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Presenter Information

Thomas Tranchell

Location

SURC Room 135

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Feminism, reproduction, fear

Abstract

A patriarchal society requires that conventionally feminine roles be fulfilled by women. Fulfilling these roles can be as mundane as being assigned the task of washing the dishes and laundering the clothes. The roles can be more complex, such as being expected to be the primary caregivers for any children as well as bearing these children. When no women are present to fulfill these roles, an all-male society must cope with taking on such duties. In John Carpenter’s 1982 film The Thing, the all-male residents of an Antarctic scientific outpost must not only fulfill the daily tasks traditionally borne by women but also survive in the face of an invasion from an alien who wishes to reproduce among them. In this presentation, I will demonstrate the deep-seated persistence of standard gender roles by demonstrating ways in which the male occupants of the outpost in Carpenter’s film subjugate each other into feminine roles, battle the invasive species bent on reproducing itself, and ultimately cause their own destruction. Representations of the feminine through the actors, the special effects, and the sets will also be considered. The Thing is a classic example of men—and patriarchal societies—fearing most that which they understand the least: reproduction and the feminine.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Armstrong, Liahna

Additional Mentoring Department

English

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May 15th, 4:10 PM May 15th, 4:30 PM

When a Man Bleeds: Fears of the Feminine and Reproduction in John Carpenter's The Thing

SURC Room 135

A patriarchal society requires that conventionally feminine roles be fulfilled by women. Fulfilling these roles can be as mundane as being assigned the task of washing the dishes and laundering the clothes. The roles can be more complex, such as being expected to be the primary caregivers for any children as well as bearing these children. When no women are present to fulfill these roles, an all-male society must cope with taking on such duties. In John Carpenter’s 1982 film The Thing, the all-male residents of an Antarctic scientific outpost must not only fulfill the daily tasks traditionally borne by women but also survive in the face of an invasion from an alien who wishes to reproduce among them. In this presentation, I will demonstrate the deep-seated persistence of standard gender roles by demonstrating ways in which the male occupants of the outpost in Carpenter’s film subjugate each other into feminine roles, battle the invasive species bent on reproducing itself, and ultimately cause their own destruction. Representations of the feminine through the actors, the special effects, and the sets will also be considered. The Thing is a classic example of men—and patriarchal societies—fearing most that which they understand the least: reproduction and the feminine.