Stepford Wives is a story of stereotypes and control. Joanna a big shot woman from Manhattan along with husband Walter and their two children. Walter has always been beneath his wife in terms of money making, control and attitude. Walter has seemed to be the underdog in their relationship, while Joanna has on top of her game making their relationship distant. Well, after Joanna is fired from her job the quant little family moves to a little town in Connecticut called Stepford. Here in Stepford the women are blonde, tall, thin and sexy, which makes Joanna’s dark drab and short dark hair quite noticeable. Joanna soon befriends a writer named Bobbie and a man named Roger. Bobbie like Joanna is a mess, she lives in a pigsty while Roger embodies the flamboyant part of a gay couple. The male counterpart in each of these relationships wants there partner to be different, to be acceptable to say the least. Joanna’s husband wants her to be more like the women in Stepford, warm and loving and far away from the black numbers she always wears. Bobbies husbands wants her to be the perfect homemaker, a cleaner, a baker, a slave to every dying wish that he may have. Rogers partner wants him to less “froo-frooy” and more “manly”. Well, after time we see a change in each of the characters, first Roger becomes a politician and does a 180 from his previous self, while Bobbie becomes a blonde home wife with the cleanest house. Joanna decides she wants to leave Stepford because she does not want to be like these women, soon after discovering that all the women in Stepford used to be big shots, owners of airlines, or banks. After her encounter with Bobbie she calls the child center to let them know she is picking up her children, when they inform her that their father has already picked them up. She rushes to the “Men’s Club” where it is revealed to her that the men of Stepford had their wives programmed to be the “perfect wife”. Why? Because they were tired of being the underdogs, the lesser part of the relationship. Walter then takes his wife to be transformed. Soon after at a part, Walter goes into the secret room and destroys all the chips in each of the wive’s heads. To make a long story short, it ends up that Mike, the head honcho was really a robot and his wife was the one who created the society and the robots. It is also revealed that she used to be a big timer herself, in the medical field. But she caught her husband cheating and killed him and his mistress and creating a robot to take his place. She wanted to create the society because she wanted the old time chivalry, where men were men and women were women.
I think that this film was perfect to show the ideas that many hold on what a woman is or the ideal woman rather. Blonde, tall, thin and submissive. It shows that they shouldn’t be the ones bringing home the bacon but rather the man should. But when we discover who the women really used to be it showed that women were taking control, that they had found a way to be better than the men in their household. Big shot women owners of companies, inventors, doctors. I think that in that regard it showed women beautifully, but to counteract that I must say that to say that big shot women are dark ladies who neglect their families and personal lives is a bit much.
I think, which I know that my definition of feminism differs greatly from “true feminist”, that this was a feminist film. It showed that men have this ideal that they are to be the better partner, the big shot, the money maker. That they are the ones who should be tied up in work and too busy to be a family man. The film implies that there is an ideal to what women should be, and what they shouldn’t.
I like this film, it is funny and down to earth with a true meaning behind it. We can see how society that we live in places these “bars” on women, what they should be what they should do. And it shows that there are men out there who appreciate that and don’t want just another pretty face.