Agency, Inscription, and Bodies of Depth:
Rape and Technology in Twentieth-Century Literature
In "The Thermodynamics of Gender: Lawrence, Science and
Sexism, Michael Wutz places the Lawrentian hot (male) and cold
(female) bodies within the context of thermodynamics.
Notwithstanding the possibility that Mellors "uses his power
caringly," the first instance of intercourse between him and
Constance Chatterley is, in fact, rape. I cannot agree with Wall that
Mellors's "caring" and his association with myth legitimate and
rewrite the incident as an "initiation"--although this is clearly what
Lawrence himself would claim (145). Wall is not alone in her
apologia for the rape scene in Lady Chatterley's Lover; Swift argues
that, when not looked at "superficially," the novel is about "the
democracy of touch" (165), and many other critics have claimed that
the sacredness of the event excuses its violence against women,
including Black, Spilka, Schorer, and nearly every contributor (all of
whom are male) to Jeffrey Meyers' The Legacy of D. H. Lawrence.
All of these apologies for Lawrence overlook not only the violence
explicit in Lawrence's representations of sexual relationships but in
the Western construction of gender and identity generally.
See Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema for
the ground breaking work on scopophilia, "structures of looking,"
and the power of the controlling gaze.
In Migrancy, Culture, Identity, Iain Chambers writes extensively
about the migrant nature of the worker in late capitalism.