the devil is in the details, not the gender

by Andrea Elizabeth

I finished reading chapter 4 of Echo and Narcissus. In addition to The Spiral Staircase, it analyzes Blackmail, Notorious, and Sorry, Wrong Number from a feminist perspective with patriarchy as the culprit in silencing women. I thought that though there were valid observations, it forced them a bit strongly in the conclusions. Let’s say Ingrid Bergman does have a distracting voice and accent, which she either uses or is used by the filmakers for effect. Anyone distracted by that should stop and listen to the content and try to evaluate it on it’s own terms. But delivery is a big part of persuasion, and isn’t usually required to be pieced out. Awareness should be sought so that one doesn’t unwittingly manipulate or seduce others, or be unwittingly manipulated or seduced. Truth is a hard-won thing that comes with years and wisdom.

And why isn’t Leona’s controlling nature criticized as much as her husband’s? It’s put in terms of her controlling her own life, rather than her husbands’, who may or may not resent it and push back. What do you do when married people want to go different directions? Patriarchy says the man has the last word, period. Docile women will concede. I feel that my husband would need to convince me, maybe after the fact if it was an emergency. I would probably resent it if I felt pushed with a heavy hand. As should he. And resentment should be dealt with in more ways than just blaming people.