presence of speakers in the picture, that which is said becomes part of the collective flow of thoughts. None of the six seem concerned about the presence of the camera. Pictures of daily life in a patriarchal society, replete with ascribed gender roles, are placed in parallel contrast to these interviews. Both these elements can also. Essere donne gives women from all over Italy a voice in their double exploitation as women and workers. Author-politician Miriam Mafai contributed the commentary.
Pianeta venere describes the impossible relationship between young Amelia and a party member named Matteo. Second-wave feminists thought cinema held promise as a collectivelyproduced mass medium. Their material of choice was Super 8 film, which was relatively easy to use and enabled a film to be produced at low cost. For this same reason, documentary film plays a prominent role, especially in the early years. Based on the reprocessing of dissident forms of belief, and of the history of witch hunts — a reappraisal undertaken in Italy after the war — the Italian feminist movement projected its own experiences backward into.
The image composition is minimalistic, the means of representation straightforward: An off-screen voice is the inquisitor, an actress the woman accused of witchcraft. Cecilia Valenti is a media scholar and film curator. Fabian Tietke programmes cinemas and writes about film. They recently presented film series on Italy 68 and on the pioneer of Italian documentary film, Cecilia Mangini.
It is only because so few women have been able to make films that this festival exists. Primarily it exists because a film director is in a position of economic and executive power. He has to exert authority over the whole process of film-making, planning a complex battle campaign and bringing the film in within budget. In a way, John Ford summed it up when he said a woman could never be a good director because she could not throw a straight left to the jaw.
The greater the financial investment in a project, the less likely it is to be entrusted to a woman. In the twenties, before sound and the heyday of the studio system, it was relatively easier for women to make films, simply because there was more independent small-budget production. The same is true today. The high watermark for Hollywood was the low watermark for women. Naturally the triumphal values of male domination were transmitted into the films themselves.
Because of the grotesque discrimination against women there has been in the cinema, it is right to pay homage to those who have managed to make films, against all the odds. But a festival such as this need not stop short at homage. Hopefully, this festival could make some kind of contribution towards building such a cinema. First, it is obvious that the image of women on the screen would be changed. This is not purely a question of correcting stereotypes and insisting that women should be shown in more dynamic roles.
It goes further than that. Women are fighting not just against the world of reality, but against the world of male fantasy as well. The fetishistic view of women which dominates. Women have to transform cinema myth as well as cinema reality: female fantasy must be released. Women are often pigeon-holed as good at dealing with realistic human dramas which demand sensitivity of treatment. But accuracy or even insight into situations, including situations of oppression, are not so important as exploding the whole world of assumptions on which the cinema is built.
There is a marked streak of craziness in films made by women at the moment and this is an excellent thing. The violence done to women in the world of the image has to be returned in kind. It is women, particularly, who have always been looked at and undergone the look and gaze of men. They have been encouraged to be exhibitionists to gratify the voyeurism of men. Here too the whole nature of the cinema must be put in question, the dynamics of looking at film.
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Women must question the relationship between looker and looked-at, spectator and spectacle, exhibitionist and voyeur. Finally, women can question, as they already are doing, the whole role and status of the director. It is right for women, as an intermediate goal, to struggle to become directors in the male-dominated cinema of today, structured by a rigid division of labour and hierarchy of authority.
But women have been trapped too long in dead-end jobs like continuity girl or negative cutter to be content with the cinema as it is organized now. Single sparks can start prairie fires, especially out of celluloid. Claire Johnston Dorothy Arzner: Critical Strategies The last few years have witnessed a radical re-assessment of the role women have played in the cinema which would be impossible to imagine outside the context of a feminist politics. This re-assessment1 has involved both a taking stock of the role women have played as a creative force in the cinema, and an examination of the whole problem of woman as spectacle.
But do feminist film critics simply want to introduce women into film history? To answer this question, it is necessary to examine the ideology which has dominated film history up to now. Film historians as J. The historicism and pseudo-objectivism of this approach leaves little room for theory of any kind. This is not, however, to ignore the political importance of asserting the real role women have played in the history of the cinema. The central female protagonists react against and thus transgress the male discourse which entraps them. The form of transgression will depend on the nature of the particular discourse within which they have been caught.
These women do not sweep aside the existing order and found a new, female, order of language. Rather, they assert their own discourse in the face of the male one, by breaking it up, subverting it and, in a sense, rewriting it. It is this form of rewriting which then becomes the structuring principle of the text, the particular nature of the rewriting depending on what is being rewritten. Also, here, desire and transgression are articulated through a systematic presentation of opposites. Dance, Girl, Dance also employs an additional element, the self-conscious use of stereotyping; Bubbles as the archetypal vamp and Judy as her naive and innocent straight girl generate within the text of the film an internal criticism of it and of the function woman has within the narrative.
The mythic qualities of this primitive iconography become, in effect, a shorthand for an ideological tradition in order to provide a critique of it, generating a series of. Both are progressive artists who hold a specific and important position in history precisely because they open up an area of contradiction in the text, but at the same time they are unable radically to change these contradictions. For this reason, it is particularly important that films such as those of Arzner should be studied by feminists involved in developing a feminist counter-cinema.
Her films pose the problem for all of us: is it possible to sweep aside the existing forms of discourse in order to found a new form of language? The French semiologist Roland Barthes has suggested that all stories are based on the structure of the Oedipus myth4. How, then, is it possible to produce feminist art which is not based on such a structure and the repression of the feminine which underpins it?
In posing the question in the way she does, and through the working out of her own solution as a process of rewriting, Dorothy Arzner has made one of the most important contributions to the development of a feminist counter-cinema. Phil Hardy, Edinburgh Film Festival, Does it matter anyway? It is not until you see a commercial film directed by a woman that you fully realise that a female consciousness really does make for different movies.
There have been quite a few films made by women since the industry began but they are very rarely shown. The films were popular too, with Film House in Edinburgh packed night after night with a mixed audience. Some of the films were so amazing the cinema audience was left laughing and cheering, especially after a scene in which a night-club dancer turns on her drunken, hissing spectators and denounces them at length as pathetic voyeurs.
The book and the film-script were by women too, and it shows in their marvelous story about eight determined dancing girls who struggle to make a living in various revues and vaudeville shows. There are some interesting reversals in the story, for instance the handsome hero is a playboy who never works but is valued for his good looks. No science only paints a rosy picture of itself. ABA is also probably a mass-scale taxpayer insurance conspiracy to defraud. They will not even discuss the fact that the actually autistic community has thoroughly blogged about the PTSD-traumas they cause us.
She is all excited when they arrive. If she does not want to do something they do not force her, they respect her right to say no. I asked them what their goals are, and what are their methods. It is up to us to find the right fit for our own children, one that will be a positive experience for them. For us, ABA is merely providing my daughter with a set of tools to cope with situations she will experience in life, not a way of changing her as a person.
I tell my daughter every day how proud I am of her, how perfect she is, and I ask her never to change. Autism is part of who she is, and it makes her the unique, intelligent, creative, and beautiful girl that we love. Every behavior has a reason behind it. I think you mean, every behavior has a function.
It goes to show that you have no experience of ABA at all. I doubt that you were ever a therapist. If a child is screaming because he wants a cookie, the function of the screaming is to obtain a cookie, and the reason for the screaming is that he wants a cookie. Is a function not a reason? Kid wants it.
Wanting the cookie is the reason to do something. Getting the cookie is the function of the thing that the kid does. Unfortunately, with ABA, the focus then becomes compliance training, teaching the child it is not okay to have an opinion or a want unless the person in authority over them gives them permission, and then it must be communicated in the way that works for the adult in authority, regardless of how it works for the child.
You are right! It really is quite simple. How on Earth would that be even possible if you were doing any properly organised training? Was your training being provided by BCBAs? For the exam, all ethical considerations topics are dealt with as part of the assessment process as it examines topics to which the ethical standards apply, rather than lumping them in at the end as a disconnected body of questions.
If you did not receive that training in ethics, then either of two things are true here. One is that you were not being trained by appropriately qualified people. The other is that you were actually not being trained at all. I found their code of ethics: —— 5. Client Rights and Autonomy. Any observed or suspicion of harassment or abuse will be reported to appropriate authorities. So, if you were not being given ANY training on the BACB ethical standards and guidelines for responsible conduct, what the hell was that training programme that you were on? You mention witnessing abuse.
If you were on a proper training programme, why did you not report it? I believe the account. I see a complete disregard for ethics in the field despite lessons intended to help their horrible reputation on dual consent which are completely ignored. The new ethics code gives mere lip service to ethics. The profession is empathy-disabled since the feelings of the other persons are officially in ABA disregarded as unobservable and not therefore data. Yeh — go, WordPress. What on Earth are you talking about?
Your point is… what, exactly? You decide first, please. But they must do it, because we have decided it is good for them. You position this as child abuse when it sounds a lot like mainstream school to me. By extrapolation, are you suggesting we should let all our kids run amok in the name of your naive misrepresentation of ethics? This article is self indulgent piffle and could actually cause real harm if it serves to deny even one autisitc child access to a therapy proven to improve quality of life.
If you are a parent who has had good experiences, if your child does not fear their ABA provider, if you are an ABA provider that is loved by your clients, this article is not about you. You express some balance in your response, Patricia, that is not so evident to me in the article, so my criticism is not aimed at you. The science I have read is very clear on that — there is a subset for whom it is effective.
So even in a perfect world, where all ABA praitioners are doing a great job there will be children who do not benefit. However, for those children that do benefit the results can be staggering… and those children should not be denied the intervention. But my concern is that there is no alternative intervention with such a body of scientific evidence to support its use and, meanwhile, anecdotal horror stories might put parents off even trying it.
Science has no agenda but for the truth… it relies on statistically validated evidence, not anecdote… and it concludes that ABA is effective for a subset of autistic children. That is fact and nothing anybody posts on here can trump that. We are all all living organisms sensitive to reinforcement, punishment, and extinction.
Also, please read Baby in a Box from Ladies Home Journal by Skinner and tell me if that infant sounded comfortable, clean, healthy, and well cared for, then re-assess your complaints. Additionally, how would all of you detractors recommend teaching children with autism how to communicate their feelings about their therapies? However, we can and do observe their behavior to see what they seem to prefer, to make things that seem harder or less interesting a bit easier and more interesting, and to work towards independence with self care, communication, academic, community, vocational skills, etc.
If a class of students earns marbles toward a special treat but loses marbles following instances of talking out, not finishing their work, etc. Not all punishers involve aversive stimulation in the form of shocks or bad tastes, they can be as simple as removing a preferred item.
Does it help families to let the mom get her hair pulled and her face scratched? Or might it be better to protect the child and family until the child has calmed down, then review the incident afterwards to identify skills to teach the child or ways to avoid the situation in the future?
Again, certainly there are still inappropriate uses of TO rooms and restraints, but if done correctly with a high level of training, oversight from medical and clinical teams, consent from families, etc. Sure, there are certain scenarios, certain classes or skills or locations, that may not be very important for a child to contact or to be able to tolerate, but there are MANY scenarios that a person will have to tolerate. Are these choices we let any child make for himself? Or do we get our kids into clothes every morning and get through tooth brushing at least once or twice a day?
In life some things are uncomfortable or downright aversive, but sometimes we need to tolerate those things for the good of ourselves or our families. However, the opinions and experiences of autistic people should not be the end-all-be-all of how we treat newly diagnosed children with autism. Now, I fully recognize that autism is not something to be cured like cancer, but the parts of autism that are associated with the aforementioned examples of difficulties do necessitate some form of treatment. Why not treat those things as best we can?
Hi folks.. Ive worked with the whole spectrum of behaviours over the last 40 years. Oh dear.. Although not a borne again ABA disciple I must just defend it for the sake of truth as far as my experience of it goes and having attended a lot of training over the years including a trip to UCLA in It isnt about forcing anyone to do anything. No one would advocate now not even Lovaas. We told him where to put his cubicle and dumped it in the refuse skip. Hint: keep it simple.. Kids with autism are kids with the same rights as anyone..
We are not here to damage those rights.. Where learning is involved it can either be intellectual or skills or both. No two kids with ASD are the same. They can be a little unpredictable.. What to do…restraint? Do we step in? Well I think lawyers might make a case out of our inaction and Gary Lavigna could get even richer. So yes.. They gave the simple approach a ridiculous name to make us sound clever.. Goodnight x. PBS rules out punitive techniques as unnecessary and therefore unethical.
There is a wall of separation. ABA is addicted to punishment. PBS is not. Both are coercive as they disregard the dissent of child. In practice, despite its theoretical denials that it punishes, PBS does punish as it ostracices children from class trips and when only the so called normal children get the treats and prizes.
Thank you so much for sharing an example of a positive therapy experience you had. Looks really fun. I am on the ground almost about to cry! I actually am getting my MS in Special Education right now. I already have been looking for another job before I read this. There is one little girl that sticks out in my mind. Hi Samanthaeh10 : Come visit autistikids. You can often ask questions on their sites. You never know what direction they might inspire you in.
Feel free to ping me at autistikids gmail. With your open heart and mind, you will be a BUTT kicking special-ed teacher. You also have to be train by someone who knows what they are doing also. When I supervise others, I inject the fact that, although some of these children are non-verbal, we need to MAKE SURE that how we approach and reward them, reflects a therapeutic approach synonymous with building self-esteem. Even non verbal will mature and talk eventually. But my son is now 17 and much better. Maturity helps so much. Such ignorance on your part.
I am on a autism forum with several members who did not speak until they were age Non-verbal does not mean non intellegent and non usefull. This is We have text to speech apps. This was a typical ABA ad hominem character assassination, which is what they do when they cannot win a debate. You say you do ABA and you specialize in trauma? What is your name and your credential?
ABA knows zilch about the trauma you cause! Where is your professional statement against ABA extremely painful electric skin shock? The U. I guarantee it! Put your money where your mouth is and publish one, or else shut up and listen to us autistics speaking. We hate your ABA. Go away and leave us alone, you profiteers! I find it very sad that you have had such a negative experience with ABA in your journey on your career path. I want you to know that your bulleted list of concerns are all considered unethical in the field of psychology according to the APA Code of Ethics and are potential grounds for your BCBA to lose her license.
I truly feel sad that you had to experience some of these dangerous techniques and feel for the individuals who suffered at the hands of illegitimate behaviorist. Withholding food and drink is illegal and NONE of the harmful techniques listed would be even close to considered in my clinic. I feel that your individual experience is valid, but you are giving ABA a bad rap without understanding the positives it gives to other.
Unlike many other programs that work with individuals who have needs. They must work accordingly with Behavior Analyst Certification Board BACB and if they do not follow the code of ethics, they will quickly lose their license to work. It is important that if you witnessed any kind of abuse that you speak out and follow the routine measures by reporting to BACB. You are a mandated reporter. What you failed to point out is how many children learn to read, write, talk, walk, spell, eat, go potty, and much much more because of the practices and empirical based techniques that ABA brings us.
Those are the kids I work with everyday. It is with ABA that I can hope to create a better future for some of the little ones I work with everyday. It is sad that some places give ABA a bad rap. I hope you continue to educate yourself in the field of psychology and broaden your horizons on this topic because your experiences are not valid or comparable to most ABA programs across the U.
Hi there! Quite late to this posting party, but I was intensively looking into the option of a future in ABA when I stumbled here and thank goodness I did. I have some follow-up questions:. What did you end up doing once you left ABA? Are you still involved with the ASD or special needs in general community in a way that you find more satisfying?
Or is the ABA approach to functional goals thought to be damage self-esteem as well? Do you know of any research initiatives conclusive or ongoing to explore harmful effects of ABA or to augment the program? Like I have a neurotypical pretty sure, obviously it may be early too tell but he is already speaking in full sentences and engaging in pretend play and brings me things to show me and tells me about airplanes when he hears or sees one and the like 2 year old.
So I put the reins on him and — try to escape? Use advanced tools of non violent resistance? Oh you bet! But I put him in the reins anyway. He got sweets to potty train him. No problem. Thank you for your comment. I stated it in other posts, but I believe this anti ABA stance is dangerous, in addition to the anti compliance training stance. Compliance training as you call it can be very very important.
If I am dealing with an individual who hits their head so severely when given an every day instruction that they may cause permanent damage or even critical damage to themselves, then compliance training, in addition to working on decreasing that behavior would be essential to that individuals life.
Now it would be unethical to teach a person to comply to every little command even if they do not want to, such as punishing an individual because they did not clap their hands when you told them to. Also, I agree with the above poster that your article is ignorant of the techniques and principles of ABA. Now if I am working with an individual who engages in dangerous aggression when given a non-preferred instruction, and is very likely to harm themselves or others, then I will teach them what to do INSTEAD of aggress.
Failing to teach an individual with autism or any individual in the human race that there are situations that you can not have what you want, or that you must comply would be doing a disservice, and could harm them in the future. It sounds like you have an issue with what people teach, and specifically the company you worked for, not the principles of ABA.
Your article reminds me of people who hate all Muslims because of what ISIS does, or hate all Christians because of what some radical conservative Christians such as Westboro Baptist do. For compliance training, yes of course there are some situations that Autistic kids should learn to follow commands when there are good reasons behind it and they have a say in other aspects of their life. The kids had choices about what reinforcements they wanted, but not when it came to explicit commands from therapists or BCBAs.
That is very important. I had no sence of danger or awearness I had to be watch all, the time an on Felix trips had to have a one on one. Thank you, my son was abused horribly and Child Protective forced me to keep him there even though I thought they could kill him. Reblogged this on Melissa Fields, Autist and commented: Reblogging because this explains why compliance therapies such as ABA are bad, and this explains about Autism and Autistic people and how our minds work and how we process things.
It is a long read, but please take the time to read this and click on all of the links too. Because Autism is NOT a behavioral problem. It is a real disability, and we need understanding and acceptance, and help that will help us on our level and at our pace and ability….. Thank you very much for sharing your experiences. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions — autistikids gmail. Surely if kids are being abused there we would all want to put a stop to it. Autistic people perceive differently, we have different pain and sensory experiences, we feel things differently.
Great post! You said all this much more diplomatically than I ever have said it. Please include in your list of links and in your research my blog on the ethics of ABA, written since Or you disagree with it, perhaps. Without objection expected, I will be disseminating your post to parents of autistics internet groups and to Applied Behavior Analysis in Facebook. This is very important. You have led your readers to the voice of autistics much better than I ever have.
Thanks for the info! My blog is Reward and Consent. Perhaps you are right. As I am learning more over time. ABA is inherently unethical down to its very core and dual consent will never happen. It is just a pipe dream of mine, perhaps. To me it hold more promise. They have broken away free and clear from ABA.
PBS does not punish. Despite their claims to the contrary, ABA is all about punishment. If they cannot control with their positive reinforcement they are always armed and ready to force compliance with punishment. PBS says punishment is unnecessary and therefore unethical. Actually you do need the individuals consent to provide the service to them, especially if they are over 18 and have the functional and communicative ability to do so. This is also highly dependent on age. Parents make many decisions for their young children, whether typical developing or those who have a disability, that is not specific to ABA.
I think that Positive Behavior Support has potential, but that it also has many of the same fundamental problems as classical ABA. PBS behavior plans tend to involve finding out what someone cares about most, then making all of their access to it contingent on compliance with their behavior plan. If being deprived of the reinforcer is painfully distressing, how is that not an aversive? I learned a lot from Michelle Dawson, autistic researcher.
Now I have learned for you too. Her paper called Misbehaviour of Behaviourists led me directly into many of the conclusions I have reached. It is a landmark paper on the ethics of ABA. Thanks for your comments. I do feel very skeptical and wary of behaviorism as a whole, though. I need to do that. Thanks for posting it! All of this stuff is really hard to talk about. She also has a not very active lately but well worth reading blog and a pretty active twitter account.
The best thing to do is to respect the choice of the person you are communicating with — which is what the author has done by using the word autistic. See the problem? I highly recommend that you read blogs, books, etc. Is Gabriel your Autistic child? Reblogged this on For Love of the Mainman…… and commented: A must and powerful read. Reblogged this on danutag Ever hear of BF Skinner?
Someone needs to brush up on the history of behaviorism. Patricia, Skinner created the foundational roots of Behavior Analysis. The entire field of ABA is a conceptual framework based off of what Skinner created. There are many different approaches used within ABA that have been created by a variety of behavior analysts over the years. Get your facts straight. Lets all be correct. But he is to be credited with great accomplishments in ABA. This whole article is full of uninformed canards. But yeah, a lot of other methods have developed and are also called ABA therapy. I do understand that, and I appreciate the clarifications.
I would definitely reword some of this. I think your intentions are amazing, and the principles of your article are very important, but like I mentioned in my other comments, attributing this to ABA as a whole is incorrect. I think rather than bashing ABA as a whole you should encourage parents to be selective in who they choose to provide services, and make sure their BCBA is ethical, and encourage practitioners to remain ethical when providing services.
This is actually incorrect. Applied Behavior Analysis is the practice of behaviorism founded on the principles outlined by B. Prior to his research behavior analysis had been applied mainly to populations with severe behavioral issues such as aggression and self-injurious behavior. Well, please allow me to add my two cents here. Unfortunately, however, their newsletter, Operants, shows extremely strong ties between the Foundation and ABA.
Skinner was a father of the broad field of behaviorism. It was already around before him. He was just the first to demonstrate ABA was an effective teaching tool in helping kids with autism. I wished you did more research than Wikipedia everything. Thank you for your clarification, Christina. I do realize I may have made some generalizations. Please see my comment earlier in this thread. Well…not the field of ABA more broadly, no…Applied Behavior Analysis does have applications outside of autism intervention, and that has always been the case.
It is true that Lovaas was a foundational figure in the history of using of ABA-based techniques in the field of autism intervention. Check out the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis to get an interesting [at least to me! And, if you REALLY want to geek out on behavior [been there : ], the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior will take you into the lab, where the basic principles of behavior are explored before they help inform intervention techniques outside the lab.
Probably more than you wanted to know… :. Lovaas viewed children as organisms and the rest is a strange, weird history of some good intentions and a lot of hurtful and harmful techniques. This work was applied by many, but one of the earliest to do so was Charles Ferster. If I recall correctly, Ferster came up with some interesting behaviour-analytic accounts of depression and autism, amongst other things.
Regarding ABA: anybody who has worked for a wage has undergone the application of behaviour-analytic principles. Anybody who has done their homework to a higher standard on the basis of having been given higher marks the first time they did this — yes, has undergone the application of behaviour-analytic principles. I read four Skinnwr books cover to cover. Skinner was on the founding board of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Of course Skinner was all about changing people!
We found, first, that his contributions fall into five categorizes: the style and content of his science, his interpretations of typical and atypical human behavior, the implications he drew from his science for application, his descriptions of possible applications, and his own applications to nonhuman and human behavior.
Second, we found that he explicitly or implicitly addressed all seven dimensions of applied behavior analysis. As the founder of behavior analysis, however, he was the father of applied behavior analysis. People in organisations where I apply for work look up autism on the net, and find people like you. While I do believe that Skinner was able to control human and non-human behavior of organisms by taking underweight rats and putting them in a carefully controlled experimental chamber to increase rates of lever presses contingent upon electromechanical delivery of grain pellets, I do not believe Skinnerean behavior science equates into ABA.
ABA is a set of highly unethical models by a misguided profession who believe in punishment even though its gentle sister profession, Positive Behavior Support PBS , theoretically, has ruled out punitive techniques as unnecessary and therefore unethical. ABA is not a full-fledged science because any so-called science that only disseminates fscts that make them look good so they can pay their salaries is pseudo-science!
Because ABA is not a science. It is, indeed, a cult of punishment as a last resort method of ultimate control, corrupted by huge amounts of money and chock full of abuses, so it seems! Having a desired effect, pal, is nothing to brag about! Lali, it looks like you know your stuff. This is necessary for them to have in the event of an emergency. So in one sense instructional control in ABA is never positive. In this outlook, positive instructional control is good under the break away sister profession to ABA, Positive Behavior Support, which does not punish.
Positive instructional control is bad under ABA, because it insists that punishment as a last resort is a good thing, which PBS has told them is not. On the other hand, compliance training under PBS is also questionable, if it occurs, which it may not. They do teach youngsters how to make their own decisions, which is quite the opposite of compliance training.
Thanks for your additional thoughts. What I connect with is you say that ABA seemed counter-intuitive to you at first. I taught language to my son at age 3, but never used the behavioral aspects. I also worked at a residential ABA school fro 7 months. The people you referenced here? The best of the best! It was the most confusing time of my life. But I know the people were good and loved the kids in their own way, and most absolutely ignored the tenets of ABA.
Still, punishing time out rooms were used…and the children were treated as preschoolers. ABA is used in every day life without people realizing it. Masturbating is another form of self-stimming. When you get a paycheck for working? Token economy. When you get a speeding ticket? Positive punishment.
When your significant other compliments on your hair? Positive reinforcement in the form of social praise. Parents teach neurotypical kids compliance training all the time and no one bats an eye. Yes, basic forms of reward and punishment are used in the wider world. However, we only use this very intensive form of it as therapy for Autistic kids. Also, there are some things that kids should not have to earn or ask for, ever, such as food and breaks. Where did you get all this garbage from? You google everything instead of reading the literature or the research.
What kind of professional uses google and Wikipedia? Punishment procedures are never used. If a child were wacking themselves in the head with a bat and the person took it away. That can be perceived as a punishment. There is something called stimulus control but punishment has nothing to do with it. It is maintained by reinforcement. An adaptive preschool using ABA therapy is how they describe it online.
But in person, they referred to it as compliance training. This was the lead therapist. Further research shows that her training was at the lovaas center. He started progressing with them, then stopped, lost affect, stopped all verbalization with them.
He still has affect and verbalization with OT and ST and me. I have no doubts about pulling him out. And I have no doubt that while some ABA therapies may be fine, that there is also a lot of variance in what is happening with autistic kids. My point is that there are therapists out there calling it compliance therapy. Is it unreasonable to expect that a child ought to comply with directions without having to repeat them 17 million times? What is the alternative then? Instead of the group-bashing of some poorly designed ABA programs, I would like to hear more about other ways to teach these skills and maybe those of us who are practicing ABA can spend more time learning how to better serve the kiddos we love and want to help rather than having to correct blatantly incorrect representations of the therapy we provide.
Can you explain to us the difference between linear and non-linear interventions, please? If you are doing positive only approaches, then what you are doing, Izzie, is not ABA. You are doing your version of Positive Behavior Support, or something else. ABA depends on punishment as a last resort.
It is indeed addicted to punishment to the highest extremes. PBS, on the other hand, has ruled out punishment as unnecessary and therefore unethical. They are very different with a bit of overlap, Izzie. Dave, I do not have knowledge about PBS. I am currently training and working towards gaining by board certification and am very disturbed by the vast misrepresentation of the science. What is your experience with ABA? What we define as instructional control is the ability of a student to follow the social and instructional norms in the settings they encounter, for example, can you follow directions from your mom to stop when running out towards the street?
Can you sit in a classroom and not disrupt materials while doing an art project? This is what instructional control seeks to teach a person to improve their interactions with people in their everyday life. Thank you so much for your article!! I asked myself what my son lacked, and the answer was: he really did not know people existed.
So that led me to read and implement therapy models that were social based. I also visited a school that was strictly ABA based and was horrified at what witnessed in the name of therapy. I could not put make him endure it. James had been expected to have a good shot at an Opening Day rotation spot, but a late-February quad strain put an end Wholesale MLB Jerseys to those plans.
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