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Open Access Het moMumentale kreng - Vijf visies op One flew over the cuckoo’s nest en de macht van de interpretatie

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In this article Maaike Meijer argues that not only the film One flew over the cuckoo’s nest (1975), but also its literary pretext and the history of its interpretation serve as valuable objects of analysis. Four distinct interpretations of the film offer diverse readings of its narrative in general, and of nurse Ratched in particular. Depending on the interpretative point of view, nurse Ratched has been read as a figure of repressive, sadistic motherhood; of resistance against the injustices of the psychiatric institution; the film as sexist and racist hatespeech; and as a gender-critical reflection on men’s emancipation. Meijer, however, offers a fifth interpretation – one that focuses on the invisibility of male and institutional violence – in which nurse Ratched is understood as a ‘Momist’ figure on which the blame for such invisible violence is projected. These interpretations invite a further reflection upon the historical reception of the film, which has tended to pass over its confounding and problematic gender dynamics. Could it be that the ubiquity of the sadistic mother figure is so ingrained in the cultural imagination is what makes her so imminently recognisable and effective? If so, ongoing attempts to reinterpret the film and to deconstruct the figure of nurse Ratched remain relevant today.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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