Summary of “Lip Service on the Fantasy Lines” by Kira Hall

The article “Lip Service on the Fantasy Lines” by Kira Hall is about how in order to be in a position of power, women are able to create a language based on stereotypes of them being powerless. Women are able to create language in order to adapt to different situations. A man’s language is powerful whereas a woman is powerless. Women and men are in an industry of phone sex that’s marginalized and the reason they put themselves in this industry is due to not having access to other employment or not having enough freedom in life. To other people, people in this industry are seen as powerless. However, the author is trying to dispute that. That they are using language in order to get what they want. Men are paying large sums of money thinking that the person on the other end of the phone is powerless, yet that person is using their language in order to seem completely into the phone sex, yet they could be watching tv or cooking at the same time. They use language in order to be powerful. The author uses interviews from the experiences of people working in the industry to show examples of how people are able to become powerful and the different ways they use language. The author also uses interviews to show the intentional ways that women’s language especially is associated with being powerless and mobilizing that stereotype in order to get power. Men paying for the service feel that they are the ones in power and get women to do what they want not realizing that the women are in power and just doing their job. After the session, the women are going about their lives forgetting about that phone call. Yet the men are still thinking about the phone call. The article really sheds new light on the stereotypes that women face and the true reality of those stereotypes.

In the video “Rachel And Ross Get Pulled Over”, from the tv show friends, you can see how once the police officer stops Rachel to give her a ticket, she becomes very friendly and speaks in a small voice in order to seem innocent. Calling his name Hansen as Handsome by flirting,  telling him she won’t do it again, and him being attracted to her photo. This is what we call sweet talk. By using language to appeal to someone to persuade them. Rachel was able to persuade him compared to Ross who wasn’t able to persuade a different cop. Rachel was able to use this situation to put herself in control of the conversation compared to Ross. The difference in language was shown in this clip. Another huge topic presented in the article is how a man’s fantasy of an ideal woman plays a role in the difference in language in gender. A lip-service digs into this fantasy by portraying the inequality of males and females for “male pornographic discourse”. Images of women show women as objects for men. The scene from the Japanese movie “Audition“(0:00-0:40) by Takashi Miike, portrays this. There’s an audition for a movie being held with two judges; Aoyama and his friend Yoshikawa. The audition is not actually a movie audition. It’s for one of the judges (Aoyama) to find a potential wife. They treating women as if they are just tools for Aoyama’s purpose. They use the terms “Obedient” and “well-trained”. These are kinds of terms shown in this image from “How do you define her?” by Amy L.Jorgensen.

With this image, you can see the difference in adjectives shown for both women and men. The men in the movie are self-confident, assertive, and Dominant and are looking for women who will be submissive, weak, dependent, and attractive. Yoshikawa states how some women in a bar are awful girls who are stuck up and stupid. This happens a lot when women reject men. They feel as though the problem is with the women, and start calling them names as if they weren’t the ones who started it. If they would have gone about their day, they wouldn’t have been rejected. They resort to calling the women names instead of thinking that the problem is with them. Maybe they didn’t approach her the right way with their words. Another thing I want to point out is how I watch a lot of Japanese dramas and movies and a lot of the female main characters are portrayed as someone who is innocent, reserved, soft-spoken, and submissive to the point they take while before they can even stand up for themselves which also relates tot he image of adjectives. Whereas the men are in a more dominant role. This movie defies that and portrays the main character Asami as a strong character. At first, she seems innocent but then changes and is not the ideal obedient woman that Aoyama thought she was and that is Aoyama’s Karma. Asami went against the stereotype. For lip service, female employees have to create characters based on the ideal type of woman of the client. An example presented in the article is an actual message “ ~ I can tell ~ everything, now I can give you everything you want,g!l you desire, I can do it now…” (Page 195, Para 2)The author presents this evidence just to show how the words that the female says connects with the notion that they need a powerful dominant man to submit and give them the desire that they want.  They even try to portray a different race to match the ideal types of their clients. Reading the article I found that very interesting that because of these fantasies that some men have, it can ruin their concept of reality. I feel that even if you are able to find someone that matches that fantasy, your mind will be so focused on that fantasy, that it will ruin the connection that you made with that person. And that’s what the author is trying to portray. By highlighting the differences in the language between men and women, the author connects that to women who are able to use their language to adapt to various situations compared to men and use those situations to become powerful. This breaks the notion that they are powerless. Instead, they are able to put themselves in a position of power. The author wants to show that women can use these adjectives of weak, powerless, submissive, to create something good out of it.

Citation

Hall, Kira. (1995). “Lip Service on the Fantasy Lines.” In Gender Articulated: Language and the Socially Constructed Self. London: Routledge, pp. 183-216.

Bits, Gorey. (2013). “Best of I Audition.” 0:00-0:40.

PureBloodedPaul. (2014). “Friends-HD-Rachel And Ross Get Pulled Over.” 0:00-3:30.

AmyLJorgensen. (2014). “How do you define her?”

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