The piece, “The Love Witch

The piece, “The Love Witch” released in 2016 in the UK is about a serial killer who thinks of herself as the star of rom-com. The film’s producer is Anna Biller and is one of the popular films known for its admirable compulsive tone and compositions. The film is a house filled with deadly and seductive blooms (Lucca, 2016). The main actor in the film is Elaine, is both empathetic as well as deranged. In the film, Elaine represents the position of women in society. She flatly says to a married friend, “Giving men sex is a way of unlocking their love potential.” However, her friend replied, “You sound as if you’ve been brainwashed by the patriarchy.” In the film, the producer takes the audience deep into the dark heart of a woman who just wanted to be seen as a real person and to be given basic respect.

At the start of the film, Elaine drives down the Oceanside highway with rear projections and heartbreak behind and a bright future ahead of her.  In this light, Elaine’s change of location signified her shift leaving behind heartbreaks and focuses to dream of a good future. Elaine is determined to get a man to love her (Lucca, 2016). She makes spells and portions to attract and seduce men. The charm works well, and she ends up with a chain of hapless men down to her. Elaine directs her love charm at a college professor, a friend’s fiance. Besides, she also eyes a macho detective investigating occult. However, when she finally meets the love of her dreams, the desperation to be loved pushes her to insanity and murder. Based on this, Elaine begins to kill the men she attracts. Thus, it seems that Elaine was on a revenge mission projected towards men in the movie.

Definition of the two concepts and thesis

The two-course concepts are feminist theory and social construction. The first concept, “feminist theory,” is a wide range of ideas about social life and human experience built from a woman-centered perspective (Trier-Bieniek, 2014). The theory examines the situations and experiences of women in society as well as describes a social world built from women’s point of view. It differs from other sociological theories because it draws from various disciplines like cultural studies and psychology, among others (Bailey & Trudy, 2018). The second concept, “Social construction,” states that people develop knowledge about the world in a social context and that much of what people perceive as reality relies on shared assumptions. It means that what people take as truth and objective is because of social processes that occur in a historical and cultural context. Therefore, the aspect of gender in the piece “The Love Witch” is a feminist view and socially constructed.  

Analysis of “The Love Witch”

Gender inequality

In the movie “The Love Witch,” Biller uses the aspect of a witch as a metaphor for women as both an embodiment of men’s fears of women as well as women’s innate powers as mothers and sorcerers (Lucca, 2016). The main character in the piece is a young woman who struggles with her desires, and how they intersect with the gender needs of the society. This reveals the uneasy empowerment the witch’s activities in practicing their ritual. To begin with, the aspect of gender inequality is evident in the piece. Women are presented as people who must seek to be loved by men. Elaine’s problem is connected to the desire that controls her: to be loved by a man (Lucca, 2016). Based on this, her coping approaches: she both internalizes a common theme that places the burden to change to please a romantic partner on women’s shoulders and uses her physical appearance as a weapon to get the love she needs.

Sexual orientation

Sexual orientation is also used in “The Love Witch.” By definition, sexual orientation is about who you are attracted to and whom you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually. Ellaine is attracted to men and can do everything to make sure that he gets a man. In the film, Ellaine seduces Wayne, the longhaired English professor and Griff cop, who comes back into Elaine’s life after Wayne’s disappearance (Lucca, 2016). She desires for the love of a man but does not like male cluelessness. While preparing one of the witch portions she speaks, Elaine observes, “Tampons aren’t gross. Women bleed, and that is a beautiful thing. Did you know that most men have never seen a used tampon?” (Lucca, 2016). It means that Ellaine does not have confidence over her own natural body to attract men. In this light, she uses love portions to make herself beautiful to attract men.

The concepts of feminist theory and social construction manifest in the sexual orientation of the film. Biller presents what women go through in the male-dominated society. Women are unable to get the love they need from men (Lucca, 2016). To achieve this, women are forced to make themselves lovely to please me and attain the love they need. One of the feminists’ primary objective is to make sure that women are not ignored. On the other hand, it is socially constructed that women need to look beautiful to attract men (Trier-Bieniek, 2014). This perception is driven by feminists who want to pass a message that women are suffering inside with desires to meet the needs of men for purposes of getting love.

Gender

Gender is an important concept in any play because it defines the storyline and attributes of the main characters. In this piece, women are displayed in stereotypical roles that perpetuate their roles in a male-dominated system. Women are shown as being the damsel of distress. Elaine, with her false eyelashes, make-up, and miniskirts, may appear like a bad girl, but her attitude lies with the men: offer them what they want, and they will give you all the love you can handle (Lucca, 2016). She sees her satisfaction and achievement coming from male wish fulfillment. Moreover, Trish talks like an empowered feminist. She demands her husband to treat her like an equal, particularly concerned that he respects her. Therefore, while Trish demands respect from the husband, Ellaine believes that she can get that when she gives men what they want.

Social construction and feminist theory also manifest in the aspect of gender. To begin with, the main objective of feminist theory is to create a platform where every gender is respected and valued (Trier-Bieniek, 2014). In the piece, women are used to present the idea of revenge. Women tend to react to the actions of men. Ellaine gets back to men after several divorces. Feminist theory has gone to great lengths to demonstrate how women are used. With that in mind, it becomes clear why movies are so often suspicious of beautiful, powerful female characters. However, social construction is manifest through social perception (Trier-Bieniek, 2015). Women are seen as real people with agency or desires of their own, but as objects to be looked at.

Power relations

The conception of power shows that the desire of those with more power will normally prevail over the wishes of those with less (Hartnett, 2000). Power posits an existence of an unequal relation between the people who use power for their role as well as those who are subject to its effects. In the piece, men are portrayed as powerful because women are subject to them. This explains why Ellaine does everything possible to make sure that she looks attractive. In addition, Trish also demands respect from her husband. However, Biller passes a different message where Ellaine becomes a serial killer.

Conclusion

Gender is an aspect that sparked different discussions. The Love Witch is one of the popular pieces that address the aspect of gender. In this piece, Anna Biller uses Ellaine as the main actor who strives to attract get what she wants from men by giving them what they want. Notably, most of the ideas presented in the piece, like gender inequality, sensuality, and power relations are socially constructed. In the piece, women are portrayed as people who are respected.

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