by Michele Schwamberger
The movie, Nine to Five, directed by Colin Higgins in 1980 is about 3 women who work at a business office and their boss is a man. The boss, Frank, is a “pig”. He treats the women horribly and he is very sexist. The company chose Frank over one of the women (Violet) for a promotion because Frank is a male. This didn’t make Violet happy. Frank’s secretary, played by Dolly Parton, was always being propositioned by Frank, which she didn’t like or appreciate. The other women in the company thought that she liked it and that they were having an affair and that is how Dolly got this position. Needless to say, Dolly didn’t have many friends at this company because of that. The women at this office would constantly gossip about her to other employees. The 3 women and Frank were blackmailing each other also. The women found out that Frank was embezzling and they basically kidnapped him so they could prove he was guilty. The movie is very funny and I think a “must see”.
The gender issues in this movie are very prominent. At the beginning of the movie, the males are the leaders and the females are looked down upon. The boss is very sexist and constantly sexually harasses his secretary. The women have the “assistant” jobs while the male is the CEO of the company. The women are represented as just that – women in this film. They are belittled and looked down-upon and the men are treated better with higher-paying jobs and more responsibilities. The women have to stick together in order to overcome all the negatives in their jobs. At the beginning of the film, I did not feel that the film gave a positive or empowering representation of females because of all the obstacles they have to run through, however, at the end of the film, the women are portrayed differently. At the end, the females are the ones in control and making all the decisions which shows them in a more positive and powerful role.
I do not consider this film a feminist film because the roles of men and women were not equal. Even at the end of the film, Frank, the male boss gets a promotion to go and start up a new division of the company, while the women stay at the old company. However, the women are now in charge of the old company, but Frank still received another promotion.
I liked this film. I thought the movie was funny and my sisters and I have watched it many times. However, after learning more about feminism, I don’t like what the film represents.