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By J. L Benson

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Additional info for A Problem in Orientalizing Cretan Birds: Mycenaean or Philistine Prototypes?

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Ursula Biemann’s video essay Writing Desire () describes the fantasy an East European woman is thought to approximate: “she is beautiful and feminine / she is loving and traditional / she is humble and devoted / she likes to listen to mellow music / the smile is her rhetorical gesture / she believes in a lasting marriage / and a happy home / she is a copy of the First World’s past” (see fig. ). The irony is that, when they decide to go to market, East European women can sell this fantasy on the European market.

The agent is irritated; we are not at the market, he protests, the men are human beings, and there is no bargaining. The mother is asked to pay the fee and leave a picture and her daughter’s details. The agent will get back to her. The mother complies and adds a poem to the package: the bride-to-be is a poet. 21 22 Chapter 1 Fig. 1. A Romanian mother hopes to find a West European husband for her daughter. Frame from Cristian Mungiu’s Occident (2002). A series of amusing encounters follow, through which Mihaela (played by Tania Popa, a Romanian actress originally from Moldova) meets caricatured older, working-class, uneducated European men.

In The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, Friedrich Engels went a step further than Marx in his analysis of a second type of production, that of human beings themselves. Engels dissociated the reproduction of the conditions of production from the reproduction of human beings and located the latter firmly within the institution of the family. His insight is to have proposed that it is only through a focus on the family that we can hope to make visible the network of relations within which women live, including economic relations.

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