Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Mae West: Male Privilege

While you’re sleeping, college professors in Hungary are thinking about MAE WEST. Here’s a long, striking research paper you might have missed. This is Part 3.
• • "Mae West. The Dirty Snow White" • •
• • Written by:  Zsófia Anna Tóth
• • Mae’s use of humor: is it “masculinized”? • •
• • Zsófia Anna Tóth wrote: In general, all humor critics agree that the production and use of humor is a male privilege and if a woman ventures into this field, she loses her femininity and by all means, her (possible) status as a woman proper. What is interesting in connection with West is that she somehow is not remembered as a masculine figure in spite of being one of the greatest American female humorists and comedians. Although, she falls far from being a true ‘lady’ in any of her roles, acts, performances, etc. and she almost always targets the problem of ‘ladyhood.’ In this paper, my aim is to discuss what Mae West, as a humorist and a comedian, achieved in American cinema and culture as a woman and how all this affected her gender construction because, in spite of all appearances, she was not a sexy, feminine woman but a strong, phallic presence, who had, in many aspects androgynous features.
• • A strong, phallic presence • •  . . .
• • This was Part 3 of a lengthy article. Part 4 will follow tomorrow.
• • Source: Americana — — E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary; Vol. XI, No. 1, Spring 2015.
• • On Tuesday, 7 February 1933 • •
• • It was on Tuesday, 7 February 1933, that Mae recorded "A Guy What Takes His Time" (one of her saucy hits from "She Done Him Wrong") for Brunswick Records.
• • Mae West trivia • •
• • Speaking of dissertations on Mae, here's one written in New York: Richard Helfer, “Mae West on Stage: Themes and Persona,” Ph.D. dissertation, City University of New York, 1990.
• • Overheard in Hollywood • •
• • Quebec audiences did not hear Mae West say the lines “So many men, so little time” or “It’s easy to get married, but hard to stay that way,” thanks to the hyper-vigilant Canadian censors.
• • In Her Own Words • •
• • Mae West said: “Cultivate your curves — — they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.”
• • Quote, Unquote • •
• • Reuters wire services mentioned Mae West.
• • “Mae West Back on Films” • • 
• • Mae West is coming back to the screen after two years. Interviewed in Hollywood, she stated that she is “at work on a film with a hot-country setting.’’
• • Mexico is to provide part of the background. ...
• • Source: Item from Reuters; published on Monday, 9 August 1943  
• • Note: The film would be called "Tropicana" and also "The Heat's On." Alas, one major film critic snarled, "The heat is definitely off." And it wasn't Mae's fault. They used too little of her material and the screenplay was a mish-mosh.
• • The Mae West Blog celebrates its 13th anniversary • •  
• • Thank you for reading, sending questions, and posting comments during these past thirteen years. Not long ago, we entertained 3,497 visitors. And we reached a milestone recently when we completed 3,800 blog posts. Wow!  
• • By the Numbers • •
• • The Mae West Blog was started thirteen years ago in July 2004. You are reading the 3892nd blog post. Unlike many blogs, which draw upon reprinted content from a newspaper or a magazine and/ or summaries, links, or photos, the mainstay of this blog is its fresh material focused on the life and career of Mae West, herself an American original.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:


• • Photo:
• • Mae West • in 1943

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1 comment:

  1. I have a very personal interest in Mae West's recording of "(I Like) A Guy That Takes His Time." It was released here in Canada with that title, on the Brunswick label 6495 -A, "(I Like) A Guy That Takes His Time by the Compo Company Limited, located in Lachine/Montreal, Quebec. However, this 78 rpm recording was released as "(I Like) A Guy What Takes His Time," in the United States and Great Britain. I believe there was a pressing released in France as well. I have yet to see a trade paper advertisement for this recording or any of West's other two Brunswick label records. It would be interesting to find actual sales figures as well. Years ago in Seattle, I met a long time Mae West fan who played these Mae West 78 rpm's for me on a vintage record player, and they sounded fantastic. I can image the furor and excitement they created back then!