Monday, March 29, 2010

The Countdown to Texas, Nine to Five and Feminism

I feel like I did not have a weekend. Charlotte being sick just derailed any kind of relaxation or productivity we were going to have, which honestly, wasn't much to begin with. It felt like old times when she was first born: time had no meaning, I stayed in my pajamas until 2:30, we ate when we were hungry and slept when we were sleepy. Every once in a while, Charlotte would scream bloody murder and thrash around; in such a manner was this weekend passed at our house.

We leave for Texas on Saturday, and there is some level of excitement around the trip. Not only will we come back more positive and sure of God's plucking us from Virginia, but a semi-vacation with interviews every day will be a nice change of pace. We will be visiting Houston and San Antonio, so if you have any input as to sights we should see, please let me know. We have more free time in Houston than San Antonio right now.

Lastly, I watched the movie Nine to Five with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton yesterday; it was on PBS of all channels, completely uninterreupted. Allison, my mentee, and I are currently reading the book Radical Womenhood by Carolyn McCulley together. Quite a pageturner for theology on biblical womenhood. The whole book is about having feminine faith in a feminist world - about the foundation of feminism that our lives are all built on and why that type of thinking is misguided, unbiblical and flat-out frustrating. The problem is that we have been raised in a world where certain thoughts and ideas pervade us without us even realizing it. Small example: jewelry commercials. Jewelry commercials infuriate Adam because they always treat the men (their consumer, presumably) like idiots and moms/wives as the smart, together, know-it-alls. Now, I don't profess that some men are not idiots and some women are not smart and together, but the point is that MEN ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. Sin is the problem, and feminism is sin responding to chauvinistic sin. Men are not and should not just be pigeonholed as weak and stupid idiots, goofs and lazy couch potatoes. But that is how we depict them, and they grow into that mold. Anyway, I am not trying to get on a feminism soapbox, and I would love to chat with you more about it, but back to the movie.

This movie was made and released in 1980. I could tell watching it that it had to have been the late 70s or early 80s from the hair, clothes and decor, not to mention the "machines" that were used in the office. From what I knew about the movie going in, I expected a sweet tale of sisterly camaraderie in the tough corporate world. That's really, surprisingly, not what this movie is. The plot is loose at best, centering around the jerk boss and how each of the main three characters would kill him if they could. There's even a pot-induced fantasy montage for each woman, most notably showing Dolly Parton lassoing the boss as he tries to run away. It's almost too silly to be a drama, but the language is too crass to be a family movie. Here is what I noticed in terms of feminism/femininity:
  1. All of the women wore skirts/dresses. That, to me, is interesting, since feminist women usually dress more like men than in a feminine way. Not that I think women have to wear dresses all of the time, but feminine dress surprised me in a seemingly feminist movie.
  2. The villian was a man. And he was a chauvinist, which is fine because that happens in life. And he had a Burt Reynolds mustache. And the women, of course, got the better of him throughout the movie. He also called the women "girl" throughout, which was supremely irritating.
  3. There were no other predominant men in the movie. Lily Tomlin's husband was nonexistent, even with her 4 kids, Jane Fonda had just divorced a cheater, and even though Dolly Parton was married, we didn't really see her husband at all. Men, in this movie, were the problem, and women were the answer. We were supposed to feel empowered since Jane Fonda grew to be independent and the women bonded over the munchies and hooking their boss up to a garage door mechanism with leather straps.

I'm not saying that men are perfect. I'm not even saying that they are above women, superior in every or any way. What I am saying is this: God made us different but equal. We are not the same, but that is okay, even though feminism tells you that it's not. Being different does not mean stronger or weaker, even though we like to interpret it as that.

2 comments:

  1. here is my rant on feminism - feel free to not accept this comment since it might start a war. The feminist movement killed the American Family and is a sense our culture. Any women who wants to be equal with men in terms of career etc. obviously did not have children. Now all women are expected to put their careers before family, and if you don't you can not succeed. It totally sucks. But I do love wearing my power suit. Let me know if you need help with Simon when y'all are traveling. Oh and Amy P was just in TX for 6 months.

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  2. awesome post, kathleen. very true about how what we depict men to be is the mold that they grow into so easily...

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