the whole world burns

Archive for May 2006

"They Want Us to Look" -- the culture of 80s teen sex comedies


The Porky's shower peep is to the teen sex comedy what the graceful airborne duels in The Matrix are to modern movie fights; they both set examples for their medium. In the Porky's peep, the boys are voyeurs, crouched in darkness, and the girls snap each other with towels and do nude shower-room calisthenics ("Up! Down! 1-2-3-4 Up! Down!"). And when they realize they're being watched, instead of feeling violated, the girls wrap towels around themselves and start flirting with their secret admirers. As Pee Wee, the antsiest scopophiliac of the bunch, declares, "They’re hot! They’re hot! They want us to look! They want us to look!" Thus any compunction about unauthorized looking is washed away. Women feed off the male gaze.

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