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M.G. Lord: The Accidental Feminist

M.G. Lord: The Accidental Feminist

How Elizabeth Taylor Raised Our Consciousness and We Were Too Distracted by Her Beauty to Notice. USA 2012, 213 pp., hardbound,  21.49
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Countless books have chronicled the life of Elizabeth Taylor, but rarely has her career been examined from the point of view of her on-screen persona. That persona has repeatedly introduced a broad audience to feminist ideas. In her breakout film, »National Velvet«, Taylor's character challenges gender discrimination: forbidden because she is a girl to ride her beloved horse in an important race, she poses as a male jockey. Her next milestone, »A Place in the Sun« is essentially an abortion-rights movie. In »Butterfield 8«, Taylor's character isn't censured because she's a prostitute but because she chooses the men with whom she sleeps and controls her sexuality. The legendary actress lived her life defiantly in public - undermining postwar reactionary sex roles, helping directors thwart Hollywood's Production Code.
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