Women in Movies - May 17 2012
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I've been watching through the AFI top 100 movies slowly but surely. I've now seen 71 of them. Something that I ponder while watching these is how relationships are portrayed over the years.
I just watched It Happened One Night, for example, with Clark Gable. This was made in 1934. It ranked #35 on the list, so quite highly. Here we have a heroine who is an adult woman thinking about getting married. Her father doesn't like the guy she's planning on marrying, so he slaps her in the face. Then, when she's running away, Clark Gable happens on her. An ex-reporter, he decides to use her story to earn some money. When Gable gets annoyed with her - and he's just met her, remember! - he spanks her.
This is how women were treated. If they stepped out of line, they were hit, It's what men did to reprimand them. And she didn't even complain. She just accepted it as how she should be treated.
It of course concerns me that it happened in a "fun comedy" - but one could argue "heck, those were the ancient thirties. We can't expect much from them back then." So then how do we look at all the modern Amazon reviewers who think the movie is full of brilliant fun? Not one seems to care at all that the fun involved women being hit. He he he. That's so funny. There's no issue in laughing about that.
It's hard to even find an analogy. What if there was a fun comedy about kids being sexually abused. Would we find that funny? I realize comedy serves a healthy purpose in society. We can joke about students feeling stressed because we accept that is a normal state most of us can relate to. But should we laugh and joke about small kids being bullied? Are there some topics that should concern us?
What do you guys think?
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