Until a couple of weeks ago I never really thought much about the image and what it represented, until a fresh eye saw the photo hanging on my wall and asked about it. I described the film to Him; a love triangle between one woman and two men, a story told during the Civil War.
Having thought about it now I think the reason I loved the film so much as a child, was the way that Rhett protected and loved Scarlett so much, his love for her seems almost fatherly (Rhett is much older than Scarlett in the film too, she is only 16 when they meet and he in his 40's). He doted on her and she looked up to him with childlike mannerisms, and from the photo below, with a longing look of love and need, a craving for protection. When I was seven my Dad left home and I didn't see him for a long time – a good few years – I saw him again when I was fourteen and now I haven't seen him since, I have no idea whether he is alive or dead. Did Rhett's love for Scarlett engross and comfort me so much that it soothed the pain of the love and protection that was missed from my Dad? Maybe.
Around about the same time when I was thinking about the image of Rhett and Scarlett, I'd been listening to the album Blowback by Tricky. The image on the album cover highly struck me. On the same night that His fresh mouth made a mention about the image of Rhett and Scarlett on my wall, he also said something that made a mark in my mind..something about the way the woman looks up to the man and the man looks down on her and how that image of Man and Woman is probably a lot different now. I find these two images very alike in contrasting ways, a modern day version of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara, perhaps.
A woman in control of herself, her sex and the man - who seems to crave her and obeys, the image oozes dominance and pleasure, reflecting a sexual connection and acceptance of equality.
Who dominates who? Who fears who? Who protects who? Who obeys who? Is there ever an equal?
For me, as a young girl, I felt masochistic, I let men take control over me..I was passive because I wanted to be protected, I wanted the protection from a man that I never had from my Dad. I feared men, because I didn't want to know them, to really know them..probably from fear that they would leave me if I grew to love them, just as my Dad did. I don't know if I ever obeyed a man or if a man ever obeyed me, if obey is the same as respect then I probably never accepted it as I never respected myself. Now, as a woman, I no longer feel passive and I no longer fear men, I used to think of men as a hierarchy; something above me that I couldn't reach or connect to; something in charge of me. Now I feel equal, not above or below, not looking down or up to.. although I do think the roles of being doted on, protected, feared and dominated by do change all the time for men and women..and I don't think there ever will be an equal in a realistic sense because we're a different species..aren't we?