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Desltiop Article Helfordbook

Desltiop Article Helfordbook

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3
ScullyHitstheGlassCeiling
Postmodernism,Postfeminism,Posthumanism,and
TheX-Files
:_indaBadley
INTRODUCTION:ANTI-PAM
-=-
isn't
Baywatch;"
saysGillianAndersonaboutplayingDanaScully,
TheX-Files'
"ercelyintelligent,scientific,andstoicFBIagent"I'msortoftheanti-Pam"("50:ost,"141),sheadds,referringto
Baywatch
babePamelaAndersonLee.AsX-
~:es'
creatorChrisCartertellsthestory,thenetworkwantedcullytobe"some-ewhomightlooksexyinabathingsuit"(Janssen),butCarterchosethe"for--dable"-lookingAndersoninstead("50Most,"141)."Gillianhadthatstare,"heplains,"andakindofmysteriousauraabouther"(Janssen).TheambiguityinCarter'scommentstypifiestheproblemthatScullypresentsanydiscussionofwomenintelevision.Agroundbreakingcharacterinoneof_-mostpopularandcontroversialshowsofthe1990s,Scullyhaschallenged
_evision's
portrayalofwomenandchangedthewaywethinkandtalkaboutit.arningherafterVinceScully,theLosAngelessportsannouncerhegrewupas-iatingwith"thevoiceofGod"(Bischoff,44)(Carterempoweredhertoanun-.sualdegree,givinghertheauthority,thelanguage,andthetoolsassociatedwith-_e-dominatedinstitutions,includingmedicineandthela\~Throughherlooks
-=
opposedtoherappearance),andwhetherwieldingascalpel,alaptop,ora_a.cullyhasreversedandtraversedfemalestereotypes.Shehasbroughtfern--_issuessuchastheobjectificationofthefemalebodyandthegaze(themale_.orperspectivethatdominatescinema,television,andscience)intopopularciousness.ConsiderthewordsofWilliamLeithoftheLondon
Observer:
61
 
"
'
Chapter3
"SI'
IL'ISanattractivewoman,butnotasex
bi.
SIC
pathologist,
sheexaminesbod'"
o.
ject,or
evenovertlysexual.A(Leith).)ies,latherthanbeinganexamined
lx
Yet
i.,
f(
spite
0
orbecauseof)thisd..votedinpollafterpollasthe"sexiet"esexualization,however,Anderson90smaleobsession"
(Em1~i~e)
Thl
C
swomanontelevision,the"centreof
I
"M',.
ewinness
B1
,f.
R
[ostPopularColt
TV
Star"
("TVS',"
00
t
OJ
ecords
1999
listshersome49,502Internetwebsitesdevo~:~'tl~),withAltaVistapresently
hsrh
cover,captioned"LustinSacewith.~er.AJune}998
Details
herfacedigitallyalterdinfoaft..CillianAnderson,featuresaclose-up
Iu
unstic
silvermetlliIh
1Ugeeyesandperfectmouth
(J.
k)0-
a
ic
mas(tatsets
off
(Janssen)isaScully/Andersonfa:;l:t'l~eeffe.ctofthis"glacial
allun
holdstherecord-Hatleast500"in
19;8~:'ccording
toEdLake,
Andersm
byattaching
a
headshotofthestartoa
for
bogusnudephotographs(for~l'dwaysdressed.inasuit,sothatmakesnude~o~lel),SaysLake,"[Scully's]
al
Beachy),Asthe"anti-Pam"-tlpeoples
imaginations
run"(quoted
II,
b
di
h
lewomanwho
IIh
o
res
temysteryoftheuniverse
00
(~-s.
emorepotentlyemOutof,suchparadoxesthest
s
;'laswomantraditionallyhas,a
f.,,"'
arsegions
ofadmire
,Ib
ermrustIconnotesthe
11m,;'".'
rslaveeencrafting[
1
,1
ageO'tce
5
DavidKushner:'.,
FortheFans,she'sablessedchemicalreaction
.
Anderson,a29-year-oldsinglemotheh
0
actressandcharacter;she'sGillianandactsherheartoutina
genre
I'
Idr(w
dO
tattoosherankleswithblueturtles[,.]'
k"
I'
ueanmostlitten)
b',,,
s.cpnca
and
spiritual,athleticandscie.0'Y
T
en
y
men;
she'sDanaScully,Elliott,LaraCroft;nonecouldfightthe
~~~sc"
mtehgentandsexyMadonna,
MiSS;
be
50
damn!DDG[IntellectuallDDdPlratonalfeds,dissectaspleen,andstill
y
rop
ea
Gorgeous],(61)
As
Kushnersays,thetransferenceof"fen'."'aeteran.dstarisunusuallystron-tothe
nrnst
connotationsbetweencharmustrefertotheother.AndAnde~son/Scue~te.ntthat.adiscussionoftheom'ofpopularfeminismButhowdoes
I../th
llY"lfstn,stantlyrecognizableasaniconAd'
f"
rerell'
ermnis
"h
Idn
IS
ermrusmconsistentwitl,m
0
upunderscrutiny?d
1
or
evenpossibl'th'hangenrecodesoperatingin
The
x-
Files?
e
WI
m
t
enarrative,
gender,Inaddressing
thesequestions
I
will
'I
derson's)iconographyfromthree.e~oreScully's(and,whenrelevantAn,
cditioree
perspectives
that
d
5
ib'
onition:
postrnodcrnismpostfemi,
deeneourpresentcultural,h,lnlsman
p
thumani'
ermsm
asanenormouslybd
d'
osumamsm.While
postmo'!
roa
an
complex
f
Idf
f'"termtomeancontemporarytextsadd'
,Ie
0.
reerence,
I
willuse
tilt'
mass-mediatedself-awarenessthtn
iscourses
t~atpartici;ateinacultur
01'
vertthem,thuscle-naturalizin~(cfec~ssertc,~nventlons
orklcas
primarily
tosub-eluding
capitalimpat'.hd
nstructtng)wluu
VI'
Inkl'
r'ol'
grant
d'
P
f".,...
narc
Y,
gen
r
humnnisuI,
111
osttermrnsmand
posthurnan
or
"cyl',"
r
,I,
11111I'VI'i,
,IIV
1111111(111
ody,
1'~1i:/,
"
f
'miI1isll1s-movl'm~'1l1
s
til'
I\)III~'1,~;11111/11':11111'111111I1'it"'1
l~
"Illlslllllld
('ill'I'wi
'0111
IIl1is('sil('lwLTII11'11111'11"1
I
111"11,,11
iiI
IIII'~I'III
tluu
h,11I\'
11I1
"II
II
63
Scul.1.y
Hits
the.GLass
Ceiling
III.,I'~pecianyMarxist,cultural,andpsychoanalyticthought.Theredun-
,,j
"pots"isdeliberate,
1
meantosuggestthewaythesetermstendtocol-111111
ne
another.
All
threeare
[ike
TheX-Files,
111.oreover,insoundingmoreI.
"lw
thantheyreallyare,Inthisessay,then,theprefix
post
willmean
"I
'111l1beyond,"
as
mightbeexpected,but
post
willalsodenoteamarkeror'1"1,
along
theway:thetermwillpointoutinvisiblebarriersthatScully
1'1I
"11againstFromepisodetoepisode,seasontoseason,
"X-PILESPOSTMODERNISM":ANTI-MULDER
IIllI"(,
ofcourse,lookfurtherthanScully.Theforegoingdiscussionignores11,1111onship,"asX-Philescallit,andone-halfoftheequationthatdeter-
11111
/'I!e
X-Files
formula,DavidDuchovny'sFoxMulder,
The
X-Files
isbased~~I111
\1'
nershipoftwoagentsdevotedtouncoveringandcomprehendinganin-
III
IIlonal/government/corporateconspiracyinvolvingalien/humanhybridjza-h.11I'ldsrelationshipisthoughttoberemarkablyega1itarian,challengingtradi-"I
d
fl,vnderrolesasportrayedontelevision,AsRhondaWilcoxand
J,
P.
IIlIIH11'argue,theshowadvocates"anideologyinwhichMulderandScullyareII,
III
inverttraditionalmale/femalecharacterizations,"presentingthemasI'IlItl'lliminal"(99).(Scully,theskeptic,standsfortherational-empiricist
"ddvlt'w
ofmalescience;Mulderstandsfornonrational,intuitivewaysof11111\\
I).!,
hendesignatedasfeminineandsubversive,HetrustshisinstinctiJof-
It
I1I1'Ill'rnaturalexplanations,andbaseshislife'sworkonthememoryofapara-
""lllhd('
perienceinwhichhesawhissisterabductedbyaliens,
An
Ouord-.1111
III'd
psychologist,Mulderbelieveswhathefeelsandhasundergonere-
I'
IlIlll.herapyofthesortadvocatedinwomen'sself-helpbooks;(Scully,trained
1
,I
rluctor,
isanexpertintwo
reas
traditionallyoff-limitsforwomen,medi-11I/lol'l'nsicscienceandthelaw.
I
hi'~
.nder
shiftingextendstotherepresentationofmaleandfemalebodiesIllIt
III
whatpsychoanalyticfilmcriticLauraMulveydefined
as
theissueoftheII
I'I
"'IHt
X-Hies
objectifiesthemalebodyratherthanthefemale.Thecam-Illi
i
ll
f',('1'S
as
hunkssuchasMulderandAssistantDirectorSkinnerstripdown
III
11\1,11'Sp.edos.Scully,bycontrast,keepsherclotheson-a"suggestive"I
lilly
'1Cl.'neis
oneinwhichshewearspajamas,ThepowerofthegazeisoftenIIII'II
'lITO
I'ro111
theguystothegals,MulderwatchesX-ratedvideostheaudi-,II.I'
III'VI'i'
seesinsteadofwatchingScully,whopossesseswhatinthisseriesis
,It,
1111,,1
I,dilr::gl'uandinvaivegazeofall-thatofthemedicalscientistwho,1111i1I
I'd
nnd
111Hnipul::lLCSlienated(objectified,feminized)bodies.Sheisalso'llIllWl,d111('1t'i~lIr('ty,
I
oc!y-o:sessing
"male"gaze(fori.nstance,athandsome
1,ljI'Illl
1IIIIw<,lIill
"l~fld
Blood"),
Bctwe'nMulder
andScully,asWilcoxand\\'tllltll'l'l11011',Illv
)1;IIZ',
\wt'()lll,'H
IIdijllo~\llt'hns
,d
on
thequstion
"What
do
,.,>11
ildlll,'?"I
,1I,i\IiIl)"
111111111'\1
"Il
II
'I,",
I'VI',",
M,']dvl'
III
IIIScully"a,I
nI
wlcdge
 
I,
I
I
l'I'1I
olll"1'
liS
slIhJ"t'[o,
'llll<'lillllll
11'11,,111/1(1))'"
.II
IIIIII'
Ii"
Idl"
I
1"'1.1111
(Wilcox
andWilliams120),
InIlrt'~I'
1"'VI'llllrlN
Iliid\IIIIIIIIIIII~
II""
111111'111
d"
constructsthegenderedgaze.Walking
"&I
hL!I'oicI'lIll,"
1I1111lflliri
o
111111'1-\1"
(11'1111
conventionallygendereclromance
(l20)(ML,ldcr
[111d
,<';I',dl,1"I'III'scnk
Il)!)I",
idealsofgenderequityandawareness~
It
isagiventhat"Iftheyshag,theshow'sover"(Cornell,Day,and
TOIPIPil\~
I2).The"lack"inthenarrative'scentralrelationshipproducesUST(fanspeak
1'111
"unresolvedsexualtension")andmore,aspaceforsublimateddiscourseab
IIII
Ibodyandgenderpolitics,sexualidentity,andthe"strange"attractions
"I'
"alien-c-cross-speciesortrans-human-e-sex,Thedialecticofthemainchararterstakesonresonancesfromthemonsterorissueoftheweek-asin"jerseyDevil"(afemaleBigfoot),"Cenderbender"(gender-shiftingmutantsoraliens
[01'
both]whomatewithhumans,lethally),and"Alpha"(aromancebetweenamale'werewolfandafemaledogloverwhoalsohasanintenseonlineconnectionwithMulder)(iftheScully-Mulderrelationshipwereconsummated,theshowwouldlosethisresonance,becomingju~tanotherheterosexualromance.')Thegenderbendingisamplifiedbytheseries'equallywell-known"genrebending.""[Pjartpoliceprocedural,partsuspensethriller,partactionadventure,partmedicaldrama,partsciencefictionandparthorror,"asPaulaVitarisde-scribesit,
TheX-Fj,les
is"akintooneofitsownmutantcharacters,withitsowneclecticheritage"(17).EleanorHerseyproposestheterm
"X-Piles
postmod-ernism"toaccountforthiseclecticism,arguingthattheseries'"combination
orr
socialcritiqueandaestheticcomplexity[...
1
challengesthelogicofmain-streamtelevision"(l09).Layeredwithallusionsdirectedtowarddifferentlevelsandgroups,shape-shifting,resistingcategoryormeaning,
TheX-Files
"defiesca-sualviewing"(Flal1ertyandSchilling,38).Itdemandsthatitsaudienceperformmultiple,alternative"guerrillareadings"thatprovokediscussionandrearrangerelationsbetweenthemarginalizedandthepowersthatbe(Hersey,112).Ratherthanonetruth"outthere,"
The
X-Files
proposes"multipletruthsbasedoncul-tural,racial,andgenderedperceptions"(110).Scullyisnotmerelya"strong"fe-maleprotagonistinatelevisionseries;sheis,asPeniR.Griffinsays,"awalkinggenderissue"(30).TIlediscoursesurroundingMulder/DuchovnyandScully/Andersonisextendedintocyberspaceandbeyondbytheshow'svast,vociferous,andheterogeneousfanculture.ThereareMulderistsandScullyists,groupsoffanswhoclaimtothinklikeandidentifywithoneortheotherofthecharacters,regardlessofgender,aprocessthatmayormaynotbeconsciousness-raising.Inanarticleabouttheonlinefanculture,SusanClercanalyzeshowthecharacterofScullygiveswomenentryintothecommunityofdiscourse;aftergaininga"foothold,"theyare"freetomoveintootherareasoftheseries"(49)-andfurther.TheOrderoftheBlessedSaintScullytheEnigmatic[OBSSEl,ontheotherhand,isdevoutlyfocused,withweeklymed-itationsandpenancesforall"Sisters."ProclaimedbytheGillianAndersonTestos-teroneBrigadetobe"IntellectuallyDropDeadGorgeous"(IDDG),the"thinking
II
,,1111.,1,
till
~IIII
1111
1'llIldll
\IIIlri'loI""'·IIi""
III
th'Gili'ianAnderson1'''1'
II
lit
11',1101"\(
:/\1",11),I11111111111,1'11
1.".1
.1111ill1111.1
hls
'xLI,,1
women.TheGAEB
111111"'f',1
d'll,11I
'I
rilllrl,h,
III,·
IlrlilllI'I'jwllhadrawrlabeled"Women'sRe-
I",_"
Iliid
11.1
'I
[II
(JUIII",\{':
"111,1,'x
of'Cay-Themed
X-Files
FanFiction."
\\'""lit'()jJir'ifll
CiUiw'l1\
IC1IJrSIJrl.
WebSite,
championsAndersonover
11111
It''I'IIY
'I'j
"I
Ill'
star"
(if
'.l'he
X-l1iles
withsophisticatedgraphics,Webring,andIII"'
Itlv,'
withsomet:wohundredtranscriptsofarticlesand
interviews.i
CAWS
I.
111111'"
IllIks
to
TheFe·W/.inistMajorityFoundationOnline
andanactionlineto
lilli'
:"lltil'I'ApartheidinAfghanistan!"
\\1'
III
gill
cncludefromthepreviousdiscussionthat
TheX-Piles
phenomenon
111\IIi'NIIVif:\DrOLlS,
intellectuallychallenging,politicallyengaged,andequitable
1
0
1I1t1lp,
or
gnder.Butwhatkindoffeminism(ifthetermcanapplyatall)isit?
.J1TLES
FEMINISM:SURVIVINGIN
THE
BOYS'CLUB
I11l,'
kindoffeminismwasclearlyinthemindsof
The
X-Piles
creatorsinthe
l,lill1l1il1g
andcastingstages(Scully's"independentwoman"characterisderived
11,"11
thepopularfeministiconographyofthelate1980sandearly1990-0As
\VII
-ox
andWilliamsargue,shedescendsfromthehard-bodiedfightingwoman
Iii
r!{'icncefiction/horrorfilm-fromSigourneyWeaver'sRipleyinthe
Alien
sc-
lin,1.0
LindaHamilton'sSarahConnorin
Terminator
2-andmoredirectlyfrom
11111
ii'
Foster'spetite,intenseClariceStarling,FBItraineeandprotagonistof
'il/c'I'lceoftheLaml»(102-103).
SLIllyis"awomantryingtosurviveintheboys'club,"asshesaysofDetec-
IIV<'
Ryan,oneofherIormejstudents,inthefirst-seasonepisode"SoftLight"(WilcoxandWilliams,1191\ShehasworkedtoalignherselfWIthapowerstruc~IIIrethatthreatenstouseherambitionandinnocence)muchastheFBIusesl.lariceStarling's,asbait.(Starlingisassignedto"seduce"HannibalLecterintorevealinginformationaboutaserialkiller/ScullyisbroughtontotheX-Filesto\
"cl
bunk"Mulder'sparanormalhypotheses)LikeStarling,thediminutiveScully
i-
n.:gulariyfacesclownandtongue-lashesapowerCIrcleofbroad-shouldered,\dark-suitedmen.Unvaryinglyseriousforreasonswomenknowwell,sheplays)(hestraight"man"o~theteam)....,.EnhancingScullyscharacterasawomanfightingforhernghts
IS
GillianAnderson'sreputation(accordingto
Entertainment
WeeJdy)
as"thetoughestTVdivaintown"(quotedin"GillianFiles")."There'salotoftestosteroneontheset,"Andersoncommentsinaninterview.While"guy-friendly,"sheclaimstobe
"very
independent.Icantakecareofmyself,Idon'tfeelleftout.Butwhenithastodowithwork,andmyinputonthework[...
J
Iwillnottoleratenotbeingheard"(quotedinTannenbaum,137-138).InDecember1996,shemadeonlyhalfofDuchovny'ssalary(Lipsky,33)butnegotiatedforanequal
$110,000
perepisodeandanequal$4millionforherrolein
The
X-Files
film(Straussj.'

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