Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

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AgentEcho
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby AgentEcho » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:57 pm

Whatever your opinion, I don't think Lynch and Frost took the story in the directions they've taken it without the expectation that people would have a conversation about it. The discussion about these issues has to happen. The terms SJW and PC get bandied about anytime the discussion arises. On the flip side there are certainly those who deserve the terms who often take a simplistic take on things that is colored purely through a dogmatic political lens. They devalue the conversation by giving ammo to those who want to lump anyone willing to acknowledge that racism and sexism exists in commercial media with them.

Lynch doesn't make it easy to dismiss the criticism. In the original series it took until FWWM before compassion for the victims of violence clearly became a central theme, and that hasn't been central in the new series. Other than the carnage we don't get much a sense for the trauma that the victims of violence are dealing with. Granted it doesn't help that many of them are dead, but we've seen nothing of the girl Richard assaulted at the Roadhouse, for example. It is something, I feel, that really has to come through at some point before the end of the series to justify the amount of time the series has focused on violence against women so far.

The key perpetrators of violence against women in the series are some of the most contemptible characters in the franchise outside of Bob. We intensely hate Richard and Evil Cooper in no small part because of what they've done to women. I suppose you can argue that Ike is not so viscerally vile. The Woodsman and the Experiment don't seem to discriminate. But the violence does need to be about more than making us hate them.

I'd say the same thing about the necessity of the hit and run scene, incidentally. But I'm in no way prepared to make a call on any of this. There are eight parts left and my perception and understanding of what this is all about changes with every episode.

All along the way though we should be talking about it, and hopefully respectfully.
Manwith
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Re: Lynch, Frost and women

Postby Manwith » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:24 pm

wAtChLaR wrote:
4815162342 wrote:
Yes. I think this new series has exposed an ugly thread in his work. I don't think that something is bad because of its fans' behavior, but it is disheartening, and I'm not 100% sure they are wrong about Lynch. He makes magic happen on screen, and that's why we are all here, presumably, but it has an unpleasant price.


how is exposing systemic misogyny and patriarchal abuse of women an ugly thread?


Yeah... I don't see Lynch as having the goal of exposing systematic misogyny, exactly. There's all these movie references in Twin Peaks... you often get the sense that, like Quintin Tarantino, he's making pop culture out of pop culture.
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ScarFace32
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby ScarFace32 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:20 pm

AgentEcho wrote:Granted it doesn't help that many of them are dead, but we've seen nothing of the girl Richard assaulted at the Roadhouse, for example. It is something, I feel, that really has to come through at some point before the end of the series to justify the amount of time the series has focused on violence against women so far.



This keeps being repeated over and over but this concept is completely lost on me. Why does an artist have to "justify" anything?
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ScarFace32
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby ScarFace32 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:24 pm

& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Rhodes » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:52 am

ScarFace32 wrote:& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!


Exactly!

And to think that Dustoff is talking about strawman-arguments, and literally NO ONE is saying these things. But people HAVE been saying that there should be more etnic diversity. They have been saying that women should have more agency. They have been saying that there should be a payoff for abused women. Etc. Etc.
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dustoff
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby dustoff » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:31 am

Rhodes wrote:
ScarFace32 wrote:& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!


Exactly!

And to think that Dustoff is talking about strawman-arguments, and literally NO ONE is saying these things. But people HAVE been saying that there should be more etnic diversity. They have been saying that women should have more agency. They have been saying that there should be a payoff for abused women. Etc. Etc.


See that little box at the top of the thread, the one that says "search this thread"?

Enter "payoff" and see what comes up. Enter "diversity" and see what comes up. Enter "agency" and see what comes up.

Yet these words keep showing up in quotation marks, as if the posters were -- uh -- quoting someone, and being used to claim that people with whom they disagree are making such arguments.

And when called on it, they resort to phrases like:

--"Without pointing to a specific post, I have felt at various times that people unjustifiably suggested a degree of misogyny..."
--"I wasn't referring specifically to any post above mine but the discussion at large..."
--"Read between the lines..."
--"His work "being misogynist" is implied "he's a sexist" whether or not stated outright..."
--"I won't bring up a specific example as it is best to just let the topic die."
--"I'm talking about the general conversation surrounding the show, not that thread in particular."

etc. (All exact quotes, by the way.) This is the very definition of a straw man argument.
Agent Earle
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Agent Earle » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:39 am

ScarFace32 wrote:& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!


A 1000x times yes to this!
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Troubbble » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:27 am

dustoff wrote:
Rhodes wrote:
ScarFace32 wrote:& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!


Exactly!

And to think that Dustoff is talking about strawman-arguments, and literally NO ONE is saying these things. But people HAVE been saying that there should be more etnic diversity. They have been saying that women should have more agency. They have been saying that there should be a payoff for abused women. Etc. Etc.


See that little box at the top of the thread, the one that says "search this thread"?

Enter "payoff" and see what comes up. Enter "diversity" and see what comes up. Enter "agency" and see what comes up.

Yet these words keep showing up in quotation marks, as if the posters were -- uh -- quoting someone, and being used to claim that people with whom they disagree are making such arguments.

And when called on it, they resort to phrases like:

--"Without pointing to a specific post, I have felt at various times that people unjustifiably suggested a degree of misogyny..."
--"I wasn't referring specifically to any post above mine but the discussion at large..."
--"Read between the lines..."
--"His work "being misogynist" is implied "he's a sexist" whether or not stated outright..."
--"I won't bring up a specific example as it is best to just let the topic die."
--"I'm talking about the general conversation surrounding the show, not that thread in particular."

etc. (All exact quotes, by the way.) This is the very definition of a straw man argument.


Most of us here aren't arguing anymore, if you haven't noticed. That's first off.

Second: these posts are all taken from the Episode 10 thread, and while it's quite possible there's no reference to "agency" from that specific thread, it's something which has been mentioned NUMEROUS times in the last several weeks. Maybe you'd like to search your way through ALL the threads as you continue to seethe about this.
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Troubbble
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby Troubbble » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:31 am

Rhodes wrote:
ScarFace32 wrote:& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!


Exactly!

And to think that Dustoff is talking about strawman-arguments, and literally NO ONE is saying these things. But people HAVE been saying that there should be more etnic diversity. They have been saying that women should have more agency. They have been saying that there should be a payoff for abused women. Etc. Etc.


Yes. And yup.
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sylvia_north
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby sylvia_north » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:47 am

Manwith wrote:Yeah... I don't see Lynch as having the goal of exposing systematic misogyny, exactly. There's all these movie references in Twin Peaks... you often get the sense that, like Quintin Tarantino, he's making pop culture out of pop culture.


It doesn't matter what his goal is. The concern is with the text and what it ends up accomplishing. Pop culture references have nothing to do with this. The Green River Killer was a contemporary issue before, during and after tp/fwwm with some Ted Bundy in there and linked forever to Killer BOB and his pursuit in history and we're even harder on male violence at large today, so whether or not it was his intent, it's exactly what's happening.

ScarFace32 wrote:& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!

Huh? Don't be obtuse, please. The payoff everyone is talking about is making the suffering significant and human, in Lynch's tradition, since EH and BV.
**By the way, Lynch does gives his women protags happy-ish endings even if they blow their brains out or get turned into swiss cheese by their demon dad, or require male rescue/marriage to redeem them, but we're not talking about happy, we're talking about human. Feminists love David Lynch and what we're seeing in Return is uncharacteristically gratuitous- cumulatively, the drops of water in a bucket, we all keep saying it's the quantity when there's so much dead space- so waiting to see how that unfolds in perspective, expressing hope for more edit: like expressing hope for old Coop or whatever floats your boat.

Twin Peaks being a sci-fi crossover with domestic themes has always been a geek show with a gender-balanced fanbase , unlike other sci-fi shows that more overtly cater to male viewers, and female fans within are a vocal part. There's no typical Twin Peaks fan like there is a Trekkie and the draw of it is intellectuals and artists and quirky folk. Today the show is mainstreamed again in a world where academics mingle with the average castration anxiety-having consumer bros who are being forced to confront their discomfort in a crowded room. edit again: But I'm glad this thread was moved so it's not getting lost or slammed for interfering in men's important talk about Andy's Rolex.
Last edited by sylvia_north on Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:22 am, edited 4 times in total.
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dustoff
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby dustoff » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:52 am

Troubbble wrote:Most of us here aren't arguing anymore, if you haven't noticed. That's first off.


I'm not using the word "argument" in the sense of "people yelling at each other." I'm using it to mean making a claim or building a case, by referring to evidence, and by engaging directly with what others have said. The way a lawyer "argues" his or her case, or a scientist "argues" for a certain hypothesis.

Troubbble wrote:Second: these posts are all taken from the Episode 10 thread, and while it's quite possible there's no reference to "agency" from that specific thread, it's something which has been mentioned NUMEROUS times in the last several weeks. Maybe you'd like to search your way through ALL the threads as you continue to seethe about this.


Seems to me that, if you want to be taken seriously, it's incumbent on you to actually find these quotes, instead of either inventing them whole cloth, or simply asserting their existence. And yeah, I do think there is value in referring to the conversation at hand, instead of attributing opinions held by those in other threads to people who are trying to engage in this one. People elsewhere may have very well described Lynch as "sexist," but that doesn't have much bearing on, or pertinence to, what is actually being discussed in this thread.

Finally, who's seething?
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AgentEcho
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby AgentEcho » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:22 am

ScarFace32 wrote:
AgentEcho wrote:Granted it doesn't help that many of them are dead, but we've seen nothing of the girl Richard assaulted at the Roadhouse, for example. It is something, I feel, that really has to come through at some point before the end of the series to justify the amount of time the series has focused on violence against women so far.



This keeps being repeated over and over but this concept is completely lost on me. Why does an artist have to "justify" anything?


I'm all for free expression, but I'm also for people being able to freely express their experience with art. This is the same series where there's an entire subsection of fans who are arguing that the existence of the series isn't justified because there's not enough pie, coffee and jazzy music so far. It's amusing to me that some of the same people so vehemently objecting to the very existence of a discussion about the issues in this thread are making those criticisms. Is it really so unreasonable and befuddling for someone to express that, at some point before the series is over, I'd like to see something that reflects the human experience of those who suffer as a result of this kind of violence? I'm not even very specific about what it needs to be.

Your last question seems to indicate that artists should have no sense of responsibility when it comes to expressing human ugliness. I'd say at a minimum we always need to be able to have a conversation about it. And there are far more questionable examples than Lynch's work. Let's take an extreme example: Is it okay to have a conversation about the social effects of a film like D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation"? Making a broad statement that artists never need to justify anything is kind of extreme, but I'd give you their right to free expression if we can at least have the right to discuss the impact of their work.
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby KnewItsPa » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:44 am

One thing that struck me particularly about the violence in ep. 10 is the way the camera seems to linger on the female victim.

If we compare the Stephen/Becky scene with the Leo/Shelly scene (with the soap in the sock) - there are lines of dialoge that directly reflect each other, inviting a comparison - there's the part about having the clean house, and I think the 'minium wage', not sure, a bit hazy on the specifics - I like to remember things my own way. How I remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened. Anyway, with Leo/Shelly the camera takes us into Leos point of view then fades out, putting us into the position of the abuser, but not showing the abuse. With Stephen/Becky the camera remains a free-floating eye, within the physical, intimate space where the abuse is happening and unflinchingly displays the abuse for our entertainment. There's a definite contrast of sensibility there, a willingness to show, but also from an external view.

Johnny/Richard/Silvia, where we see Johnny tied up and forced to watch, something like the camera-eye, the passive, captaive TV audience. I wonder if it's that portrayal of the helpless watcher that people are responding to, rather than the violence itself - the highly sexualised imagery of Darya and her brutal killing by Mr. C. didn't seem to get as much a reaction as ep. 10. which again, brought back to the watching and taping of the 'glass box' as metaphors for the netflix-and-chill tv viewer, and the demon attack that followed. Not sure where it's heading, but like Jeffery Beaumont peeping through the shutters, returning to the themes of film, voyeurism and violence against women.
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby whoisalhedges » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:51 am

AgentEcho wrote:"The Birth of a Nation"? Making a broad statement that artists never need to justify anything is kind of extreme, but I'd give you their right to free expression if we can at least have the right to discuss the impact of their work.


Birth of a Nation pretty much reinvented filmmaking early in its history... if not for it, movies would-be vastly different today. If we were barred from discussing art in its context, it would only be spoken of today in terms of its æsthetic triumph, and not for the Klan propaganda it is.

And if folks haven't seen it, calling it Klan propaganda is not some "social justice warrior revisionism," that's the plot. The actual plot of the movie. The "crazed Negro rapists" are the villains; and the Ku Klux Klan are the heroes. It is an incredible piece of filmmaking in every sense of the meaning: the technical and artistic advance it represents vs. its cinematic contemporaries is hard to believe; and the revolting bigotry that is the entirety of its plot also strains belief.

sylvia_north wrote:You can tell by the LynchBros that are whining 3rd wave and its slurs at 2nd wave ideas.


:D

Edgelords who get boners watching Leland raping Laura are not the audience Lynch intended, but they exist. Hopefully there aren't many here (but sheesh, reddit...) - I'm more of a syncretist here; I don't go along with those poststructuralists who claim an artist's intent is irrelevant; but I certainly don't bury my head in the sand in re: context and interpretation either. Both matter. We shall see if TPTR is ultimately as effective in advancing what I think is Lynch's ideas regarding gender and gendered violence in society as were FWWM and Inland Empire. Lynch seems pretty "feminist" (quotes because I've never heard him describe himself thusly, nor do I think he would) for a man of his generation; but neither humans nor human ideas are perfect. Lynch will never be a perfect feminist; feminism alone will never be a perfect lens through which to see the whole of human (even human female) experience. We need the red lens and the blue lens, as it were.

But to say any more would expose my own ignorance of critical theory. I really just wanted to praise your most excellent burn. ;)

KnewItsPa wrote:One thing that struck me particularly about the violence in ep. 10 is the way the camera seems to linger on the female victim.

If we compare the Stephen/Becky scene with the Leo/Shelly scene (with the soap in the sock) - there are lines of dialoge that directly reflect each other, inviting a comparison - there's the part about having the clean house, and I think the 'minium wage', not sure, a bit hazy on the specifics - I like to remember things my own way. How I remembered them, not necessarily the way they happened. Anyway, with Leo/Shelly the camera takes us into Leos point of view then fades out, putting us into the position of the abuser, but not showing the abuse. With Stephen/Becky the camera remains a free-floating eye, within the physical, intimate space where the abuse is happening and unflinchingly displays the abuse for our entertainment. There's a definite contrast of sensibility there, a willingness to show, but also from an external view.

Johnny/Richard/Silvia, where we see Johnny tied up and forced to watch, something like the camera-eye, the passive, captaive TV audience. I wonder if it's that portrayal of the helpless watcher that people are responding to, rather than the violence itself - the highly sexualised imagery of Darya and her brutal killing by Mr. C. didn't seem to get as much a reaction as ep. 10. which again, brought back to the watching and taping of the 'glass box' as metaphors for the netflix-and-chill tv viewer, and the demon attack that followed. Not sure where it's heading, but like Jeffery Beaumont peeping through the shutters, returning to the themes of film, voyeurism and violence against women.

This is a pretty good post. Some ideas I hadn't thought of before; and a few others I had, but lacked the eloquence to express.

I think there was less of a reaction to Darya's murder because it was the first - at least the first murder by a human (or near enough) killer.

Something else... knowing nothing about the personal ideas/beliefs of the writers in question, if we are going to raise the issue of gender roles and gendered violence in Twin Peaks, we can't only leave Lynch on the hook for its successes and/or failures. Mark Frost wrote this, too. In the original Twin Peaks, Laura Palmer was a corpse; in Fire Walk with Me, she was a person. I'm not casting stones at Frost (I don't think anyone's been casting stones in these threads - other than those who think we shouldn't be allowed to discuss THE PLOT OF THE SHOW), just raising the point that David Lynch is not the sole responsible party for the show we are watching.

The show which, by the way, I am loving. It far exceeds my wildest expectations; and I am not very critical of the way it's handled gender - YET, because it's not over. Even if I DO end up critical of its treatment of female characters, that won't mean it's worthless: Blue Velvet is probably my favorite Lynch film, and Dorothy Vallens is not nearly the character (IMO) that Laura Palmer, Diane Selwyn, or Nikki Grace are. Lynch/Frost's treatment of gender is just one aspect in the work as a whole - an important aspect, not only because half of all people are women, but because it's ALWAYS BEEN an important theme in Lynch's work - but not the only lens of our Jacoby glasses.
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ScarFace32
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Re: Gender in Twin Peaks: The Return

Postby ScarFace32 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:53 am

dustoff wrote:
Rhodes wrote:
ScarFace32 wrote:& lots of people keep saying it's reckless and unjustifiable to show violence against women unless there is a "payoff". Huh? That's no different then saying you can't tell a scary story unless there is a happy ending. This is demented!


Exactly!

And to think that Dustoff is talking about strawman-arguments, and literally NO ONE is saying these things. But people HAVE been saying that there should be more etnic diversity. They have been saying that women should have more agency. They have been saying that there should be a payoff for abused women. Etc. Etc.


See that little box at the top of the thread, the one that says "search this thread"?

Enter "payoff" and see what comes up. Enter "diversity" and see what comes up. Enter "agency" and see what comes up.

Yet these words keep showing up in quotation marks, as if the posters were -- uh -- quoting someone, and being used to claim that people with whom they disagree are making such arguments.

And when called on it, they resort to phrases like:

--"Without pointing to a specific post, I have felt at various times that people unjustifiably suggested a degree of misogyny..."
--"I wasn't referring specifically to any post above mine but the discussion at large..."
--"Read between the lines..."
--"His work "being misogynist" is implied "he's a sexist" whether or not stated outright..."
--"I won't bring up a specific example as it is best to just let the topic die."
--"I'm talking about the general conversation surrounding the show, not that thread in particular."

etc. (All exact quotes, by the way.) This is the very definition of a straw man argument.


And then, go to thread ten and enter payoff.

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