"Crotch shot! Rewind!!" or The Patriarchal Professionals and the Female Factor
|Title:||“Crotch shot! Rewind!!” or The Patriarchal Professionals and the Female Factor|
|Date(s):||2001 or earlier|
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"Crotch shot! Rewind!!" or The Patriarchal Professionals and the Female Factor" is an essay by Rachel Shave for a Cultural Difference & Diversity written on or before 2001.
The essay was later referenced in her publication Slash Fandom on the Internet, Or, Is the Carnival Over? as well as being selected for inclusion in The Slash Reader a collection of essays by Chris Bichle and Mary Ellen Curtin in 2006.
Picture, if you will, a 1980s’ Sydney suburban lounge room. In it, there are approximately fifteen women - all are white, between the ages of twenty and thirty-eight, and primarily of Anglo-Celtic background. Most, but certainly not all, are heterosexual. These women are watching an episode of the television show, The Professionals. Onscreen, the two heroes, Bodie and Doyle, are fighting another man and both are being literally thrown around a room. After picking themselves up and walking between some cartons, Bodie drops his gun. This earns him a caustic reply from his partner, and a cry of “Crotch shot! Rewind!!” from several of the watching women. Bodie stops; his gun flies back up into its holster. He walks backwards, pauses, and then his actions are repeated. But, this time, he is moved forward frame by frame before being stopped in mid-action to be gazed upon (to appreciative murmurs and comments: “well, he definitely ‘dresses’ to the left” and “now we know why he doesn’t usually wear light coloured trousers”) and then allowed to recommence his movement. What is happening in this room? The simple answer is hegemony in action. I will specifically explore patriarchal hegemony, as it is here that fannish behaviour is so resistant.
As Professionals fans, we were not aware of having any feminist or political agenda – we were just having fun. However, through our active gaze and through poaching and reworking the masculinity and sexuality of Bodie and Doyle, we renegotiated the gendered active/passive dichotomy. Further, in our conscious and pleasured viewing of those crotch shots; in our discussion of that pleasure, and in our engagement in fandom and slash fiction, we negotiated a resistant space within patriarchal hegemony.