My character, Miss Torso is outgoing and full of life. She has a passion for dancing and it finds a way into every aspect of her life. She dances whilst making breakfast and entertains male guests as it is highly amusing. The enthusiasm I embody cannot be faked and is clearly seen in the opening scenes. Hitchcock, my director manipulates my character and her personality to be overtly sexualised and purely for the viewing of male counterparts.
I resent the portrayal of my character having to rely on the affection of men to be happy. Yes, I enjoy the company and the entertainment they provide but I do not need it to survive or to find happiness. Not only are the women in the film presented as highly attractive and submissive to men, they are given the stereotype of women being needy and reliant on men. However if you look closely at the film you will see that if it weren’t for the women, the mystery of the murder would never have been uncovered.
Crucial female characters found many clues, pieced together the events within the crime and risked their lives with absolutely no recognition. Lisa, who could have had a strong relationship with Miss Torso given the opportunity could have helped further the investigation. With the understanding that the genre relies heavily on these stereotypes to recognise crime fiction they should be re-evaluated as the times have changed.
Women have fought relentlessly to attain rights and equality which should be represented within this film. I feel my character was merely a device for Hitchcock to exemplify his themes of voyeurism and women being the subject of the male gaze. As even her name is characterised after her body it highlights the stereotype that women are simply at appease the male counterparts. My part within the film is that of being a doppelganger to Lisa. I highlight the traits of an attractive female in this time period.
These being that without a man you are lost and that your happiness depends solely on the comfort and reliance that a man provides. With this I find utterly absurd as both Lisa and I live by ourselves and manage our lives to our satisfaction. The affection I receive from males by entertaining are all for my pleasure. In the film however this is not how it is portrayed; rather than for my amusement and independence it is depicted as my reliance on men. I resent this portrayal as it is far from what I feel.
This all returns back to the murder of Mrs Thorwald. The assumption is made that she was a whinging wife that was bedridden and could not perform the daily duties that are expected thus leading to her murder. The whole concept of marriage is burdened with negative connotations throughout the film. Even the newlywed couple who are blissfully on their honeymoon depict this when at the end of the film the husband is seen looking out the window with distain towards his wife.
It is almost seen as acceptable that the wife is murdered as not even the professional detective will take the case seriously. My character portrays a woman reliant of men with her quality of life being completely due to male involvement. This is a huge misinterpretation of the strong, independent and charismatic woman that she actually is. These traits need to be highlighted rather than subverted as a means of accentuating the theme of females being subject to the male gaze.
Courtney from Study Moose
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