Doane’s formulation seems to confuse the notion of “getting,” or reading, a joke with the idea of receiving pleasure from it. […] It even seems reasonable to suppose that the oppressed person may see more deeply into the joke than the oppressor is often able or willing to do, as well as into many other situations in which he or she is ridiculed, attacked, or persecuted (we might speculate that Freud’s Judaism contributed to his analysis of tendentious jokes). Surely Doane herself in her analysis, or “reading,” of the joke is speaking neither as a masochist nor as a man (a transvestite) but as a woman who deeply understands the experience of women’s oppression under patriarchy—and who quite rightly resents it. Thus there is at least one response to the joke other than the pleasure of the masochist or the immediate enjoyment of the male spectator, and that response seems to me crucial in theorizing about the female spectator. I am referring to the anger that is provoked in the object of a hostile or obscene joke at the moment of “getting” it, even if that anger remains unconscious. In my opinion, feminist film theory has yet to explore and work through this anger, which for women continues to be, as it has been historically, the most unacceptable of emotions.14
14In literary criticism the issue of women’s anger has been more extensively explored than it has in film criticism—no doubt because Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own has influenced the tradition. See Jane Marcus. For a general discussion of women’s anger, see Julia Lesage, who, referring to Frantz Fanon’s work, draws a parallel between women’s situation in patriarchy and the native’s plight under under colonialism.