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Images depicting the physical and mental coercion of women by men

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  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1448
  • Category: Physics

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For thousands of years the women of this world have been considered the weaker sex. They have been seen as not capable of doing many things. The media often uses the theme of men overpowering women in their story lines and programmes using poor helpless women victims. The film and theatre make use of this well. The “lady” has always been the helpless maiden in storylines of old films and is still portrayed today in many with little more subtlety. A woman for example is easily used as a person captured at gunpoint where as a man would be the one pointing the gun at her head.

For my images I have chosen still images of women in a position of terror at the hands of a man. Each of my three images shows the woman being controlled against her will by a man in either a purely physical way or mentally.

The first picture that I have chosen is of a military solider, due to the race of the woman; I think most probably in the Korean or cold war. The solider is crouched upon the floor pointing a gun at a woman’s head. The best visual code for this picture in my opinion is expression. Gesture and clothing also play a small part but expression shows the feeling of the people in the picture therefore leading you deeper into the true meaning of it.

The man has an angry expression that is shown by many features; firstly his eyebrows have been raised. Therefore his eyes are wider than that of a normal plain expression. They also seem to be watching someone else as if his next actions depend on what an unknown person does. His mouth is open but is clenched together. Both sets of teeth are visible due to the lips protruding outward. His upper lip is curling inwards and up to his nose while his lower lip is curling towards his chin. This causes his chin to be extended down lower than normal.

Whereas the expression of the woman is the complete opposite, she is scared, terrified and deeply upset. She is fearful of what might happen. Her hair covers around half of her face, which restricts the amount of expression visible. From what you can see of her face you can tell that her mouth is closed yet still her lips are forced outwards. The lower one is dropped loose. This causes none of her teeth to show. Her nose is lifted higher than normal and her eyes are screwed up. The screwing of her eyes has caused a red inflammation of the area surrounding her eyes, this also shows she has been or is crying.

The gesture of the man shows that he is struggling to hold her yet he is still in control of the situation. One of his arms is wrapped tightly around her body with the hand holding tightly to her arm. Whilst the other arm is held up, pointing the gun at her head. The first finger on this hand is curled around the trigger of the gun showing his is able to shoot straight away if it turns against his plans.

His legs show a little more of his feelings about the situation as one of then is spread to the side showing that he is confident enough to be open and slightly vulnerable, instead of having to protect himself by keeping his body curled up.

On the other hand her gesture show despair as her hands and arms are hanging loosely down by her side with her hand resting on her legs for support. Her legs however show her determination to beat him as they are positioned ready to get back up again, as if she is ready to run from him. To freedom.

The clothes show only a little yet very crucial part of the explanation of the picture. It helps us to understand the situation of these people. The clothes in this picture are torn and dirty showing that they have most probably been outside for some considerable amount of time. Her clothes also seem more torn and destroyed than his he may have attacked her already.

When you look at this picture your eyes are first drawn to the arm he has wrapped around her, then to his body and lastly to the gun. There is where your eyes will last look at the picture.

My second picture is of a man lifting a woman up by her neck. In this picture there seem to be only two visual codes that are relevant for analysis. The first being expression and the second being gesture, all other visual codes do not seem to affect the picture’s meaning.

You are first drawn to the woman in the picture due to the fact that she has the larger majority of her body in view. Her expression is mixture of many things including showing some of the unseen actions. She is very scared and frightened because of the fact that she is choking, however she seems to be pleading with an unseen person to do an action that will change the situation. This is all shown by the expression. Her mouth is stretched open as wide as she can stretch it and because of this both sets of her teeth are fully visible as is a large area of inside her mouth. Her nose is pulled upwards because of the shape of her face at the time. Her eyes are open wide and looking at the unseen person behind the camera. The eyes seem to be pleading or begging. The brow is also very stretched dragging up the eyebrows to open up her eyes even more.

The cause of all this pain, the man, seems angry and slightly hurried. His brow is crinkled as he is frowning. His eyebrows are then forced down and into his eyes making them more closed than normal. His nose is slightly scrunched up. His mouth is open a small amount with his lips pushed outwards and a small amount of both sets of teeth showing.

The gesture of both people in this picture is the best indicator of what is going on. The man’s arm is reached up wards and he has his hand grasped tightly around her neck. She however is fighting him by trying to pull his arms with her hands to free herself and stop herself from being strangled.

The clothes that the people wear in this picture don’t tell us much but as the man is wearing some kind of armour, he may be a military man. However not enough is show to really distinguish hat it really is.

The camera on this image is placed in a good place at his eye level. It is put between the action and another person.

The third picture that I have chosen is not of physical violence like the two before but of a mental torture at the thought of maybe something physical. The man is holding the woman around the body and the head and has his mouth ready to kiss her. She however looks scared at this.

The woman’s expression shows how she feels in a big way, it shows she is scared for she knows what is about to happen. Her eyes are looking down to the floor perhaps in an attempt not to have to look at the man. Her mouth is slightly open but this is not part of the expression this is just normal. Most of the feeling has come from her eyes. The rest of her body is unseen to the viewer of the picture so that we cannot see her gesture.

He on the other hand is has a very different expression, he is desperate to kiss her. He has his eyes closed waiting for what is about to happen and his mouth partly open with no teeth showing ready to kiss her. His right arm is wrapped about her body and her other pulling her head closer to his.

The clothes in this picture are of an old-fashioned nature maybe Victorian. She is wearing her undergarments, which also shows a kind of vulnerability, whereas he wears normal clothes to show that he is the power over her.

In conclusion in the media the woman is often shown as weaker by many different types of visual codes. The clothing can say a lot where she is wearing clothes that protect her less or maybe the camera is used at different angles to look down on her and up on him. However it is done, in many films today the helpless woman is terrorised at the hands of different men and it will most probably stay this way for years to come.

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