Week 2 Reading Assignment

Post the Stonewall rising of 1969 given societies were undoubtedly stigmatised by the event, despite its motives for liberation, the social repercussions are still prevalent. Touching basis on a given instance in the Epistemology of the Closet, Sedgwick expresses, “the act of coming out was judged not to be highly protected under the First Amendment because it does not constitute speech on a matter of public concern” (47). The ‘closet’ being the epitomy of oppression and psychological escape for the LGBTQ community, can allude to Eve Harrington’s behaviour, in the film All About Eve (1950), that if she were homosexual her attempts to seduce Margo’s husband can be alluded to the idea of concealing the notion of homosexuality as a result of this coercion. Taking the same fragment of the film as an example for comparison, Eve’s intentional advancement on Margo’s husband can be a vast scheme where she explicitly expresses her fanaticism in order to get closer to Margo (once again alluding to homosexuality) and rid her husband from the greater image.  The reason that this heteronormative interaction and seduction is made present in the film when no other homosexual tendencies are, can be a deliberately imposed ambiguity by the director in respect to the current times. “During an intensive period of the shaping of the modern lesbian social subject, homosexuality was not denoted on the nation’s film screens…Even the play of connotation was forbidden.” (1). The film, itself being released in 1950, in the height of the presence of the Motion Picture Code (1930-1968) indicated methodical censorship of sexual perversion. The presence of such strict legislation on visual content known the ‘Code’ facilitated in the radicalization of ‘queer film’ as a means of contesting the rules as seen in Paul Morissey’s Flesh (1968).

Works Cited:

Abelove, Henry, Michèle Aina. Barale, and David M. Halperin. The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 1993. Print.

White, Patricia. Uninvited: Classical Hollywood Cinema and Lesbian Representability. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1999. Print.


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