Alfred Hitchcock as a Misogynist
In the film Rear Window, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, misogyny and Svengali is portrayed throughout the film. Misogyny is the hatred of women by men however; Svengali is a person who manipulates or exerts excessive control over another. Alfred Hitchcock has extensively agonized from a reputation as a misogynist and a Svengali. Hitchcock has received this reputation through scenes of violence against women in his films, his remarks about women in his interviews, and his extremely exposed relationships with his actresses. Hitchcock also has very controlling tendencies that become much noticed. With that being said he character of Jeff repeatedly and cruelly disparages Lisa. However, over the course of the film, the audience and Jeff realize that Lisa is much more than the superficial upper class women Jeff initially portrays her as.
Hitchcock’s controlling tendencies showed with his actresses through his general attitudes towards them. Similarly Jeff cites Lisa’s wardrobe as evidence that she lacks the resolve to cut it in his world. She is too pampered and vapid to rough it on the road with him. Hitchcock takes mastery over women via costumes and through the camera on the contrary Jeff watches women with his camera through windows and objectifies them. Jeff objectifies these women by making judgments about them based on his superficial knowledge about their lives, for example Jeff identifies one of the women he watches by calling her Mrs. Torso. By Jeff calling this woman Mrs. Torso, he is labeling her by what stands out to him the most. Jeff’s fixation with his neighbors actually includes that a man who ignores a real woman while he is lost in an imaginary one is indeed not a theme at all. Throughout the film Jeff watches these women through his camera comparing Lisa to them one by one. Jeff ignores his real-life love Lisa, and instead devotes himself to a fantasy life of women who live in the apartment building across the...
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