• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Gender Politics in Audition

Page history last edited by Kathryn Hansen 14 years, 2 months ago


Due in part to the feminist movement, for the last 30 years the world has become more aware of the inequities between the sexes. Depending on how you choose to interpret this film, it could be a gory horror film, or it can be seen as a damning social indictment. Some cultures have been slower to realize the implications of sexism. Audition's commentary takes a harsh look at the different roles both males and females play in Japanese culture.


The Japanese Experience

As I began to look at feminist history in Japan I found only 9% women in Parliament and 11% women in research (2.5% in Science Departments) and a rank far behind other industrial nations on the Gender Empowerment Measure (Rank 54 out of 93) (1).

However, this is changing rapidly. One of the main observations is what the researchers call resistance. The separation of gender inequality form other forms of social inequality, namely the resistance of women to acknowledge their struggles with inequality. Women have not been able to speak for themselves throughout history. Their history has been written by the men. Since the Worldwide Womens Conference on Equality, this is beginning to change.


Male Gender Statements in Auditions

One can never fully state what the director had in mind while filming, although several obvious political gender references occur in the film. It is obvious that the men who plan the fake audition are completely oblivious to what impact their lies may have on the unsuspecting women who reply. As the women try-out for the part, it is a commentary about how men help perpetuate the  competition women feel with each other. Aoyama's cold detached method for finding his new wife backfires when he falls for Asami before they even meet. What begins as a clinical approach to finding a wife, fast becomes an obsession.

In the dream sequence, the fact that the women changed from one to another shows how easy it is for Aoyama to substitute almost any of the females in his life. He is not really meaningfully attached to any of them. (2)


Female Gender Statements in Auditions

Asami projects the ideal of what Aoyama's perfect woman would be; she is educated, reserved, softspoken, and dependent. But as we learn in the film, she has her own special way of coping with the inequities life has handed her. On the outside, she seems calm and demure, but what we don't realize is that she is a true sociopath. She finds her own method of coping as she switches the gender roles their culture endorses. She is now the one in control, and receives pleasure in dismembering or penetrating the males in her life, displaying Aoyama in all his selfassured (if not misplaced) glory.


This film seems to me like a harsh critique on sexism, at the very least a warning watch out for the silent type. In Wikipedia you can find this statement," Feminist critics responded to the way women are portrayed as epitomizing different stereo-types, and the definition of Aoyama and Yoshikawa's idea of the perfect women. However, Audition can also be seen as a subversive commentary on these themes.(3) Though initially presented as a passive model of Japanese femininity, Asami is revealed to be far more dangerous than she appears and ultimately holds the power, wreaking terrible vengeance on those who objectify or seek to exploit her."



I did a major edit on this page but never wrote it down anywhere.



Works Cited

(1) Raddeker, Helen B., Intersections: History and Culture in Asian Context. Issue 7 Mar. 2002.  http://intersections.anu.eud.au/issue7r

(2). McMillin, Calvin. http://www.lovehkfilm.com.panasia/audition.htm


Comments (1)

Sean Desilets said

at 12:57 am on Dec 3, 2009

* Hilarious reference to Asami's "own special way of coping."
* The final two sections strike me as excellent. Of course they could be more detailed, but they set a great starting place. That audition seems really important to this reading
* The start seems a little thinner to me--maybe just in need of some clarification

You don't have permission to comment on this page.