Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Blog #5 A Woman's Worth ~ Alicia Keys By Beverly Ball

Alicia Keys - A Woman's Worth Lyrics

You could buy me diamonds, you could buy me pearls
Take me on a cruise around the world
Baby you know I'm worth it
Dinner lit by candles, run my bubble bath
Make love tenderly to last and last
Baby you know I'm worth it
Wanna please wanna keep wanna treat your woman right
Not just told but to show that you know she is worth your time
You will lose if you choose to refuse to put her first
She will if she can't find a man who knows her worth, mhmn

Cuz a real man knows a real woman when he sees her
And a real woman knows a real man ain't afraid to please her
And a real woman knows a real man always comes first
And a real man just can't deny a woman's worth

If you treat me fairly I'll give you all my goods
Treat you like a real woman should
Baby I know you're worth it
If you never play me, promise not to bluff
I'll hold you down when shit gets rough
Baby I know you're worth it
She rolls the mile makes you smile all the while being true
Don't take for granted the passion that she has for you
You will lose if you choose to refuse to put her first
She will if she can't find a man who knows her worth, oh

Cuz a real man knows a real woman when he sees her
And a real woman knows a real man ain't afraid to please her
And a real woman knows a real man always comes first
And a real man just can't deny a woman's worth

No need to read between the lines, spell it out for you
Just hear this song cuz you can't go wrong when you value
A woman, woman, woman, a woman's worth

Cuz a real man knows a real woman when he sees her
And a real woman knows a real man ain't afraid to please her
And a real woman knows a real man always comes first
And a real man just can't deny a woman's worth

Cuz a real man knows a real woman when he sees her
And a real woman knows a real man ain't afraid to please her
And a real woman knows a real man always comes first
And a real man just can't deny a woman's worth

Mhmn mhmn mhmn mhmn mhmn mhmn….

"Alicia Keys: Beauty’s Only Skin Deep"

"Keys emerges as the latest “Black feminist” that relies on constructing her own musical agenda and beauty absent of her highly publicized youth and music industry guidance from label executives".

"Linda Seida says that “wisdom and experience transcends Alicia Keys’ youth” (All Music Guide, 2006). Perhaps this relates to Keys’ multi racial immersion into musical training and interests. The daughter of a White mother and African American father, Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook on January 25, 1981 in the rough “Hell’s Kitchen” section of Manhattan, New York (Denziel, 2003; Samuels, 2001). As a child, Keys is recognized as a musical prodigy with extensive training in ballet, classical piano, and voice. Keys is intrigued by diverse musical tastes that includes Prince, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Mary J. Blige, Chopin, Beethoven, and the Notorious B.I.G. Keys’ interest in music allows her to find inspiration in various artists rather than one specific genre of music.
Keys manages to incorporate numerous influences to create “Black feminism” that allows her youth to determine her musical abilities.

Keys’ education further drives her musical talents and objectives. At age 14, Keys begins to write songs and compose her own music. Keys enrolls into the Professional Performing Arts School in Manhattan only to graduate as the valedictorian at age 16 (Denziel, 2003; Seida, 2006). Keys briefly enters Columbia University but leaves to pursue her career in music. Keys lands a recording deal with Columbia Records but is confronted with pressure and reservations from the label to allow a young prodigy to take control of her debut project. Keys exemplifies taking a stance against powerful music hierarchies to define her potential and credibility to produce music of substance and focus.

Keys embodies “Black feminism” for her ability to stand up against a recording industry hierarchy to encourage her own vision to define her talent. The record label attempts to market her and construct an image that she does not want. Columbia Records supports Keys to become a conventional pop vocalist with sequined gowns, exposed cleavage, and high heels. The label even encourages Keys to abandon her piano and intentions to become a songwriter and producer. Keys says the label wants to mold her into another “Mariah or Whitney” clone (Samuels, 2001). This resistance from Keys symbolizes what Audre Lorde says is a “a refusal to be delineated by male establishment modes of femininity” (Tate, 1983). Keys leaves Columbia Records because of what bell hooks describes as “courageously claiming a right to personal integrity and refusal to don a false sense of self for anyone” (2001). Keys contends that she wants to be assertive in constructing her own intentions and motive in the music business outside of sex and being attractive to the male gaze".

Keys states,“People are into looks, but I don’t have to play into that. I’m not about showcasing myself like that. I’m not wearing booty shorts, low cut blouses, or see-through dresses for anybody. The music’s all I’m selling” (Samuels, 2003)".

“Black feminism” is displayed in part to Keys’ demanding self-esteem and willingness to define her own image based on her musical abilities".

Keys displays a music first work ethic over glamour and beauty. “Keys is not an artist that can be pigeonholed, so people expect her to create new paths rather than trying to fit into today’s scene. She is the ultimate artist – she writes, produces, performs, and arranges” (Hall, 2003)".

This song examines a woman's worth within the sphere of the public and private domains of black femininity especially in the context of of life in the ghetto. In the "you tube" video I have attached it opens with Keys walking across a ghetto street. The video tries to show the connection of her previous video "Fallin" in which she laments for falling for the wrong men. In "A Woman's Worth" she tried to detail his struggles in finding work. The song and video focus on the choices made by some women forced to work the streets. This song also depicts that these women make this choice with full knowledge of the social implications. She shows how these women have a sense of empowerment and dignity in our world today that for black women offer few substantive choices for economic empowerment. Their only other choices would be marriage, menial labor or low paying jobs as nurturers. Alicia Keys refers to these women as "proud walkin' women.
I do not think this song offers reliable choices for black women in general and certainly nothing to overcome sexist oppression. I think this song does address the choices and effects of women working the streets to survive and attain some economic freedom and allows us a chance to see street women and their profession in a different maybe even more acceptable light for gaining possible financial freedom.



http://national black graduate student association

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Blog #4 Girl Interrupted, Tyler Van Drei

Girl Interrupted was a movie about a female who was forced to spend time in a private mental institution. The psychiatrist she seen considered taking aspirin and drinking alcohol as a suicide attempt and decided Susanna needed to spend time there. The storyline follows Susanna and all the people she meets at Claymoore. She meets people with many different disorders and problems, from family abuse to sociopaths and even pathological liars. Throughout the film Susanna becomes more comfortable with her institutionalized female friends and that begins to make her family nervous who are on the outside looking in. Eventually, after an 18 month stay at the institution, Susanna returns home and has a better knowledge of herself.

Girl Interrupted deals, almost exclusively, with women. Obviously in this film women are not being represented at their best. The main women in the film have mental disorders so it doesn’t really show them being empowered either. The women are represented as being mentally ill, since they are in a hospital and cannot control whether or not they leave it hurts the image of women. Suicides, pathological liars, and abused women are the types of people that are associated with the film. I would not consider Girl Interrupted a feminist film at all. The movie does represent women almost exclusively, but they are not represented in a positive or negative fashion.

I really enjoyed the film. The way that the writers incorporated all different kinds of illnesses into all the different women’s personalities was very interesting to watch. The women played their roles very well, it was very believable the way they acted out their illnesses and sicknesses. The storyline also played out well, throughout Susanna’s experience of finding herself and making friends in a place where she never thought either of those things could happen. Seeing as how the film played out in a mental institution and that is was primarily all women the movie doesn’t really relate to my personal experiences at all.

Some Sources I used:

Friday, November 16, 2007

Mona Lisa Smile- Casey Page

The movie Mona Lisa Smile who stars Julia Roberts who plays a teacher named Kathern Watson (Julia Roberts)who comes to Wellesley College in 1953. She is a teacher who has very different beliefs then what her fellow colleagues belive in. Keep in mind that Wellesley College is an all female college. She took a position that was teaching Art History but in the end that is not what she wanted to teach these girls.

In the 1950's the dream for any girl was to get married and be the housewive and have kids and not have a career of their own. This is exactly what the girls at Wellesley College wanted to do. However, Katherine was wanting to change this outlook in her girls lives and wanting them to go to college and have their own career and not just be this housewife. Her students consisted of Betty Warren (Kirsten Dunst), Joan Brandwyn (Julia Stiles), Giselle Levy (Maggie Gyllenhaal), Connie Baker (Ginnifer Goodwin).

Betty was a very outspoken student who made her voice be heard about marriage was the only way to live her life after getting her college education. She does end up getting married, however from the beginning her marriage isn't good. On the other hand Joan is the pre-law student and is thinking about going to Law School, but she rather get married after she graduates. Katherine helps her in the application process to law school and she ends up getting in. Joan decides not to go to law school and gets married instead. Of course Katherine isn't happy by these decisions going on with the girls in her class. She wants her students to see more to life than being housewives, becuase of her outspoken beliefs she is warned about losing her job if she continues.

When it comes to gender, this film shows that males were very superior and were able to have the careers and do what they wanted with their lives. The females had to get married either before college or during college and then not have a career and just be a housewife. The women portrayed in this film had no say in how they wanted their life to go. When Betty discusses the idea of getting a divorce it was like the biggest problem and her mother did everything she possibly could do to tell her no. This film can be empowering representation of females because Katherine tried getting the girls to believe there is more to life than being a housewife.

I do consider this film to be a "feminist" film because its about fighting for the rights of the females against males. It shows the hard work of females in this movement. This film shows how far we have in today's world with females. If it wasn't for women like Katherine Watson in the movie, maybe just maybe the females would still be expected to be the housewife and not have a career.

I personally love this movie, one because it has some of my favorite actresses and two because it shows a movement that has been going on for decades. As I said before it shows how far we have come today. I cannot relate to their experiences because I want to have a career and kids at the same time. I would recommend this movie to anybody because it shows the reality of how the times have changed.


Blog #3: Baby Boom

Baby Boom is a movie that is shows Diann Keaton having to take over being a mother to her sisters baby. Diann Keaton lives in NYC and had no intentions of having children, so when she was given this baby she had no idea what to do with it. She had to go through many changes in her life to make sure that the baby was taken care of. She had to interview babysitters, take time off work which made her work struggle, she lost her boyfriend and her social life did a 180.
Then she came to a realization that the city was not the place for a baby to grow up so she moved to the country where she had to learn to do a lot more for herself than she was used to doing in the city. She ended up loving her niece and starting a baby applesauce business. The business took off and she became very successful and happy with her new life.
This film has to do with gender issues because it is assumed that women are suppose to take care of children. Her boyfriend wanted nothing to do with the baby so he left. It also addresses the issue when it came to Diann Keaton having to do more things around her house in the country. Most of the things that she had to do were things that men were titled has having to be their jobs. So when she accomplished something it was a big deal. I think that the film empowers women because it shows Diann Keaton as both a working successful women in the city and then also as a "mom" that loves and makes sacrafices for her child!
I would say this film is a feminist film in a postive way because it portrays a women accomplshing so much on her own. She raised the baby and supported herself and the baby. Along the way she learned a lot and accomplished a lot.
I am actaully a big fan of this movie. I used to like the movie when I was younger so when I saw it on the list I was so excited to go rent the movie and watch it again. I think that it is a great movie to show young girls that anything can be done no matter what situation you are in.
The movie "Judy Berlin" is something you could watch to hear a reference to the movie. Also if you google baby boom you can read most about the cast from different references.

Mean Girls by Pam Fletcher

Mean Girls is a 2004 “teen movie” directed by Mark Waters. The premise of the movie is based around 15 year old Cady Heron, played by Lindsay Lohan, attending public school for the first time in her life after moving with her family to Chicago from Africa where she was home schooled. This movie comically deals with the trials and tribulations of being a teen girl looking for acceptance. First, Cady is befriended by two of the unpopular group: Damian-self proclaimed homosexual, and Janice-public proclaimed (falsely) homosexual. The fun (or drama) begins when the three of them plot together to take down “The Plastics”, the 3 most popular, nasty yet fashionable A-listers in the school, led by Regina George, the nastiest of all. The movie is accurately rated PG13 as it would not be appropriate for under the age of 13 due to sexual content, language and teen partying.

Although this film is marketed as a comedy, and at times is “over the top”, it truly is a pretty accurate dramatic portrayal of high school life, just to the extreme. The girls in this movie are presented as very shallow, conceited, fake or dumb. I would say that this movie actually sets feminism back a couple of generations, but I think the intent was actually to make fun of the stereotypical girl “teen scene”.

I did happen to enjoy Mean Girls. It was reminiscent of high school; the good, the bad and the ridiculous. Cady changed her personality to match who her friends were at the time. It was amazing to watch the transformation of innocence to nasty. So, it was entertaining because it made fun of true to life events and how absurd high school drama can be.

For more information on the movie “Mean Girls” you may visit the following sites:

www.meangirls.com (movie trailer available)



A League of Their Own~ Jacqui Duthie

The synopsis of this film I retrieved from The Internet Movie Database. “In the farm of Oregon Dottie Henson and Kit Keller are working on the farm. Sisters that do love each other, except when it comes to baseball. Kit wants to play in the league but is upset to hear that it is Dottie who is chosen to play for the AAPGL. (All American Pro Girls League) Dottie refuses to play unless Kit can come along. AAPGL was only made because of the World War II and all of the man were in the war. Along the way to the stadium they meet Marla Hooch who is a great hitter, but to most people not the prettiest girl. When they are going to try out they meet Doris and Mae because Doris threw a baseball at Dottie who caught it impressing Doris. They girls find out their new manager is Jimmy Dugan. Jimmy Dugan drinks a lot and is the worst manager until Dottie get through to him and he becomes a better person. Miss Cuthbert makes sure the rules are followed, no boys, no drinking or smoking until Mae poisons her meal. The girls go to party and Marla who had been overlooked a lot is noticed by a guy named Nelson. Dottie's husband Bob is in the army and when news comes that a man in the army has been killed it turns out to be Betty Spaghetti. After awhile, Kit feels that once again like at home she is behind Dottie's shadow. Dottie notices it to and asks to be transferred to another team. Of course Mr. Lovitz doesn't want the best player to be transferred so he has Kit transferred to Racine. Kit feels that Dottie did this on purpose. Kit plays for the Racine while Dottie plays for Rockford. In the final scene Dottie is crashed into by Kit and she drops the ball, letting Racine win, making Kit have her own stardom instead of being in Dottie's shadow. The girls have a reunion and they remember the fun they had together.”

The message this movie was that women can do what men can do, play baseball. The women in this movie are amazing baseball players; however, it takes a while for the men who are coming to these games to realize that. Also, since these women were not proper women. The owner of the team sent them to a school that teaches the women the how to act and behave like women. This part of the movie was somewhat upsetting because these women were baseball players and the men were trying to make them behave womanly. There is a quote in the movie that Tom Hanks says “There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball.” Tom Hanks says this because one woman made a mistake in the field and Tom Hanks starts yelling at her, she begins to cry. This point in the movie make women look weak but in the end, these women are strong.
The movie represented these girls as being strong women. They were able to deal with what was even thrown at them. They were strong when a woman received a letter that her husband has died in the war and the banded together to make the team stronger.
I do not know if this movie is a feminist movie. These women came together to play a game they loved. However, the men did treat them differently. The man who ran the league wanted these women to wear skirts instead of pant and the men only come to look at the women and not to watch the game. The men did not care who won or lost.
These women did start making the game more interesting to watch. However, they did use their bodies and their womanly ways to make the game interesting. They would catch fly balls with their hats and do the splits when catching a ball.
We can say this movie was a feminist movie. This movie involved women who participated in a movement that supported women doing what liked to do. Since this movie was set during World War II, women were going back to work and one thing was women were playing sports.
My personal opinion of this movie is that it is a great movie. When ever this movie is on television, I end up watching the whole movie. I am a baseball fan and I played softball when I was younger. When this movie first came out, I remember saying that I was going to be the first girl to go into the major leagues. I believe this movie inspire women to go for their dreams, even if their dreams are male dominated. This movie is a must see.


Denise Haggerty- The Hours

The film that I choose is called The Hours (2002). This film was about three women and the struggles that they face, each woman is from a different period of time and the film really shows how even though things have changed for women they still face some of the same struggles. The first women introduced is Virginia Woolf, she is writing a novel in 1923 called “Mrs. Dalloway”. Virginia is depressed and struggling with her sexuality, she feels attracted to women however she is married. Her struggle comes to be a decision whether to run away or return to her husband who loves her. The second women is Laura Brown, she is a housewife in 1951 who is trying to plan a perfect birthday party for her husband. Laura has a son and is reading the book “Mrs. Dalloway” she feels depressed and tired of her life. She is struggling to discover herself and trying to be a good housewife and mother. Her struggle is almost exactly the same as Virginia Woolf’s in that she is trying to decide whether she will run away or stay with her husband who she is miserable with. The third woman is Clarrisa Vaughan and she is a successful woman in 2001. She is planning a party for her friend Richard, who always calls her Mrs. Dalloway and also who is dying. Clarrisa is struggling with her sexuality, she is a lesbian however she is feeling attracted to Richard who is dying. All three women have to face struggles in their life and whether or not they are going to make a change in their lives.
This film showed women as strong and powerful it showed that one woman in 1923 who is struggling in a male dominated world can affect the lives of women decades later. This film showed that women can make a very powerful change in the world. I feel that this film would be a good feminist movie because it shows women as independent smart people who although some moments of the movie show the role that men have over women, it showed that women are very strong. I personally really enjoyed this film. I think I identified with all the women I remember in high school feeling trapped like I wanted to run away like most of the women in this movie. Also I remember when I was discovering my own sexuality, that is something that can be very difficult for someone and I remember being very confused the same as the women in this movie.

This is a video that I found on youtube.com that I thought was really cool. There are also additional links for further information on the film The Hours.

Imdb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0274558/
Yahoo movies: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1807859436/info
Wikepedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hours_(film)

G.I. Jane-Mitch Bruss

G.I. Jane is a movie about Lieutenant Jordan O'Neil (played by Demi Moore). She is attempting to make it into a highly competeive, dangerous, and notious Special Operations training. The participants of this program are almost always men who are hand selected by high ranking government officials. Moreover, once Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil is selected for the program she faces many hardships including sexism, physical drawbacks, and even horse-trading by the high ranking government official that selected her.
The film deals with issues of gender by questioning whether certain facets of the military are gender neutral. Moreover, women are presented as a struggling group that are trying to find their place in a male centered society. I also feel that women are protrayed as a strong, empowered, and presistent group of people who, even though against great odds, still demand to be treated with the same equality as men, even in extreme circumstances such as SEAL training.
Lastly, I would most definantly consider this a feminist film. One reason I say this is because one of the producers and actors , Demi Moore, have stated repeatidly how the goal of this film was to call into question how women are treated in sexist situation and to call attention to how feminism needs to reach all women regardless of profession. My personal opinion of this film is that it had a potetnially good story to tell, but was ruined by a trite, predictable plot and overplayed and melodramtic acting that was extremely waterdown and unrealistic.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0119173/ - 48k

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Jane - 27k



The Joy Luk club by Ian Moy

The joy luck club is a book that was written and published in 1989 by amy Tan. Later in 1993 the book was made into a motion picture. The Joy luck Club tells the story of four chinese women who immigrated to america and they raise their 4 daughters as american and chinese entities. The four mothers Suayan, An Mei, Lindo Jong, and ying Ying. These four women all hold different traits in the movie because they stress the chinese calender symbols for their character. For example Ying ying was born during the year of the tiger while Waverly an mei's daughter was born during the year of the horse and exhibiting its matching traits. The four daguthers are June, Waverly Jong, Rose, and Lena. The joy luck club itself is actually a womens club founded in China but was resurrected in San francisco, where the mothers play mahjong, as the movie opens June's mother Sueyan passes and June is asked to take her place in the joy luck club. It was my understanding from the movie that June was always thought higher then the other girls because she was more thoughtful in her approach to her respect for their chinese culture. While Waverly is living with an caucasioan boyfriend and has a child from a previous relationship, in chinese culture those aspects are looked down upon. Overall the main plot behind the story is seeing all the sacrifices and hardships that these imigrant chinese women persevered through world war two and the invasion of China by the Japanese. Their lives under the tytrannical systems of female oppression in china, where they often and commonly practice the one child policy. Mainly keeping their first son and disregarding daughters because they were viewed as a hindrance on the house. You can see this first hand in the movie whereLindo is married to a young man and his evil mother demands a grandson, she is almost in a forced state of slavery to produce progeny for a family not of her own. I feel the biggest sotry in this movie was that of Sueyan and her daughter June. June's ascension is paramount in setting up the climax of June finding her lost sisters (twins) whom her mother had been searching for up until the time of her death. But in many cases June feel uncapable of fullfilling her mothers wishes.

One Major knock on women is how thy are percieved in Chinese culture, they are treated as second class in many cases, especially if they are the second daughter or not the oldest child in the family. In one case Lena who is married to a caucasioan man, they are partners in a business because he believes in equality, but he gets paid more in their partnership, how does that work? Another knock on the women in this story is that in many cases the daughters don't respect or realize thei ntentions of their mothers. The mothers realized what they escaped the systems of oppression in china by coming to america. they did not escape that for their children to be sucked into it again, they realize that thei rdaughters are only being pushed into the american system of female oppression. I think that by the end of the film it is very empowering when all the wdaughters in the film fina ahealthy balance between their Chinese train of thought and their American way of life, and they realize what all they have overcame. I think in some respect you could consider this an feminist film because tese women were raised in a arena none of us could imagine, all of their trials and hardships are not blown out of proportion, they then come to america and realize their daughters are in the same position. But the daughters find their peace by getting past the fear and the feeling of being trapped behind a masquerade whter it be a failed marriage you're holding onto, or doing something just to make someone happy even though you know it to be wrong. They finally overcome the roadblocked by the 8 ball and find their healthy balance.

I thought that this movie was reallly good. I actualy have seen it before many years ago, I am 50 % chinese so this movie definitely strikes home, much of my family was slaughtered during world war 2 by the Japanese invading China. besides this also, i have overheard my father tell stories of many children especially little girls would often get left on the beaces of the rivers and set afloat becausse they were just deemed unneccessary by the family It is very sad, but also i kindo f get offended reading what people who have no idea what chinese culture is all about hav to say. In one case i read a post onlin that said " the chinese depictions in this movie were totally steroetypical. Well if this ignorant person would have read their history books or even viewed a chinese society, they will see that more often than not these stereotypes are true.

If you wanna check out more info on The Joy Luck Club see





Heather Holley Blog #4

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.


WS 200 Blog #4 Jenny Walton

WS 200
Blog #4: Fried Green Tomatoes
Jenny Walton

The film Fried Green Tomatoes is a story about friendships between many people, which flashes back and forth from the 1980’s to the 1920-30 era. This begins with Evelyn Couch, a woman who is in her forties, going through her “change” and she is very dissatisfied with how her life has turned out. The storyteller is 82 year old Ninny Threadgoode. Evelyn is a regular visitor to the nursing home Ninny lives in and through these visits, Ninny tells of exploits of friends from her childhood in old Southern Alabama, Depression era. This story probes relationships between families, women, murder, racism and hints at lesbianism.
In the film, flashbacks to the Depression era reflect on women as the caretakers, mostly all wearing dresses, except for Idgie, a young girl who prefers to wear ties and pants from a very young age. She idolizes her big brother Buddy, who is accidentally killed by a train very early in the movie. After her brothers death, Idgie befriend his fiancée, Ruth. Together they buy a café named Whistle Stop. Throughout this story that moves back and forth, women are definitely portrayed as the weaker sex as Evelyn is struggling with the fact that she feels useless to her husband, now that their child is gone from the nest. Her sole duty in life has been to care for home and hearth and her husband only is interested in what he wants, to watch sports and eat. Her outlook on life, as she sees herself is “too old to be young, too young to be old”. Through the series of visits that Evelyn makes to the nursing home and hearing Ninny tell her stories, Evelyn finds the power inside herself to lose weight and take charge of her own life, becoming more independent. Idgie was definitely a feminist ahead of her time in that she wore pants, kept her hair very short and spoke her mind. She worked as a hard as a man in the story and was fiercely independent. She also appeared to have a crush on Ruth that deepened into a true love for her. Ruth was a southern belle, complete with a dainty walk and speech pattern, but Idgie and her independent spirit influence Ruth away from that genre .Ruth is shown in the film to be weak, in that she marries an abusive husband who typifies a southern male as being “one of the boys”. Idgie ultimately kills him to protect Ruth who is also pregnant at the time. Ruth and Idgie raise the baby together, naming him after Idgie’s dead brother, Buddy. Throughout the story, Ruth and Idgie don’t conform to society especially by befriending Negroes and feeding them out of the back of the café. Ruth leaving her husband and raising their son without a father was also not accepted in that era. These and other occurrences in the story serve as a springboard for Evelyn to finally find a job and speak up to her husband, giving this film a feminist flair. Evelyn dumps the oppressed Southern – midlife-wife persona and emerges loving herself and who she is. Ruth and Idgie were ahead of their time by living together and persevering through many difficulties, resulting in a deep love and respect for each other.
I liked this film because even though it is fictional, it empowers anyone, gay or straight, to not conform to society’s standards. As a middle-aged woman, I can relate to Evelyn. I was raised to believe that my sole existence was to please my husband and that it should be enough. I have found this to not be true at all and believe that this myth is perpetuated by well-meaning mothers who were also raised that way. This practice actually stunts the growth of women and, if not balanced by the other partner, simply does nothing to solidify a relationship. Being a door mat is no fun and Ruth and Idgie’s relationship was one of love and respect for each other, regardless of what anyone said or did. This applies to all relationships, straight or gay.

Fannie Flagg. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café. New York, Toronto: Random House/Ballantine Books,1987.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Film Review: North Country ~ Elena Funk

Feminist Movie Review: North Country

Released in 2005, North Country depicts the hardships women faced while working in the mines of Northern Minnesota around 1989. The movie jumps between scenes of the hearing on women’s safety at work and scenes of all the events that lead up to a brave woman named Josey Aimes taking a stand against the injustices men in the North Country mines committed towards the women that worked there. Through the juxtaposition of such scenes the viewer learns how these women miners were subjected to cruel sex jokes, sexual assault, juvenile pranks, and various derogatory comments from their male co-workers. Despite the “promise” management gave to the women to help them deal with such problems, their “advice” offered ridicule. The fact that women worked in the mines became an issue for their family, friends, the community, and with themselves. With the help of open-minded people the nation’s first class-action sexual-harassment lawsuit entered and triumphed on the legal ground.

Several gender issues arise in this film. The men get away with indecent and cruel acts while the women, many of whom have done nothing wrong, are considered whores for working in the mines. In one scene another hockey mom shouts up as Josey into the crowd for her to stay away from Bobby Sharp, the woman’s husband and current assaulter of Josey. Traditional gender roles and ideas are presented multiple times throughout the movie. Josey’s mother gives a talk to Josey about how a mother’s purpose is to her children. Josey’s boss tells her at the beginning of her job that women have no business at the mines and that if she runs into any problems she just needs to “take it like a man.” One issue the women had was not having Porta-Johns out in the mine, since they have to “pull the cover-alls all the way down.” Even so, the women were not given enough bathroom breaks though men seemed to go whenever they wished, which led to a bladder infection in one female miner.

The women in this film are represented in many different ways. There are the strong, the uncertain, the flirty, the weak, and every other characteristic a woman can show during her life. However, at the end of the movie all the women displayed their self-respect and helped carry the sexual harassment suit into a class-action movement. This showed that women of all different idea and backgrounds could unite under a common cause. I feel that this gave an empowering representation of females. I do not agree with the personalities of all the female characters, but I understand that after all was said and done they simply wanted self-respect on the job.

For me North Country is definitely a feminist film because it addresses one of the main points of feminism: respect. All people deserve equal respect regardless of gender, race, and class, and this is what the film specifically addresses. It is hard to say whether or not I like the film because I do not enjoy scenes involving sexual assault. I the film was incredibly well put together and that the director took great care to not cheapen the issue that the court case covered. Fortunately, I can say that I have not yet had to deal with such harassment or assault in a workplace, but after reading more on the court case that inspired the film I realized how this affects my life. The Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. case was not settled until 1998; I had already been alive for 12 years. I have no idea what my mother must have felt raising two daughters in a time when sexual assault was not fully addressed in the workplace.

Additional Resources:





Review of film--Erin Brockovich

The film, Erin Brockovich, features the unemployed single mother of 3 who loses a lawsuit and asks her lawyer, Ed Masry, if he will give her a job in his office to compensate for the loss. She starts work as a file clerk in Ed's office and some files about a pro-bono case involving real-estate and medical records against Pacific Gas and Electric Company seemed rather strange. She investigates further and finds that there has been a cover up of the industrial poisoning of the water supply of the town of Hinkley. The serious illnesses of the residents of Hinkley are thought to have been caused by this industrial poisoning from PG&E. Erin fights throughout the film through many obstacles to win a lawsuit brought by Ed Masry's law firm against PG&E. The residents of Hinkley are awarded $333 million.

I feel this film dealt very positively with the representation of women. Erin was portrayed as the strong, intelligent woman I believe she is. She was not educated as a legal assistant yet did all the research and gathered all of the evidence needed to convict PG&E. She did use her feminism at different times to gather evidence but I don't feel it was in a negative way. I'm not sure if I would consider this a feminist fim but it portrayed Erin as a very strong, intelligent, independent woman.

I personally liked this film very much. It was both funny and serious and was amazing to watch with all of the information she dealt with. I would recommend anyone and everyone to watch this film. In fact on the A&E channel on cable this movie is on, on Friday Nov. 16th at 9:00 pm.

To find more information on Erin Brockovich she has a website: www.brockovich.com, she has a blog: www.brockovichblog.com, Universal's official Erin Brockovich site: www.erinbrockovich.com, you can rent or checkout at the library the movie Erin Brockovich.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thelma and Louise by Andrea Ensley

Thelma and Louise is a 1991 movie about two friends who are fed up with their lives as they are and decided to get away for the weekend. No boyfriend and no husband, just the two of them. In fact, Thelma does not even tell her husband and just leaves. Thelma's husband is a real piece of work and Louise's boyfriend keeps stringing her along. The two women let their hair down so to speak however end up in trouble with the law. They get involved in more than one crime including murder and are on the run to avoid prosecution. Most of the male characters in the movie are depicted as real idiots.

Although Thelma and Louise get involved in a crime spreee, the movie is very friend centered. They are friend until the death. The bonding and friendship is very depictative of many women in today's society. This movie is empowering and positive for women in respect to the importance of sticking together no matter what. Their friendship sees them through some rough times.

I would consider this a feminist movie. For one, they are fugitives in a man's world. Louise took a stand against violence toward women yet did not have faith in the justice system as that system failed her. She did not see any hope for them nor wanted to go to the police to share their side of the story regarding the murder. Instead, she took the law into her own hands because the law did not protect or help her. Secondly, the movie is a vivid reminder of how many women in society have been or are treated by men. Therefore, the majority of the men in the movie ae portrayed as terrible, nasty men. To me, the movie bashes the male gender throughout but can you blame them.

I liked the film in regards to exposing some men for what they really are. Enen though this was fiImed in the 90's, men still behave this was today. I did not like the profanity, sex, murder, and suicide. Mostly, I wish it would have ended a different way. I cannot truly relate completely to the movie to any real extent however I was involved in an abusive relationship that I did eventually end. However, it took me two years. I did not want to murder him but at times I was so angry at him that I wished he were dead. It took many years to heal and forgive and move on despite it all.


Blog #4 Baby Boom... Kristen Shannon

The film Baby Boom staring Diane Keaton, is set in the late 1980’s and is a film about a women in her early to mid-thirties that is given guardianship of her cousins daughter Elizabeth age 1 ½. Jaci Wyatt (Diane Keaton) is a hugely successful agent at a top advertising firm in New York City. Jaci who is also known as the “tiger lady” is famous for her long work hours, savvy demeanor, iron strong attitude and vast knowledge of business and “playing the game”. Jaci is a business woman first and foremost, and a baby was not what she had in mind. After receiving the baby Jaci finds herself at a loss, with no mothering instincts or skills she decides that she would like to take the option she was given and give Elizabeth up for adoption. Jaci at this point has spent a good deal of time with this baby especially staying up with her all night to nurse her through a cold, Jaci finds that she has become to attached to this little girl and decides not to give her up for adoption. Because of this Jaci’s works begins to suffer and she is then demoted from a major food account she was working on so that her male predecessor may take over to fill her shoes.
After Jaci leaves the advertising agency she purchases a house in the country where she has always wanted to live in a home that is “just perfect”. Jaci comes to realize that the house she is living in is a nightmare and the weather is even worse. Being barricaded in her home for a large part of the winter Jaci finds time to brew and make her own brand of applesauce which she originally makes for Elizabeth. Following the long winter and large amounts of time she spent making the applesauce she finds herself with too much for one baby and begins to sell it to the local “mom and pop” grocery store. In doing so her brand catches on with local moms and then becomes a big name on the east coast. Finally the advertising agency that she was so rudely run out of now comes calling for her. She is offered a once in a lifetime deal to take the company public and make her the partner and head of the ad campaign and of course the company.
Jaci has become a mother and now a girlfriend to the local veterinarian and decides to turn down the offer and be the mother she has now become to the baby she loves so much. This movie takes a smart, savvy business woman from “tiger lady” to mother of the year. It is a great movie that will keep you laughing for hours. I find it to be one of my favorites. Not only do I feel like it shows that women can do anything they can do it all at the same time as well. I don’t feel like this movie is a feminist movie because it encompasses so many other qualities but it is definitely a move that empowers women to not only be business women but mothers as well. I think that Diane Keaton always plays the strong, sure of herself woman, and she plays the role fantastically. I recommend this movie to men and women of all ages. It is a hilarious blend of daily life, and gum shin that should be seen and appreciated!

To Find More Information On Baby Boom & To See Clips Of The Movie Try These Websites:






Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Accused - Brittany Westerbeck

The Accused, released in 1988, is a film starring Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis. Foster plays a lower-class working woman named Sarah who is gang-raped in a local bar by three men. Sarah decides to press charges, and her lawyer is Kathryn Murphy played by McGillis. Sarah wants to charge the men with rape, but her promiscuous label causes Kathryn to go for a lesser charge in which the men plead guilty. In turn, Sarah’s character is hurt, and eventually after a confrontation, Kathryn decides to make up for her mistake by charging other men at the scene for inducing and encouraging the rape.

When Sarah is giving her testimony, the defense attorneys challenge that she could not for sure see the victim’s faces (because her eyes were covered) and could not actively tell them no (because he mouth was covered). They also use the fact that she had had some alcohol prior to the rape to defend their case. The peak of the movie happens when a key witness (battling putting his best friend in jail) decides to support Sarah and explains exactly what happened the night in the bar. The jury accuses the men of supporting the rape, the men who were already in jail have their sentence greatened, and Sarah’s character is restored.

This movie very clearly deals with the issue of female rape and the question of whether the victim’s word can be held accountable. Women are portrayed as lower than men. Sarah is constantly taunted by the men from the bar before they are on trial, and Kathryn, despite her lawyer status, is laughed at for taking the case of Sarah’s. I believe the film gives the harsh reality of the glass ceiling for women. Because the case was won, the movie gives a positive and empowering representation of females.

I would argue this film as a “feminist” film because it clearly depicts real-life events that occur everyday. It shows that even though the woman is raped, her word often does not hold up in court. Then, not only does she suffer mental and emotional trauma from the rape, her character becomes demolished and she is seen as a joke by society. The movie brings to light a very controversial issue that most people are afraid to talk about.

I though this movie is one that everyone should be required to watch. I could not help but cry at the rape scene in the movie. I thought it was awful that men would react like they did in the movie and even more horrified that these sorts of things happen in real life! It literally disgusted me, and I almost had to turn the movie off. I think it shows that even though it might be a “macho” thing to have sex with women, the right move is to stop the action and defend the person in trouble. It does not really relate to me personally except that I have always supported rape victims and harsher punishment for criminals that commit it.

"The Accused." Wikipedia. 11 November 2007 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Accused.

Internet Movie Database. (2007). The Accused. Retrieved 11 November 2007, from Website: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094608/.

Kilduff, John, Edward. (2007). The 80s Movie Rewind. Retrieved 11 November 2007, from Fast Rewind Rewinds Website: http://www.fast-rewind.com/accused.htm .

Friday, November 9, 2007

Blog#4 Film Review 9 to 5

Blog #4 9 to 5 Film Review Bev Ball

Featuring; Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dabney Coleman

9 To 5
Three fed-up secretaries kidnap their sexist boss and force him to authorize office improvements.

This film is about a friendship between three women who work in the office of a large corporation. Their boss played by Dabney Coleman is an egotistical sexist.
He is constantly sexually harassing the women and takes credit for their ideas.
The women after a long day meet up and commiserate about their boss and the next day some of their fantasies seem to be happening when they falsely believe they accidentally killed the boss. In the end their boss is sent to Brazil on an assignment and Violet takes over as vice president and their boss is kidnapped by natives and never heard from again.

This film depicts how women are treated and what harassment they are forced to endure every day. It portrays the women as smart but unable to move up the ladder into “The old boys club”. It is definitely not what I would consider a feminist film even thought they do seem to triumph in the end.

I personally found this film to be entertaining, enjoyable and funny. Every thing is so exaggerated it almost seems ridiculous but I can now see this film in a new and different way then when I saw it years ago. It really does show how exploited women are in the work place.
I would say that humor was well used in this film to show the typical stereotype of women working and trying to succeed and be promoted in a corporation that is set up for males to succeed to upper level positions.

youtube.com/watch?v=jqiwEAfCJ74 This is a great short trailer from the film

Bend It Like Beckham

Review of a Film from a Feminist Perspective
Blog #4 by Becky Tirabassi

Both charming and humorous, Bend It Like Beckham (2002) was a box-office success, not only for the production studio, but for three of the main actors whose career’s it launched: Parminder Nagra (currently on a hit US television show—E.R.), Keira Knightley (blockbuster movie actress in the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels), and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Golden Globe winning movie actor). More importantly, it presented the “hot topics,” familiar to feminists—racism, sexism, religion, and discrimination—as common struggles of men and women of all ages, religions and races.

The creative storyline included a role reversal of sorts, as two young women who loved (and exceeded at) the sport of football were both misunderstood by their parents. Jess, the Indian daughter of a Sikh father, who himself had been kicked off an athletic team as a young man for wearing a turban, found himself both sympathetic and empathetic of his daughter’s desire to play a sport in which she was being forbidden to play for reasons outside of her control. The other young woman, Jules, was constantly pressured (and questioned) by her mother for being too athletic and masculine, not feminine enough…and possibly lesbian.1

The continuously humorous interaction between the teammates, parents and children, friends, and siblings from both the English and Indian cultures made the movie less about promoting an agenda and more about presenting the reality of prejudice, family of origin constraints that are a part of every ethnicity and/or race, the sacredness of handed-down religious traditions, and the discrimination of women in sport.

From a feminist perspective, this film powerfully, yet subtly presented important themes, dealing with issues of gender, race, and religion. First, both Jess’s friend and father—two Indian men who respected her talents and wanted her to succeed—were willing to make sacrifices for her to step out from under the cultural barriers of her religion. Second, Jules’ family conceded that their daughter was “born to be an athlete” and this was not something unusual for a female, but a wonderfully positive characteristic of their child. Third, a script that shows how people of different races and religions can respect and even enjoy each other’s differences is a brilliant way to change the culture.

Finally, on a personal note, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and related to many aspects of it. But the movie primarily created awareness and interest for me in (1) the British Indian Sikh religion and traditions, as well as (2) the history of Women’s football.

Just minimal research of the Sikh religion, revealed that a father’s concession to a daughter to professionally play a sport or leave in the middle of a traditional wedding of a family member would have been highly unusual—and very progressive. But because the storyline included a time in the father’s life when he was held back from his own athletic pursuits as a young man, it made the plot seem as if it could have been a real life dilemma or situation.2

The history of women who played football was an even more surprising “find.” Wikipedia reports that the Europe’s earliest women’s football matches dates back to the 12th century, and 1st and 2nd century frescoes show women playing an ancient version of the game in the Hans Dynasty (25-220 CE). Of course, as an American woman who has only seen women playing collegiate or professional soccer for only a few decades, this was an astonishing fact. In fact, in 1894, activist Nettie Honeyball, founder of the British Ladies Football Club is quoted as saying, "I founded the association late last year [1894], with the fixed resolve of proving to the world that women are not the ‘ornamental and useless’ creatures men have pictured. I must confess, my convictions on all matters where the sexes are so widely divided are all on the side of emancipation, and I look forward to the time when ladies may sit in Parliament and have a voice in the direction of affairs, especially those which concern them most."3 Honeyball’s reference to sports being an avenue for garnering a greater voice for women to reach a broader audience with a dynamic message is historic.

Overall, I felt this film gave a very realistic view of the difficulties, pressures and prejudices women in sport face—and will continue to face—because of family expectations, lack of opportunity, gender and cultural barriers, as well as religious traditions. More importantly, Bend It Like Beckham not only presented a victory for two trailblazing young women who followed their dreams and rallied their family and friends to support them, but it showed others how to do it!

Resources where readers can learn more about the film:

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bend_It_Like_Beckham
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikh
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women%27s_professional_football_%28soccer%29

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Blog #3, Advertisement -- Tyler Van Drei


After looking through a few articles concerning alcohol I came upon a Jose Cuervo Especial advertisement. There is a male and a female in the ad, the male is holding the female up in the air and she is wearing a very skimpy bathing suit. Next to him holding her is a bottle of Jose Cuervo and a quote that says "Pursue Your Daydreams." She is basically being used as an item that says if you drink Jose Cuervo it will help you find a girl like the one in the advertisement that you "daydream about."

In this particular ad I do feel that it is a sexist ad. I, however, do not think that it is offensive to women because it portrays the man in what could be considered a "sexy" way also. The ad could be geared towards the woman seeking the man, or the man seeking the woman, since the ad does not clarify this it can not be considered offensive in my opinion. The dividing line between making it sexy or sexist is the fact that the ad does not clarify who is seeking who and keeps it equal between the two sexes.

I would definitely consider this ad to be anti-feminist. The way that the female is portrayed in a skimpy bathing suit with the long nice hair while being wrapped around a guy is definitely anti-feminist. It is just an example of what has become typical advertising for most alcohol companies. The body image that is shown definitely causes problems for many of the women who view these ads. Many women view ads like this and get the idea that it is the "perfect image and body type" and they end up hurting themselves trying to achieve it. I do think that advertisement divisions of the companies should have to follow some type of rules but I highly doubt any of them will take it upon themselves to stop using these types of ads. I think they should display a more diverse crowd, but without some type of government intervention I doubt that anything will change in the near future. I think there are only a couple ways that people could do anything to prevent advertisements like this, such as: appealing to a government official or widescale boycott of the product until they change the ads. I do not think either of these ways are very likely to work, but with some help it could be a good start.

-Tyler Van Drei-