Thursday, June 17, 2021

HYSTERICAL GIRL (2020) & Dora: A Teen, Young Girl, & German Man | Freud's Age-Gap Case Study

the screenwriter, producer and director of 
Hysterical Girl (2020), summarized her short documentary for the New York Times as follows:

The short documentary above re-examines one of Sigmund Freud’s five major psychological case histories — the only one he produced of a female patient. “Hysterical Girl” uses a feminist lens to imagine Dora, the name Freud used at the turn of the 20th century to protect his subject’s identity, as a girl today. In the film, she tells her [fictional] version of events, alongside Freud’s own words. [Emphasis added]

Dora was 17 when her parents brought her to therapy after she accused a family friend of sexual assault [sic]. “Please,” Dora’s father asked Freud, “bring her to reason.” During the 11-week treatment, Freud chipped away at the case: Why would you continue to see the man you say assaulted you? Are you out for revenge? Did you secretly want it? A century later, the questions women face in similar circumstances haven’t changed much.

If you haven't read Freud's case study, it's important to emphasize that:

  • Novack: "[....] uses a feminist lens to imagine Dora."
  • Novack: "[...] tells her [fictional] version of events, alongside Freud’s own words."
  • Dora did not report that she was sexually assaulted; however, the family friend made a "sexual proposition"

And by comparing Dora's family friend to the likes Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Jeffrey Epstein, Novack was being revealing when she wrote that: “Hysterical Girl” uses a feminist lens to imagine Dora [...]," because unlike Freud, one would be hard pressed to find a feminist whom would (openly) share that a nymphet could possibly be attracted to an older man.

Let's take a closer look at Freud's version of events. (Interestingly, nymphets typically have to be convinced that they were groomed and victimized, but Freud attempted to reassure Dora, whose real name was Ida Bauer, of just the opposite.)

Here's the event that prompted Ida's parent, whom married when her father was 27 and her mother was 18, to have her visit Freud:  

In summer of 1989, 16-year-old Ida and her family went to a lakeside resort to visit the Zellenkas family. Ida told her parents that during the visit, Herr Zellenka made a sexual proposition to her, which caused Ida to slap his face and run away. 

Subsequently, Ida's parents found a letter in her desk in which she stated that she couldn't bear living. Soon after, Ida fainted, she suffered a bout of amnesia, and her father took her to Freud, "Please try to bring her round to a better way of thinking."

Initially, Herr Zellenka denied the allegations, and Frau Zellenka reported that Ida: "[...] showed an interest in sexual matters and nothing else [...]". And that the nymphet had been reading Mantegazza's Physiology of Love and other books of the sort. 

It turns out that Herr Zellenka had previously kissed Ida - when she was 14. #plottwist It happened after Herr Zellenka invited Ida to his shop to watch a church procession, and while they were alone, he took the opportunity to hold her close and give her kiss on the lips. Ida fled the scene but kept in contact with Herr Zellenka.

Afterwards, Herr Zellenka sent Ida flowers and "expensive presents". As mentioned in the documentary, one of the presents was a jewel box that Freud interpreted as a box that Herr Zellenka wanted Ida to place her jewels in. 

Per Freud, Ida admitted that, after the kiss but prior to the lakeside scene, she could have been in love with Herr Zellenka. So why did Ida reject Herr Zellenka's sexual proposition at the lakeside resort?

It turns out that before Herr Zellenka propositioned Ida, she learned from the governess, a young girl, that Herr Zellenka and the governess had a sexual affair that Herr ended abruptly. The governess fled once she was certain that the affair would not resume. Thus, per Freud, Ida violently rebuffed Herr's advances due to "vengeful jealousy". Ida was aghast to learn that Herr even used the same lines with the governess, "There is nothing between me and my wife."

What Novack's documentary left out is that Ida admitted to Freud that after the sexual proposition, she desired to see Herr again, because she wanted him to prove that he was "serious" and didn't intend to: "[...] toy with her feelings as he did with the governess."

Interestingly, after his sessions with Ida, Freud came to, among others, the following conclusions:

  • Ida practiced "childhood masturbation"
  • Ida had a "[...] deeply rooted homosexual love for Frau K [i.e., Herr Zellenka]" whom Ida opined had an "enchantingly white body"
  • Ida had a "defloration fantasy" that starred Herr Zellenka
And there were some interestings footnote in the slim volume e.g., a 14-year-old girl, who suffered from "alarming hysterical vomiting", shared with Freud that she had been "[...] masturbating for many years with a strong flux of flour albus* [*a whitish vaginal discharge] (which [per Freud] was clearly linked to her vomiting).

Lastly, we want to be perfectly clear and state that we don't condone Herr Zellenka's behavior, because men should avoid kissing, without consent, and men should avoid sexually propositioning any woman - of any age. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981): Indiana Jones Was Not a Pedophile & She Knew What She Was Doing

Kevin Kayhart posted on the Daily Mail (9 June 2021): "Raiders Of The Lost Ark's Karen Allen defends her underage character Marion's relationship with Indiana Jones: 'I don't think of him as a pedophile'"

In the post, Kayhart wrote:

Karen Allen, star of the classic film Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981), has come out in defense of the age gap between her character Marion Ravenwood and love interest Indiana Jones, played by Harrison Ford.      

Over the last few years, the reunion scene, where the age difference is insinuated, has come under scrutiny enough for Allen to go public and declare Indy is 'not a pedophile.'  

In the scene, Marion punches Indy and says, 'I've learned to hate you in the last 10 years.' After explaining how he never meant to hurt her, she responds, 'I was a child! I was in love! It was wrong and you knew it,' for which Indy shoots back: 'You knew what you were doing.'  

During an interview with Uproxx, Allen weighed-in on the scrutiny and revealed the age she thought her character was during their initial relationship.

'I think I say I was 16. I don't know. That's always what I imagined is she was 16, he was 26. And he was her father's student. And it's left very mysterious,' Allen, 69, said before sharing a couple of potential scenarios about their past.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Well, of course Indiana Jones could not have been a pedophile, because at 16, Marion would have been post-pubertal; thus, Jones would correctly be referred to as a(n) ephebophile\nympholept, which is much less ominous. And based on the New York Times Notable Book, The Red Queen, and the (incorrectly titled) documentary Are All Men Pedophiles? (2013), all men are nympholepts. 

We're shocked that there hasn't been particular attention paid to Jone's clapback, "You knew what you were doing." Thereby, to the dismay of middle-aged feminists and teen boys, Jones opined that at 16, Marion was old enough to consent to an age-gap relationship and that he didn't groom or victimize Marion. (We're assuming that Jones observed the local age-of-consent laws.)

However, based on the transcripts of the story conferences between George Lucas, Spielberg and Lawrence Kasdan, Marion was an even younger nymphet:
Lucas: He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven. 
Kasdan: And he was forty-two. 
Lucas: He's thirty-five, and knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve. 
Lucas: It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time. [Slightly?] 
Spielberg: And promiscuous. She came on to him.
Lucas: Fifteen is right on the edge [...] it is interesting. Once she's sixteen or seventeen it's not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with and he. 
Spielberg: She has pictures of him.

Initially, Lucas and Kasdan suggested that Marion be 11 and Jones be 42. Then Lucas suggested that Marion be 12 and Jones be 35. And Spielberg added that Marion should be a nubile nymphet - both promiscuous and a seductress. Interestingly, Lucas opined that a 16 or 17-year-old nymphet is not as alluring as one 15 and younger. And Lucas suggested that Marion be 15 "right on the edge" and have a (sexual) affair with Jones while being "madly in love". 

Jurassic Park (1993)

Lastly, Kayhart's piece reminded me of a scene from Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993). In the scene, when a Vegasaurus happened upon Dr. Grant, Tim and Lex (Ariana Richards), Tim said, "It looks like it has a cold." However, since there are no visible signs of a cold, it's not apparent from the film how Tim was able to make that diagnosis. 

Thus, my question is, did Spielberg spew the rich viscous fluid from the phallic Vegasaurus upon Ariana Richards' 14-year-old face as a sexual innuendo, as an attempt at comedy, or both? 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

The Young Copywriter's Thing for Way Older Men

In The Cut's "Sex Diaries" (JUNE 6, 2021), a 23-year-old Brooklyn based copywriter confessed: "Somehow I only ever want to date men who are way older." [Emphasis added]

And she "impulsively confess[ed]" her feelings for a scientist, whom she shared of the man who's 11 years her senior,: "Funny how I can’t go a day without thinking about him now."

However, The Scientist informed the copywriter that he liked her but "[...] the timing is wrong."

She thought, while on a date with an indie-pop musician whom she met in high school,: “Wow, I wish I was with The Scientist right now.”

Ultimately, The Scientist informed her that he hadn't: 
"[...] been in a serious relationship in years, that he has a lot on his plate at the moment, and that his emotionally distant personality and strong love of threesomes is bound to “make me miserable.” [Emphasis added]
Even though, The Scientist told the copywriter that he "still likes" her, by 11:55 p.m. on DAY SEVEN, he hadn't responded to a text that she sent on DAY SIX at 5 p.m..

Thursday, June 10, 2021

[SPOILERS] HBO's MARE OF EASTTOWN: "Teenage Girls Are Fucking Sneaky"

Here's HBO's plot summary for Mare of Easttown:

As her life crumbles around her, a small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) investigates a local murder [of Erin]. The series explores the dark side of a close community and provides an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present.

Mare of Easttown is unique in its use of the allure of a (dead) nymphet to make a hit streaming series. For example, near the beginning of episode 2, Erin's 17-year-old topless corpse was on display. 

Erin's 17-year-old Topless Corpse

And very interestingly, the series did not consider Erin a victim in her attempt at teen prostitution via Sidedoor's escort service, and the series did not imply that Erin was groomed into her age-gap sexual affair with John Ross.  

Of Erin, Mare said:

"If you're a teenage girl, baby at home and a [strict] dad like Kenny, you're not gonna open an account on Sidedoor with pictures like this on your own computer. Trust me. Teenage girls are fucking sneaky."

Detective Colin Zabel, Mare's partner, may have been naive about nubile nymphets, but not Mare.  Erin may not have considered teen prostitution for a Prada bag, but nonetheless, 17-year-old Erin seriously contemplated teen prostitution to earn money for your child's ear surgery.

Of his relationship with Erin, John Ross shared with Mare:

"It wasn't just sex, okay? Yes, there was sex. It was. We were both having a hard time. I mean, she was having problems at home, and then things between Lor [my wife] and me weren't great. We could confide in each other in a way that we couldn't with other people. I mean, we had this connection." [Emphasis mine]

Erin's Sidedoor Escort Account

Thus, John stressed that his age-gap affair with Erin was consensual. Erin even hid a photograph in her bedroom of the age-gap couple - postcoital. But more interestingly, not once did Mare accuse John of grooming and victimizing Erin.

Uncle John & Erin Postcoital

Erin didn't want to end her age-gap affair with John, because she came to the realization or was convinced that she was groomed and/or a victimized. It turns out that she was simply tired of the lies (i.e., hiding her age-gap affair) and wanted to go public. To which John replied:

"Are you fucking crazy! You're a fucking child!"

And John's son did not confront his father about having an affair with Erin. On the contrary - he scolded Erin. 

"Stay away from my family! Why would you do this?" [Emphasis mine] 

Wait, although it wasn't stressed in the series, did I mention that John was Erin's uncle?! 

Let's review Erin's "sneaky" behavior:

Erin made an account of Sidedoor, an online escort service

Erin had an consensual incestuous affair with her uncle 

Erin took a postcoital selfie (with her uncle in the background) 

Erin told her boyfriend that John's baby was his son. (Yes. Erin had a teen boyfriend too whom shared that, in terms of his parent's attic, "That's where she'd suck my dick.") 

Mare of Easttown and Mare's comment about "fucking sneaky" teens reminded me of Betsy Karasik's Washington Post Op-Ed (August 30, 2013) where she opined that consensual sex between teachers and high school students should not be criminalized:

"When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin’ on us. When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the sexual boundaries between teachers and students were much fuzzier. Throughout high school, college and law school, I knew students who had sexual relations with teachers. To the best of my knowledge, these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word..."

15-year-old Winslet in Dark Season

And talk about art imitating life. Per Kate Winslet's Wikipedia page, 15-year-old Winslet had an age-gap affair with 27-year-old actor-writer Stephen Tredre:

While filming Dark Season, 15-year-old Winslet began a romantic relationship with actor-writer Stephen Tredre, twelve years her senior.[14][200] She considered him a major influence in her life and they lived together in London.[7][24][222] They broke up in 1995, but remained close until he died of bone cancer two years later.[14][223] Winslet skipped the premiere of Titanic to attend his funeral.[224] In a 2008 interview, she admitted to having never got over his death.[7]


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

BIG LITTLE LIES: Teen Sex & Virginity 4 Sale For College

Abigail didn't share the details about her secret passion project with her father, but she shared: 

"Well, colleges look for passion projects now, you know. It's not just about, like, GPA and being captain of volleyball." 

Subsequently, Abigail's step-mother, sympathetically shared with Abigail's father: 

"She is auctioning off her virginity on the Internet. For Amnesty International; so, it is for a very good cause."
"She's selling her virginity on the Internet?!"
"Good cause?"

Consequently, Abigail's father asked:

"What the fuck! You're selling your virginity?"
"Yeah. I thought you'd be proud of me."
"Proud of you?"
"Yeah. A lot of girls lose their virginity for a lot less."

The following morning, Abigail's father tried to rationalize with her, but she responded:

"Dad, come on. A 16-year-old white girl from Monterey selling her virginity online? Wolf Blitzer would saddle that up for weeks. That's the way."

Wait, did Nabokov write those lines? Wolf [would] blitz her. And saddle that up. For weeks!

Like Demi Moore's mother, it appeared that Abigail's father began to condone teen prostitution. He shared with his ex-wife:

"Abigail is auctioning off her virginity in order to raise money to protest sex slavery. No, I'm being serious. She said if a 7-year-old can be sold to sex slavery, then no one would bat an eye if a white, rich American girl sell hers online."

Saxena wrote in the Elle post "Why Aren't We Talking About Abigail's 'Secret Virginity Project' On Big Little Lies?" (MAR 30, 2017):

[...] Abigail's project raises—about virginity, sex work, and social consciousness—are worthy ones.

When I first watched the episode I, like Madeline and Nathan, thought Abigail's project was a ludicrous, terrible idea [...] I tried to think of what I would say to a hypothetical teenage daughter of mine if she came to me with the same plan. Which is when I realized that I couldn't come up with a great argument.

Like many left-leaning women, I believe in bodily autonomy and that teenage girls are too often shamed for their bodily choices by a patriarchal society. The age of consent in California is 18, but in 31 other states it's 16. Legally Abigail is around the age where she can make this kind of choice. She's old enough and of sound(ish) mind, so by my own logic, she should be able to do what she wants.

Though 44% of people think prostitution should be legal, and Abigail's own chosen charity Amnesty International voted to campaign for the decriminalization of sex work, many people struggle with the idea that someone like Abigail would engage in sex work of their own free will. 

Like Abigail's father, Saxena was initially against teen prostitution, but she "couldn't come up with a great argument" against it. And Saxena opined that since Abigail was "around" 18, "she should be able to do what she wants". And Saxena reminded us that: "[...] many people [unjustifiably] struggle with the idea that someone like Abigail would engage in sex work of their own free will." But then Saxena contradicted her entire piece by writing: "It's obvious that her plan is a bad idea." Editor?

Lastly, it's important to remind that Abigail was selling her virginity to get into a good college. To raise awareness for Amnesty International's campaign to decriminalize sex work, was secondary. Remember Abigail shared with her father:

"Well, colleges look for passion projects now, you know. It's not just about, like, GPA and being captain of volleyball."