LET’S Go BACK TO FLASHDANCE: THERE IS MORE TO THE MOVIE THAN THE PLOT. IT IS MORE CLEVER THAN YOU GIVE IT CREDIT FOR.

It is a fairytale kind of spectacle or anti-spectacle in a spectacle, if that is a thing. Anti-spectacle in the sense of changing of the perspective towards gender, class, work and art, romantic is the spectacle, a pattern we expect. The spectacle we are used to seeing and thinking in terms of movies and in general how class, work, gender and art function and are, are thought to represent and be like. The American dream in this case where a beautiful young woman reaches out for her dream, a place in the sun and ends up getting more or ‘all’, a romantic relationship with a Man with a Porsche, who is also the owner of the factory where Alexandra, the woman in question, works at as a welder. One big plus of the movie is it does not highlight the work Alexandra does, welding is just work with men as co-workers, it makes the movie hugely more interesting though, and her the one who lives outside the box and is allowed to do so. She is not harassed by her co-workers, her abilities are not questioned. It is truly a beautiful setting, which her choice of work, most definitely would be seen weird still today.

To explore deeper into what the movie is all about is worth our while as it has been deeply overlooked as many romantic movies that are meant for women usually are. To pay attention to details, characters, camera shots, what is being looked at and told via tensions between women and men and why those tensions exist. What happens between the sexes, between women especially, what are sexes both expected to do, look and be like. Movie is a language as is dance as is sex, sexuality, clothing and gender. You have to focus on to read it all and actually think what are we looking at, what happens there and why all the time. It is not just an entertaining show where you can relax and forget what is going on, this is told via contrasts between sleazy bars, working men and art, how women are treated in different settings and how these settings differ, how women want to be treated and what do they desire of their lives to be. Movie is never just a movie that is meant to entertain, not even those that are made for that purpose, nor is music or the dance acts that seem to be out of place. Point is easily missed when the romantic is what stays interesting and in the focus.

In a bar where ambitious fit and talented dancers show their art, act for paying customers who are watching and are a bit amazed by the unexpected shows. Contrast is also to the other bar where dancing is not the primary interest of anyone, only nude female bodies, that move in a certain way. Women are dancing for money but in a show-your-ass-kind of way, but they still want to be discovered and dream of making it. What are people watching and why, who gets attention? Watching happens for instant gratification, simplicity of getting pleasure cheap and for fun. A bar is a world of something else than the workplace and not a place of thought, burdening oneself. Customers of the bar are not the assumed ordinary art lovers, but that is the point. Why should people be provoked to think more than is necessary, why not give them what they want? To whom is art for and why is it a class issue? What is art and where is art, who is capable of art and why it is a special occasion in a special place? High and low seem to be repulsed by each other, classes stay separated  like oil and water. The dance acts, art and artists, are really in the right place. Intention of the movie is not to depict a straightforward story in a manner of this is what happens: this is what we dream of happening to us. It is not a children’s story and it is not pink. It seems light, but is heavier when one starts exploring. That are the expectations and frame women are supposed to fit in, want, act upon and are shown in the movie, that those who dare, can change the game. There is social critique hidden there to be found.

To say Flashdance is a feminist movie is not quite what a true movie lover might expect. What do you think about the turn, that a seemingly light Hollywood movie is feminist in a very kick-ass way and about the structural difficult issue of choosing how to get ahead in life, on one’s own terms and talent, and not sleeping with the boss or buddy who has connections. What do you think about when after having seen and evaluated for example the scene where Alexandra goes and finds her friend who has gone to work as a stripper, moving herself in conventional stripper manner, she is grabbed off the stage by Alexandra and escorted out. In the scene Alexandra’s clothing and standing position compared to her friend tell a lot when friend the stripper ends up in a puddle on street wearing only panties and high heels and is cold. Money, she earned gets wet in the rain on the pavement. Alexandra’s loose pants and sneakers when she stands firmly behind the naked woman who has fallen down and sold her body for money to please men may seem easy and naive, but it is something very basic, a woman on the ground beaten down feeling there is no other opportunity for her.

After having read couple of critiques about the movie and clearly many have missed the point: When one is an art critic it is essential to see behind the expected, the image and be free of bias. What is the seen image telling us, what happens without words, what is the setting and who are the characters, what do they do. Do you need more clues, because explaining has to be done also in a very basic manner, obviously also for critics. When you are an art critic, don’t fall for the simple clichés. Such poor analysis destroys a lot, as does arrogance, assumptions and cynicism. Minimizing culture that is aimed at and is about women and girls is a normal practice. It is a learned reaction which comes without thinking. A black woman eating a banana in a scene where women talk about relationships, well sounds as cliché as anything, but it happens in couple of seconds, and is easily missed, but telling. To make it as you with your raw capabilities, without handouts and favours..

Flashdance, is a feminist movie https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashdance in which woman does work as a welder and pursues her dream to become a professional dancer, also in which women help each other, face sexual harassment and deal with it by acting out, consequences lurking there and threat of violence is almost a certainty. To oppose men means you have to be one and be prepared. Movie portrays different kinds of female roles, a gallery of different kinds of women. The expectations of what women should be like, playing with stereotypes with which women struggle and hold on to as coping mechanisms. They may be afraid to go against the machine or don’t know how to or should they, and those who do not fit in the accepted roles especially, seem to be out of sync or do what they need to do despite whatever. Interesting are the different kinds of female characters there, how there are systematic learned rules of behaviour that stick, codes for genders and how these codes are taken for granted. How women portrayed are in their places and obviously struggle and lack power. They try to move on up as do men, they have dreams. Men try to move inside women’s panties and sex is clearly a very basic tool of control and making it. It is the first thought, easy way out, a getaway car and motive. World of art is a dusty stagnant relic too, which needs heavy dusting. Alex, the leading women, is afraid to enter this monument of perfected trained fragile-looking fairy-like ballerinas and primadonnas. She want’s to make it on her own with her own credentials with her talent and does not need a man to do that for her.

Real life is stranger than fiction says this welder.

 

I have a friend who has a simple test for a movie: Is this movie as interesting as the same things would be, happening in real life? A lot of movies aren’t, and “Flashdance” sure isn’t. If this movie had spent just a little more effort getting to know the heroine of its story, and a little less time trying to rip off “Saturday Night Fever,” it might have been a much better film.”

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/flashdance-1983

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085549/reviews

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/09/entertainment/la-et-cm-flashdance-musical-review-segerstrom-20130509

Reviews and critiques strongly reflect the persona of the critic who is writing. For some reason in this case feminist perspective does not shine through. Wonder why.

Layers of femininity, layers to human, layers to a role.

Let’s begin. How do I peel it, her, this thing? From inside out or from outside in as the task is to learn how many layers there are. From where we look at, to where we do not see and what we do not like to see. Gender is much what we show and what we do not. To see her is one task to begin investigate her. It is to want to see her, not what you think you see, her clothes, her background, her nationality, not her body shape and how it fits ideals, her. Question is what is a persona and how does one’s persona evolve. How do we know anyone at all when knowing oneself is demanding enough and to think where does a person begin opens a universe to humanity.

To fit ideals and desires is not her, it is culture. It is those who watch, accept, use power and want something of you. The map to being part of society as an acceptable individual, note the word individual. Who are those who think people should fit ideals and images and portray ready-made in real life? Why does anyone want her as an image is because images are perfect. To be a match which she should be and match in a way there are little variations is puzzling. What kind of people want the most easiest other people to be?

When it is to want an illusion and not a human being. Many say they like humans, women as humans but they want this and that. It is confusing, those other who want something of you. To grow up to be an adult is to learn to play the game of gender and fulfil expectations and when you don’t you are fucked. One can be repulsed by those given models of how to become and be a woman, such advice as how one’s hair should be like, how it is nice to please and smile. To put smile on one’s face is the one most important thing, there is something wrong if you don’t. How fragile this so-called perfection is, carefully monitored that any irritation and ‘flaw’ shows. She did that, she looked like that. Body parts and how they look are measured to an inch, what those parts do, how they make you feel.

Upsetting biology

What are we when we cannot be defined by our biology? It is almost understandable the mental turmoil over claims that biology stands the last defining factor for us and there is no way round it, why would there be and why are we the way we are. Turmoil over something we cannot fight against is naive. We like to defeat nature, be better, know better and use it for our benefit. We are selfish, narcissistic and full of ourselves doing exactly as we please, how else. There is a little truth there we have come away from, grown apart from nature, nature in us and nature in general. We don’t know it, we don’t respect it, but it’s there. What to do with nature in us and how it affects our lives? Should it be ignored (impossible, especially for women) or learn to understand what we are in this whole which we are part of, from which we come from. To say against nature of ours is to deny the scientific facts, which nature also is for us science and study, a target to explore and while doing that we get to know ourselves. It is also fair to say that we maybe are becoming less human and what that means is to go closer artificial existence. We sometimes feel like robots and building artificially humans to be the way they wish to be is making an artificial appearance, the way we want to be. To refer to nature in talking of us and grounding arguments concerning humans with nature and its involvement in our lives is said to be old-fashioned. Statement is strikingly odd. Since when did nature and science become old-fashioned?

Outrage in the matter of whether transgender people are what they feel they are is insignificant. Outrage against a feminist who has faced outrage throughout all her life sounds tiny and hurt feeling ridiculous, naive and out of the proportion. People get outraged because feelings are hurt and such thing must not happen for those who are hurt continuously because they are freaks of nature. Emotions which there are in massive force used in social media is a curious thing and how we should feel about the matter of comforting cruelly discriminated people who are also a mass, not only transgender people. They are all who do against what they are supposed to do and be, who practice out of mainstream sexuality, who are distasteful in the eyes of the majority, who are perverse, who do not care for normal rules for sexual acts and display sexuality as it is and comes to be. To strain and restrain sexuality, the force and nature in us, is also normal. It cannot be out in the open, there have to be rules to obey religious order. Shame over sexuality is a norm, sex which is natural and should be normal issue to everybody without fear and feelings of wrong. It is therefore religion which has taken us away from nature, animal and instincts which cannot be followed because they are impure. For religion biology and evolution have been and still are tough cracker despite the evidence. How can we have faith in nature when there is such impurity and filth there even though God made it? For humans to be able to manipulate what nature has done is something we justify with religion and with our supreme intellect, because we can and we want, we must have.

When people start hating someone when that someone says against what people want to hear, it is again normal. Surprising and positive would be if this tactics of feelings which cannot be hurt because they are so vulnerable, sublime and true was tossed aside and the outraged defending crowd would be rational and listen, have a discussion instead of wave of hate and outcry. To be enslaved by one’s emotions has been considered instinctive and therefore natural for which women have been accused of, being under power of something we cannot rule and which moves us.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2015/10/what-row-over-banning-germaine-greer-really-about “But why are women always punished more than men for having controversial opinions?”

It is astonishing how backward the world can be and continues to be.

It is a fact that women can be hugely talented and bright. It is sad this has to be stated in this manner for people to believe it and act accordingly. Women have been and are discriminated in science and in art because they are women. It is a tradition that denies the fact that women have capabilities of their own and can be as good and far better than men. Tradition which denies human rights, dignity and full existence of women and girls is doing an awful lot of harm not just for women and girls but to societies as it is now being proved. I myself have experienced this in a fairly civilized country due to many outer traits and due to my gender. I have been seen as weak. It hasn’t made any difference what kind of proof I have displayed of my knowledge and ability, which is astonishing itself. It is as if evidence would not matter, it does not play a role in a world that has set its mind to thinking in a certain way of women like myself. I am of course my best example. It is quite jaw dropping to witness.
http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/08/26/434616512/selecting-boys-over-girls-is-a-trend-in-more-and-more-countries?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social “And for every missing woman, there is a surplus man who will never establish a family. “Men are unable to marry,” Hudson says, and frustrated, single men are more likelyget into trouble. “It leads to instability. In masculinized societies, there are issues such as rising violent crime rates, increasing rates of gang activity and rebel group activity, increasing prostitution and trafficking, and greater constraints on the movement of women.””

Women who do not fit the category given to them. Could be also said people who do not fit in and there are many.

What is to fit in,; in what do we need to fit in? In highly controlled societies to my experience mental illness, out-of-order behavior, oddness scare people and bring out feelings of contempt. Such oddities must be cleaned away for them not to influence and inflict disorder and issues too demanding to handle and face. It has been a great disappointment and constant topic of surprise to find out over and over again the relic of disgust against those who do not fit in. For many just being an artist is a case of severe mental imbalance and distancing begins to we and them. This happens inside art and out of the so-called scene which itself is highly disturbing dilemma in modern society, dilemma of why there is an entity of art world that delusional protects space of its own, note space of its own ideology. We surely know what does that resemble of. Is she ok, is she presentable, is she good and so forth: Can she be a seriously taken artist, respect? Obviously good is something that is strictly defined and those who are wed to know what is good know without saying anything, without thinking what good is, could be and of course what is bad.
Personal experience here is important. It is actually all from which to grow.
I have an experience of being abandoned. Abandonment is the sole experience of mine that is the biggest and happens over and over again. Something I cannot understand but have to try because of the repetition. There is something wrong in me, with me is the message and I have to hate myself for those reasons. To hate myself is to abandon myself. When hate turns against oneself one begins to get ill. Because of what I look like, because of my gender, because of the things I choose to do, choose to be and say there are very peculiar hateful responses that put me in place of different, of not belonging which equal the experience of everything that is ill in society not in me. Being a wrong kind of person is in me the illness of society, in me, but nothing in everybody else. It is strange to be the only one to bear a burden of existing as different. Lunacy there is in display. It is that one person has to be isolated because she is a threat on many levels. One striking occasion for me personally, one of many was when I was about sixteen and I was going out with my friends to a disco. I put on little make-up which I rarely did and a tight black long dress. I was not told directly that I look too beautiful to fit in that dress, to that punch of friends, to be approved of as beautiful. I was let to understand with innuendos and left alone at the disco. What I did was wrong because my looks must not be celebrated, not to be put in front and I could not be striking. Nothing and no one should strike out but to blend in. I could not celebrate myself. My appearance has been a burden for the reason of the striking difference and attention it brings. The moment of being left alone was a complete wake up and the silence has been and was a tale of all that is negative, disapproval and that I should not be any different. Me to speak of my appearance is itself banned topic since it is to celebrate myself and that I cannot do. We have nothing but a world full of examples where women are to blame for their bodies and their looks and they are punished for being women.
Scissor Sisters – Any Which Way

http://rabble.ca/books/reviews/2015/07/probing-psychiatry-and-business-madness?utm_content=buffer2454f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=bufferYou give a very comprehensive history of the origins of psychiatry. And of course, historically, women were often psychiatrized for behaving in certain ways…or just existing in the world, right?

Women were psychiatrized either for stereotypically being women, or for veering too far from the stereotypes. Either one. As for what’s happening now, today, there is no question that there are stereotypical women’s diseases — e.g., “borderline personality disorder” — and there is no question that women are way more likely to end up being given a “disorder” than a man, also to be given more serious ones.”