The Duke of Burgundy

Violent Women: The Roundup

#7

Check out all of the posts from our Violent Women Theme Week here.

Emotional Violence, Kink, and ‘The Duke of Burgundy’

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In much of feminist literature from the past, kink is seen an act driven by patriarchy, with submissive women reproducing their oppressions in the bedroom and capitulating to gendered norms of women as silent and subservient. Even nowadays as the tide gradually changes, there is still a large amount of ire reserved for those who practice BDSM.

Love and BDSM Meet in ‘The Duke of Burgundy’

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In a radically empathic way, we feel the emotional pain both women face when Evelyn’s desire to be dominated is greater than Cynthia’s will to dominate. This deftly expressed when we see identical scenes enacted from each woman’s perspective. Take the golden shower scene: the door closes, we hear water running, and then the sound of Evelyn choking. Since we’ve just been introduced to them, its Evelyn who wins our sympathies and Cynthia that seems aggressive in punishment.