Coquette: a woman who flirts lightheartedly with
men to win their admiration and affection.
Flirt: a man or woman who sexually provokes.
In many countries it’s seen as the start of foreplay.
Flirting or coquetry is a social and sometimes sexual
behavior involving verbal or written communication,
as well as body language, by one person to another,
either to suggest interest in a deeper relationship
or if done playfully, for amusement.
In most cultures, it is socially disapproved for a
person to make explicit sexual advances in public,
or in private to someone not romantically acquainted,
but indirect or suggestive advances (i.e. flirting)
may at times be considered acceptable.
Flirting usually involves speaking and behaving in a
way that suggests a mildly greater intimacy than the
actual relationship between the parties would justify,
though within the rules of social etiquette, which
generally disapproves of a direct expression of
sexual interest in the given setting.
This may be accomplished by communicating a sense of
playfulness or irony. Double entendres, with one
meaning more formally appropriate and another
more suggestive, may be used. Body language can
include flicking the hair, eye contact, brief
touching, open stances, proximity, etc.
Verbal communication of interest can include alterations
in vocal tone, such as pace, volume, and intonation.
Challenges (teasing, questions, qualifying, feigned
disinterest) serve to increase tension and test
intention and congruity.
Flirting behavior varies across cultures due to
different modes of social etiquette, such as how
closely people should stand, how long to hold
eye contact, how much touching is appropriate.
Some behaviour may be more universal. In places as
differentas Africa and North America, women exhibit
similar flirting behavior, such as a prolonged stare
followed by a head tilt away with a little smile.
Coquettes & Hollywood
From the earliest days of Hollywood, film makers
dallied not just in female sexuality but in the
construction of child female sexuality.
With the advent of film, children and sexual
innuendo appeared almost immediately in the
form of the Baby Burlesks Films.
Children are provided to us as totsies,
the film industry argues, because the
culture demanded it in the 30’s as it
demands it today.
The Lolita-like portrayals of Shirley Temple,
Brooke Shields in Pretty Baby and Jodie Foster
in Taxi Driver continue to appear. The “constant
sexualizing of children and our quick denials
of that activity”