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What it means to be a Woman… #atozchallenge #womeninfilm #moviescenes

“For the sake of all of us, let us try to change what that means – to be a woman.” – Warise Dirie in “Desert Flower”

Of all the things we learn from movies, their depiction of gender roles are spot on (depending on the film) when it comes to the way people view and treat women.

I don’t know what it’s like to be a man, so I won’t comment on the depiction of males in film. My knowledge and experiences, however, give me a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be a woman – the fun of times of painting your nails and wearing stilettos – but also the least pleasant moments of being the target of ridicule and bias acts. As previously mentioned in 2012, I hate that – and then I remember how very definition of womanhood is about as diverse as they come; involving several factors including the era and culture you live in.

Here are some incites from the silver screen – a few, based on true events -- on what it means to be a woman.

  • The boy you fell in love with is involved in a bet that he can seduce you for the purpose of spoiling your reputation. If he loses, he must hand over ownership of a luxury sports car. If he wins, he gets to sodomize his step-sister, like Sebastian negotiates in “Cruel Intentions.”
  • You give birth to daughters who your husband does not acknowledge, because he is more interested in bearing a son as an heir to his throne, as made clear to Georgiana in “The Dutchess.”

  • Following accusations of being a traitor, you’re tortured and then raped during the Vietnam war – possibly as a warning to your father. You are then forced to move to another city, since these events damage the relationship between your family and your village, as experienced by Le Ly in “Heaven & Earth.”
  • Your magazine-publisher boss does a cover story titled “The Last Single Girl” about your engagement, but not before telling you that “40 is the last age a woman can be photographed in a weddings dress without the unintended Diane Arbus subtext;” suggesting that women over 40 would look strange and awkward wearing a bridal gown, as brought to Carrie’s attention in “Sex and the City: The Movie.”
  • When you turn three years of age, your mother takes you miles away to a rocky field where you’re forced to undergo female circumcision at the hands of an elder woman, as experienced by Waris Dirie in “Desert Flower.”
  • The boy you just slept with is now the winner of a $1 “sex” bet between him and his best friend, as revealed to Brenda in “Cooley High.”
  • After selling you to become the fourth wife of an older man in Somalia, your father beats your mother when she lets you escape from this arranged marriage, like Warise Dirie endures in “Desert Flower.”

*What do YOU think it means to be a woman?

(*This question is open to everybody -- both Males AND Females.)

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Reader Comments (3)

What does it mean to be a woman? Good gravy, that would be an easy question to answer if it weren't so difficult :-)

Being a woman, to me, means being complex, a puzzle but also flexible and fluid like water. Women are often placed in such complicated situations that it's almost best to consider being a woman equaling becoming a chameleon to bear the bumps and bruises of life. Of course, many of us are just as balls-to-walls crazy, cool and rebellious as men so that certainly adds to the equation lol!

April 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Brown

You suffer torture and enslavement, but you must wait for rescue while never aging or becoming jaded. You must have beautiful scars. Or you get to be oversized and strong and reliable. Or you get to be beautiful and used as a comfort woman. According to Tarantino's latest.

April 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJenny Forrester

I'm personally thrilled with the evolution that women have experienced in cinema. Once consigned to damsels in distress or wives in the shadows of historical figures women now run the entire gauntlet of occupations, life experiences, world views and event participants and most of the juicier roles in movies are for women. I’m especially happy that older women are no longer given bit parts because they’re no longer pretty enough to be the MC. I won’t say that the old derogatory tropes are dead, but I will say they’re thankfully the minority now.

April 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeverly

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