RARA-AVIS: Re: Women who are men

From: Channing ( filmtroll@sbcglobal.net)
Date: 06 Jul 2006

All right, I guess I need to back up my assertions.

>I'd have to disagree with you on two points here.
>First, I don't think it unreasonable that a female
> impersonator could fool Hammer. I mean, did you see
> "The Crying Game" that you mention? He looked pretty
> damned good to me. Not that I would... oh, forget it.

I agree Jaye Davis was great in that role in "Crying Game" (with the help of cinematic make-up and lighting). And I agree there are quite a few convincing female impersonators. HOWEVER. Mike Hammer is "allegedly one of the greatest detectives in New York" as I've said, and he's spent more than his fair share of time in the seedy underbelly of New York. So it's not a big stretch to infer that he's met more than a few female impersonators in his time. AND he's supposed to be a great detective, so the details like hand-size, adam's apple and tell-tale stubble SHOULD tip him off. So it IS unreasonable that Hammer would be fooled, even by an amazing female impersonator.

Now I say Hammer is "allegedly" a great detective because Spillane tells us he's a great detective. However Hammer usually solves the case only AFTER all the possible suspects are dead and only the killer remains. So in fact that makes Hammer a lousy detective.

> I also don't see the plot as "obnoxiously" homophobic
> or sexist. I don't even know what gender it would be
> sexist towards. The killer is a guy, right? Is it
> sexist towards men?

True the man/woman is the killer and in Spillane's world deserves to be blown away, but Hammer takes extra pleasure in the act because the man/woman had the gall to try and seduce him. The definition of "homophobia" is:

1. Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men. 2. Behavior based on such a feeling.

I don't know, but cheerfully blowing a guy away because he tried to seduce you shows a bit of "contempt for gay men" wouldn't you say? And yes, I know he was a killer, so that was part of the deal. However, throughout his books Spillane/Hammer is always making points about what is manly and how wimps are not tolerated. And Hammer does show contempt for gay men in several books.

As for the sexist part. True it's hard to define that specific act as sexist, but Hammer in general recalls the sexist attitude of the era and "paranoia towards women" that someone else has mentioned. In Hammer's world the only things women are good for are sex and to be rescued (and in Velma's case to be ogled and answer the phones). And if they're a killer they need to be blown away.

True Hammer only makes explicit his hatred of Commies and the Mafia and criminals, but from a modern perspective Hammer is sexist in his world view.


------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Great things are happening at Yahoo! Groups. See the new email design. http://us.click.yahoo.com/TISQkA/hOaOAA/yQLSAA/kqIolB/TM

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Jul 2006 EDT