In Valentine, the female figure is framed by a white square and is surrounded by a bloody heart (here Friedberg uses her medium to best advantage by dragging the wax across the surface to give it a coarse, ragged quality). She throws herself (or is thrown) across a chair, arms above her head, her arched body totally vulnerable. Whether willing partner or passive victim, she expresses the code of Otherness to male sexuality and power. The interpretation of this image, as of The Cruise, depends very much on the viewer's own social position and gender. Most, no doubt, will be unable to avoid seeing the abandoned and awkward pose as one not freely taken.
The third image in this group, Embarazada, expresses such a power relationship even more directly, though not without ambiguity. A clothed male stands over a flattened, pregnant, nude female who, bathed in a pool of blue light, turns her head away from his gaze. And yet, the nature of Friedberg's figures, as in the awkward pose of the male in this work, and his uncomfortable sense of his own dominating position, remind us again, as in The Erection, of the dissonance that can exist between socially-constructed roles and the uneasy performance of those roles. The title itself refers to the ambiguity of this relationship. In Castilian Spanish, "embarazada" means "pregnant." But, as Friedberg points out, in the language of Spanish Jews it means "entanglement." Perhaps these signs of unease reflect the changing nature of the structured order of gender, or perhaps they represent the periodic disturbances, silences, and collapse of meaning that invade and threaten the stability of that structure.