2012 10 Giveaway Win Alternative Wrist Corsage
Fashion models adopted from violent pornography the furious pouting glare of the violated woman. “Vanilla” sexual styles—loving and nonviolent— came to look passé. In the 1980s, when many women were graduating with professional degrees, anger against women crackled the airwaves.
We saw a stupendous upsurge in violent sexual imagery in which the abused was female. In 1979, Jack Sullivan in The New York Times identified “a popular genre of thriller that attempts to generate excitement by piling up female corpses.” According to Jane Caputi, who calls the modern period the Age of Sex Crime, film portrayals based on sex abusers became common during the late 1970s and 1980s: Dressed to Kill, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Blue Velvet, 9½ Weeks, Tightrope, Body Double, the list goes on.
That decade perfected the “first person” or “subjective camera” shot that encourages identification with the killer or rapist. In 1981, American film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert denounced “women in danger” films as an antifeminist backlash; a few years later, they praised one because it lets “us” really know “how it feels to abuse women.” The Zap underground comics of the 1970s depicted child abuse and rape at gunpoint; by 1989, The New York Times ran a story featuring the new sadomasochism in kids’ comic books, and the British comic Viz began to degrade women sexually in the strip “Fat Slags.”