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Accessorizing the BodyHabits of Being I$
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Cristina Giorcelli and Paula Rabinowitz

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816675784

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816675784.001.0001

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Barbara Stanwyck’s Anklet

Barbara Stanwyck’s Anklet

The Other Shoe

(p.185) 12 Barbara Stanwyck’s Anklet
Accessorizing the Body

Paula Rabinowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines what shoes mean to women. It asks why women, following Sigmund Freud’s consideration of the shoe as fetish object, have understood shoes to signal freedom and constraint—at once powerful symbols of mobility and icons of and for desire. It considers two modes of desire: for the commodity itself, objects of use—products, equipment, as Heidegger called them—no matter how apparently excessive; and within its representation in paintings, photographs, films, novels, advertisements. These are not the same thing; yet because of the oddity of this particular object, an object in need of another for it to be put to proper use, desire doubles back on itself collapsing differences between materiality and representation.

Keywords:   shoes, women, fetishism, fetish, Sigmund Freud, desire

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