By Casey Ryan Kelly
From the viewpoint of cultural conservatives, Hollywood videos are cesspools of vice, exposing impressionable audience to pernicious sexually-permissive messages. providing a groundbreaking examine of Hollywood movies produced considering the fact that 2000, Abstinence Cinema involves a really diverse end, discovering echoes of the evangelical movement’s abstinence-only rhetoric in every little thing from effortless A to Taken.
Casey Ryan Kelly tracks the miraculous sex-negative flip that Hollywood movies have taken, associating premarital intercourse with disgrace and degradation, whereas romanticizing conventional nuclear households, courtship rituals, and gender roles. As he demonstrates, those video clips are rather disempowering for younger ladies, concocting plots within which the choice to chorus from intercourse until eventually marriage is the younger woman’s fundamental resource of supplier and arbiter of ethical worthy. finding those regressive sexual politics not just in anticipated websites, just like the Twilight motion pictures, yet stunning ones, just like the raunchy comedies of Judd Apatow, Kelly makes a compelling case that Hollywood movies have taken an important step backward in recent times.
Abstinence Cinema bargains shut readings of flicks from a large spectrum of genres, and it places those motion pictures into dialog with rhetoric that has emerged in different arenas of yankee tradition. not easy assumptions that we live in a extra liberated period, the ebook sounds a caution bell concerning the robust cultural forces that search to demonize sexuality and curtail girl sexual supplier.
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Extra resources for Abstinence Cinema: Virginity and the Rhetoric of Sexual Purity in Contemporary Film
I also do not want to suggest that the films are designed to dupe naive young girls. Twilight fans are capable of identifying with Bella as a model even as they might acknowledge the coexistence of other disempowering representations of women. Instead of making conjectures about the audience, my analysis is concerned with the kinds of discursive resources or models of sexuality the Twilight films make available to audience members. A critical analysis of the films as cultural texts reveals aspects of the Twilight films that might otherwise be overlooked, including representations that illustrate the influences of abstinence messages on popular culture writ large.
But it is also the case that social texts play a substantive role in shaping how we make sense of and act upon material reality. Indeed, the contemporary cinematic landscape reflects both the hegemony of abstinence culture and the gaps and fissures in the dominant ideology. Mary Ellen Brown’s notion of “leaky hegemony” captures the fact that the dominant ideology is never totalizing or complete. ”77 While the struggle at this point is asymmetrical, abstinence cinema will continue to be challenged by public and popular dissatisfaction.
40 In abstinence discourse, men have an innately powerful and difficult-to-control sex drive. Therefore, women must use their natural modesty to help men become “gentlemen” by keeping sex out of relationships. ” Because of their testosterone, men must acquire moral habits to control the beast within. ”41 In Breaking Dawn 1, Edward narrates his pathway from licentiousness to asceticism as a type of moral education. He explains to Bella that he resented the attempts of Carlisle, another Cullen family vampire, to help him control his thirst.