Abstract from “Gender in Et Dieu… créa la femme and Quai des Orfèvres” essay by Toby Woollaston – 2011

With reference to Bridgette Bardot, Feminist Simone de Beauvoir stated that “Males are an object for her, as much as she is an object for them. This is precisely what hurts males’ pride.” Can Bardot’s film Et Dieu… créa la femme (1956) be considered a feminist text?  In this essay I intend to explore if Vadim’s film Et Dieu… créa la femme (1956) transcends the gender balance that often gives privilege to the male gaze, and to the camera that is still ultimately controlled by this male gaze. I will outline various theories of spectatorship and in doing so contrast the forms of femininity on display in both Et Dieu… créa la femme and Quai des Orfèvres (1947). From there I will discuss the three forms of male gaze and the locus of feminine power in Et Dieu… créa la femme and finally introduce masquerade theory. By looking at cinematic feminist theory, my intention is to establish to what extent this film can be read as a feminist text.

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