By Jeanine Basinger
During this hugely readable and interesting ebook, Jeanine Basinger indicates how the "woman's film" of the 30s, 40s, and 50s despatched a effective combined message to hundreds of thousands of woman moviegoers. even as that such movies exhorted girls to stay to their "proper" realm of fellows, marriage, and motherhood, they portrayed -- frequently with take pleasure in -- powerful girls taking part in out freeing fantasies of energy, romance, sexuality, luxurious, even wickedness.
Never brain that the celluloid personas of Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, or Rita Hayworth see their folly and go back to their guy or lament his loss within the final 5 mins of the image; for the 1st eighty-five mins the viewers watched as those characters "wore nice outfits, sat on nice furnishings, enjoyed undesirable males, had plenty of intercourse, advised the area off for limiting them, even gave their youngsters away."
Basinger examines dozens of flicks -- even if melodrama, screwball comedy, musical, movie noir, western, or biopic -- to make a persuasive case that the woman's movie used to be a wealthy, complex, and subversive style that well-known and addressed, if covertly, the issues of girls.
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Extra resources for A Woman's View: How Hollywood Spoke to Women, 1930-1960
Depending on the hormonal environment during the next critical phase of development, the rest of the reproductive tract and genitalia differentiate either as male or female. The hormonal environment is largely a matter of whether the gonads have become testes or ovaries, which are usually the main source of fetal hormones for males and females, respectively. 7 According to the Jost paradigm, “the testes are the body sex differentiators; they impose masculinity on the whole genital sphere which would become feminine in their absence.
Whether the object of interest was genital development or the development of the brain and behavior, they suggested that “the rules of hormonal action are identical,” namely: “During the fetal period the gonadal hormones inﬂuence the direction of differentiation. During adulthood they stimulate functioning” (Young, Goy, and Phoenix 1965, 183–184). Just as fetal development of male or female genitalia was an irreversible step, sealing the permanent sexual character of the animal, so the organization of the brain was permanent, determining once and for all “whether the sexual reaction brought to expression in the adult will be masculine or feminine in character” (182).
In regard to the former, they paid particularly detailed attention to the many aspects of childhood behavior that were apparently masculinized in these girls, not only concluding that the effects were most likely due to hormones but speculating on the speciﬁc neural pathways that were likely implicated in particular behavioral shifts. For example: The most likely hypothesis to explain the various features of tomboyism in fetally masculinized genetic females is that their tomboyism is a sequel to a masculinizing effect on the fetal brain.