Authority isn’t something you can force on a system without inspiring resistance. But this exactly what the father in the film The Woman attempts. The father may get temporary compliance through shows of force and physical brutality the father will also inspire a sense of injustice. The film The Woman shows forced authority as a farce.
The father brushes the woman’s hair and cringes at the putridness released. Shaking off his disgust he inspects the woman’s teeth pressing his fingertips against her lips. Like a venus fly trap the woman snaps, biting down and tearing off the father’s finger. She chews it, he pulls back screaming, then she spits out the man’s wedding ring as if it was a seed from a watermelon. The ring hits the floor with a metallic ting.
The little gesture of brushing a woman’s hair from her face, even when she isn’t chained up in your basement demonstrates a kind of dominance or rather a kind of biopolitical ownership. Let us compare this to two people posturing against each other as if they are going to fight. The individuals may begin standing tall. Encroach on the others face. Going nose to nose. Voices may escalate beyond the opponent 's current volume. The ritual of going just beyond is a regimented war dance. Each individual is attempting to show dominance by inspiring fear.
Brushing a woman’s hair away from her face works the same way. Physically the father moves the hair in order to unblock his view. This assumption that this territory is open for his direct intervention challenges the right to one 's boundaries. By unblocking the woman’s face the Father enforces the Father 's preference for the Woman’s performance of self.
Even loaded with romantic intentionality the brushing gesture takes claim ...
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...nd the same time a challenge to his white-male-nuclear-family-supremacy and a savage that still has enough control over her subjectivity in order to submit to the father 's authority. The abjection the Woman’s presence rattles against the grain of the family dynamic is a wholly othered subjectivity that exists independent of masculine control.
The Woman defies authority. Even under the fascist grip of a normative nuclear family the Woman carves out a space all her own. Chained beaten and tortured the Woman resists without hesitation the Father 's attempts to mold the Woman into a submissive caricature of femininity. The Woman’s wildness in this sense has a stronger sense of clarity then the stern evil of the Father. Steeped in conservative religious fervor mixed with autocratic misogynism the Father lost more than his finger when the Woman chomped off his finger.
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