Hitchcock loves to use blonde women in his films. He personally claimed respect for women. This is, however, not the picture in most of his movies. Hitchcock portrays women as victims, and not predators, in most of his movies.
There is the sexual objectification of women as portrayed in Hitchcock's movies. In Psycho, within the first eleven minutes of the movie, it can be seen the Marion is half-naked twice.
There is high eroticizing of violence in Frenzy. This is evident when Bates approaches the shower in his Motel; Marion appears to be washing the burden of her guilt in a sensual ecstasy. Marion's murder is shot in a chain of tight close-ups of Marion's naked, vulnerable body while the knife repeatedly slashes down her body (Stephen, 2010).
Frenzy involves an interesting plot that seeks to objectify women too. This movie clearly points to the fact that Hitchcock portrays women as victims. He uses women as sexual objects from whom sexual satisfaction and pleasure is derived, and later has them murdered by the men that just raped them. Rusk, the serial killer, having heightened sexual urges, seduces and rapes girls only to strangle them using his neckties (Allen, 1985).
In Psycho, Bates, under the influence of his devouring mother demonstrates a man's desire for women, and fear of their sexual power leads to gruesome murders. The murder of Marion shows a man's struggle in his desire women, in his fear of impotence (Boyd, Palmer).
Marion is seen to be the main cause of the argument that arises between Bates and his mother. She overhears the argument about her being let into the house by Bates.
The involvement of women in love costs them their lives, as if to mean that women are not supposed to fall in love. Marion, in Psycho, loses her life as a result of lack of clarity in mind after stealing the $40,000 from her manager's client. She did this so that she could run off with her love, Sam. Instead, she ends up getting murdered in Bates Motel by a man who desired her. Had she had a clear mind that did not involve love, she would not have ended up dead. Also, Bates's mother loses her life, together with her lover's life, because of the kind of love that existed between him and his mother - too much love.
Bates's embarrassment of his sexual desires results in the murder of Marion; and denial and blame on his mother. His self-loathing is projected on to the women he murders. For his murdering of women, he puts the blame on his mother, instead of taking responsibility for it. In his mother's guise, he tells himself that he murdered the women out of the jealousy his mother had towards the women he desires.
In Vertigo, Hitchcock is seen to portray women as having power and independence. This depiction seems well-orchestrated in a way that Hitchcock wants to show the audience, in the end, that the society is mainly built upon patriarchal inclinations. Hitchcock, therefore, departs from the view of women as independent and powerful when he strips Madeleine, and Judy, of her power and independence, together with her life. Hitchcock does this so as to help Scottie find peace and finality in his life.
Women are depicted as victims of the beautiful environment that they desire. Madeleine attempts suicide in the most beautiful surroundings; at the chapel and at the Golden Gate Bridge. At the chapel, she is seen climbing a winding staircase with Scottie running after her. It is from this that she jumps to her death.
Through the reconstruction of the story of Carlotta, in Vertigo, we see that women are, in fact, victims in Hitchcock's movies. Carlotta Valdez is a Hispanic woman who was abandoned, after being seduced, by her Anglo lover in the nineteenth century. This seduction and abandonment of Carlotta, in essence, is what is referred to as the "gay old days of San Francisco", and was typical of Hispanic women as referred in the movie. Scottie, despite the presumption that he should know that stories such as Carlotta's are many, fails to connect her experiences with those of other women in the film, and he also participates in the reproduction of these sexist practices. It is noted that Elster's wife is thrown away by her husband, the same way Carlotta was thrown away by her husband.
Women are made victims of their care-giving nature. In Vertigo, Scottie scolds his ex-wife, Midge, for being too motherly towards him when she is helping him recover. Midge is very aware of whatever Scottie is getting himself into, but Scottie will not have any of that from her.
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Judy is forced to live the exact way in which Madeleine lived before she ‘died'. She falls victim to Scottie's obsession with Madeleine. Scottie forces her to do stuff that Madeleine did and the way she was especially forcing her to dye her hair blonde.
In Frenzy, through Brenda's blacklisting of Rusk for beating up his dates, it can be seen that women, in their own way, try to alleviate or get rid of this sex symbolism and violence. Despite these attempts of trying to liberate themselves, women find themselves facing even more danger. Women cannot be held to have a voice and are expected to give in to the demands of men. This is evident where Brenda's rejection of Rusk's advances leads to her becoming a victim of rape herself.
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