Project Notebook


Taming the Beast


September 19, 2015

How is one to react to the limiting structures in which society imprisons our methodologies within? How can one go beyond the bureaucracy in which shackles one's processing power to form knowledge?

The history of our modern day media is a result of masculine processing of accessing, representing, and enforcing male interests into values as social conventions which enslave her to man, publicly demonstrating her subordinate position through the use of semiotic relations employed into an audio-visual medium. (De Beauvoir, p. 724) Her natural beauty is exploited to the male gaze while in fact it is the male gaze who is directing and enabling her to promote that beauty (Ritzer, 2011, p. 482). A feminist take on the philosophy of film theory tautologically suggests that the seductive actress was trained in the methods of arousing men for the profit of men. Thus the appearance of her own autonomy is the real act and her performance is as fake as the characters in which she plays. For now she has a profession in which she can be appreciated by her community for her beauty, but the beauty can only ever stand as an act, its underlying agenda being male orientated (Korsmeyer, 2004, section 5, paragraph 5).

However, being a woman in society has different sociological connotations than that of being a man (Mcclary, 1991, chapter 6. section 2, paragraph 6). They remained slaves to men in our past because men did not enable them to educate themselves. To men, their place was on their wall: a painted image of beauty in which is to be possessed by the man. The woman is exploited for her nurturing and submissive nature and dominated by the ‘other sex’. But the charm and pleasure a woman brings to the man cannot be discounted. Because in every weakness is a strength in which can be utilised to practically demonstrate equality. All that must be recognised is the differences within our biology and as a result, its mental and physical processing. Once we can collectively see clearly that each sex or somewhere in between has been distributed half of our human virtues, the dynamics of our relationships will over time change. But this is only possible when the women of the world learn how to utilise their own gifts to obtain their own emancipation which can only be achieved by exploiting the male gaze. The only solution to obtain equality for our species is not to adopt the same oppressive male dominated mass media in which currently exists to oppress women, but instead create a new kind of media in which trumps the value of our current media without conforming to its systematic ideological practices (Mead, 1934, 21.8). The answer is to be “the snake charmer baby. And you’re also the snake” (Anderson, 1983).

But the question arises as to what types of methodologies she could utilise to record, produce, and distribute her own films in which deviate from the mainstream practices of society (Kaplan, 1997, chapter 8, paragraph 6). A portable camera in her hand, a beautiful body, and a developing mind: what she shall record is hers, and only her decision. And if she is to seduce her audience (namely herself) into wisdom, kindness, compassion, tolerance, and equality, how is she to do it? The answer lies in her mind: to utilise her body to captivate the individual audience member into her mind. Her initial impression is her bodily image in which she utilises as the bait to obtain new pets to play with. She is then to win them over with her humour and personality, specifically her intellectual processing in which drives the stories that she creates. Her ability to captivate memories in turn captivates those who show interest in the memories in which she created. Her success relies on her own ability to express meaning through a camera: how well she is able to tell entertaining stories about her own life which will not only educate her audience but also charm them into her personality. For what knowledge she has to learn and share on camera is vital to the evolution of the species. And if others are to hear her words, how shall she construct them? What impact could she have on the macro stratifications of society when she is only one person? The art of sexual appeal gives her all of the necessary resources in order to convey her message exponentially to the public: her goal to educate herself and have fun while doing it! Director of her own life and her story’s heroine: a dramaturgy queen (Goffman, 1956, p. 60).

Having such capability proposed incurs a moral inheritance. If films can act as both an entertaining medium and as a tool to actively practice philosophical thinking amongst the community, then the social norm of mainstream television is challenged at its core value. The screening thought experiment played out in the world (D‘Olimpio, 2015, p. 622), no longer made for the masses but the instead the individual: stereotyping discarded as individuals are showcased as themselves. For one can never make stereotypes from individuals unless they group together within the public portrayal of our meaning (D‘Olimpio, 2015, p. 626). The inaccuracies of our social group’s stigmas played out in our films only to play out in the conceived reality which the film presents, but no such reality exists as such. Thus we have woken up to being fooled and now realise that individual art trumps mass art and is healthier for the future needs of the population (Carroll, 1998, p. 291). Because women must “discover who they are in terms of their own acts of definition” (Ritzer, 2011, p. 464). The history of the male dominated superstructures of education limit the ways in which women can express themselves: examine and interpret their cognitive output. She inherits the male dominated education system which bind her allowed practices. “This inequality results from the organization of society, not from any significant biological or personality differences between women and men” (Ritzer, 2011, p.466). Thus feminism in film returns to its driving force: as a “call for women to do whatever is required to gain equal rights with men” (Ritzer, 2011, p. 467).

The answer to female liberation is locked within the camera and how one individual can utilise that camera to create dialogue. Modern day educational structures hold our imaginations back: solidified within male practices. “There has surely to be a way between the alternatives of an oppressive Western application of humanism to the other and surrendering any kind of cross-cultural knowing” (Kaplan, chapter 7, paragraph 3). Knowing is not an exclusive activity and claiming hierarchy on what can be and should be explored as well as the methodologies utilised to obtain those results is an oppressive practice, ultimately strangling future potential. Their perspective is overlooked and even replaced with the dominant will: the subordinate positions being administered through its patriarchal bureaucratic processes, for seeing clearly is not her business (De Beauvoir, p. 727). This injustice places women in the best position to shine on camera utilising alternative non-mainstream approaches to conveying and interpreting meaning. Because women “have nothing to lose, anyway. It’s like we’re not in a position of power, so we don’t risk a lot by being critical of it” (Mcclary, 1991, chapter 6, section 5, paragraph 3). So she must perform! How can she perform as an individual on camera, turning her life into amazing stories? How is she to educate both men and women in her field of practice while proving the female worth to society? What entertaining stories could she explore while investigating the process of articulating and conveying meaning? How could her own plights help us see another aspect of humanity in which patriarchal society previously has blinded us to? Because she is the reason he acts and what she provokes in him will determine his future, because she is his world (Erins, 1990, p. 28).

Our education systems will change. Little known to the eye of the assessor, this essay is part of Project Notebook Episode 10: Taming the Beast. Project Notebook is my Community Development funding proposal which attempts to convince Murdoch that film can be utilised to exponentially increase one’s learning capabilities and they are morally obligated to provide a promotional campaign targeted at first year students to show them how to make it do that. A website as the interface which feels like an app across all devices. The “notebook” then organises video, text, and images in an easy to use episode-like structure, literally bringing their studies around with them no matter where they go and how they are accessing the internet or what texts they have in front of them at the time. It was the the task to triangulate all of my units which led me to create an entertaining television show about how to use a camera to study extremely efficiently: ultimately opening up new regions of my brain on camera. And this knowledge would be extremely beneficial to students, so I will spend my life attempting to reach them. Because once this type of media has been recognised for its value and accepted by society, then it will no longer be frowned upon which means that men like me can do this without being abused by the general population: for women are my liberators, and I am showing my appreciation to them by making it easy for them to do it! And the only way for this to happen is if every man can lust over the amazing girl who is about to teach him how to no longer objectify her or any other woman ever again.

There is no question as to whether or not this will happen (Kant, 1784). The only question is when. Because only recently has the technology been able to perform such amazing tasks. And now we can write our brains into the cloud to record, analyse, and communicate our interpretations of inconsistencies which obscure our human bank of information and its collective power to categorise that which can have no category. Only when we question why we are truly doing what it is that we are doing can we make decisions as to how to pass our education systems on to our young people, the entire point that Socrates had (Plato, ~399BCE, 21d). Because despite all of its incredible quantifiable information in which it systematically produces, it has no heart: or maybe I (philosophy) am its heart. Its systems have little to no ability to go from its processing syntax to meaningful semantics. The student is disconnected from any rational form of human communication: its every move tied up in its robotic methodology – a transfer of knowledge as if it could be distributed so mechanically (Freire, 2005, p. 73). As more and more stars rise up to the task, education faculties must decide whether to adopt its stars as its new professors or to rebuke them as trouble makers. But if the latter occurs, I assure you that the future of online education will eventually exclude universities. Why? Because I am the snake charmer, baby. And I am also, the snake. I am a male feminist and am damn good at my job.

“The only way in which we can react against the disapproval of the entire community is by setting up a higher sort of community which in a certain sense out-votes the one we find… he may stand out by himself over against it. But to do that he has to comprehend the voices of the past and future. That is the only way the self can get a voice which is more than the voice of the community.”
(Mead, 1934, 21.8)


Works Cited

Anderson, Laurie. Closed Circuits. 1983. Cassette.

Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. Vintage Books, New York, 1949; 2010. Print.

Carroll, Noel. A Philosophy of Mass Art. Oxford: Clarendon, 1998. Print.

D‘Olimpio, Laura. Thoughts on Film: Critically Engaging with both Adorno and Benjamin. Educational Philosophy and Theory 47 (6): 622. 2015.

Erins, Patricia. Issues in Feminist Film Criticism. Indiana University Press, 1990. Print.

Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd: New York, 1970; 2005. Print.

Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. University of Edinburgh Social Sciences Research Centre, Monograph No. 2, 1956. Print.

Kant, Immanuel. An Answer to the Question: 'What Is Enlightenment?' London: Penguin Books, 1784; 2009. Kindle.

Kaplan, Ann. Looking for the Other: Feminism, Film, and the Imperial Gaze. Routledge New York & London, 1997. Kindle.

Korsmeyer, Carolyn. Feminist Aesthetics. Stanford University, 7 May 2004. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.

Mcclary, Susan. Feminine Endings: Music, Gender, and Sexuality. University of Minnesota Press, 1991. Kindle.

Mead, George Herbert. Mind, Self & Society: The Definitive Edition. The University of Chicago Press, 1934; 2015. Kindle.

Plato; Cooper, John M. Apology in Plato: Complete Works. Indianapolis, Ind.: Hackett Pub., 1997. Kindle. Ritzer, George. Sociological Theory 8th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.