Media Matrix: Sexing the New Reality by Barbara Creed

By Barbara Creed

This critique explores the impact of ultra-modern international media on modern principles and reviews of intercourse, display, identification, and illustration from intercourse and town to discussions of sexuality and the self, from Breillat's movie Romance to Harlequin romances, from fact television to cyber porn, and from famous person to censorship. The alterations led to via new types of illustration and truth are explored, and the media's ambiguous courting to radical switch within the method sexuality looks on monitor is puzzled. Such questions as Has fact television affected the best way audience take into consideration intercourse and relationships? Now that pornography has entered the mainstream, do we nonetheless say porn bargains an alternate view of intercourse? Does intercourse and town rather problem each taboo identified to society? and Why do girls take pleasure in writing diminish fiction? are addressed. additionally tested are the breakdown among private and non-private and the query of what constitutes the real illustration of sexuality and the self within the new worldwide public area.

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In the first instance, a film screens or shows the images: in the second it has the power to present a suggestion of controversial scenarios and then ‘screen’ them over with other images which are less disturbing but which do not fully block out the original taboo scenario. Walter Benjamin observed that modernity was characterised by the experience of shock. Looking back over the past century we can see that the history of the cinema has involved continually exposing the audience to images which are more shocking than those of the previous decade; this, in turn, has created in audiences a desire, perhaps insatiable, to be shocked even more deeply and disturbingly than on previous occasions.

McMahon quotes one 44 Midland Typesetters Media Matrix 3rd Pages Media Matrix Pages 8/6/04 5:25 PM Page 45 Television and taboo popular book which informs the reader that the clitoris is ‘the most keenly sensitive organ in the woman’s body’, which ‘your Heavenly father placed there for your enjoyment’ (McMahon 2000, p. 27). Considered too shocking for commercial networks, Sex and the City is screened in America on cable television’s Home Box Office network (HBO), which doesn’t baulk at focusing on the naked female body but has a ban on full frontal male nudity.

To occupy a series of impossible places, particularly in its depiction of song-and-dance routines in the early musical, suggested very strongly Certeau’s comment concerning the gaze, the ‘lust to be a viewpoint and nothing more’ (Doane 1993, p. 17). 23 Midland Typesetters Media Matrix 3rd Pages Media Matrix Pages 8/6/04 5:25 PM Page 24 Media Matrix The seductive ability of film to encourage audience identification, to involve the spectator emotionally while speaking to his or her private fantasies, is perhaps unmatched by any other art form.

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