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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Revolutionary Women on the Screen

i used to dream militant dreams
of taking over america
to show these white folks how it should be done
i used to dream radical dreams
of blowing everyone away
with my perceptive powers of correct analysis
i even used to think
id be the one to stop the riot and negotiate the peace
then i awoke and dug
that if i dreamed natural dreams
of being a natural woman
doing what a woman does
when shes natural
i would have a revolution

One of those moments when you know who you are, that just being changed the world- came when first reading this poem- that was ages ago. Yesterday, NPR repeated a segment of a recent interview with Phyllis Schlafly declaring her objection to feminists was their rampant desire to force all women out of the home and into the work place - (paraphrased) - She was upset by the idea of ignoring or degrading the work of women in the home.

It appears in some ways, Professor Giovanni and Ms. Schlafly were saying the same thing. Being a woman means you are successful simply by being. While we could build a case against Ms. Schlafly as a successful working mother, therefore undermining her stance, that is for another place and time. It is important to honor all women for what ever they choose to do ...(oh, that sneaky choice thing just keeps coming up).......


"Metropolis" (1927) - So many political, personal and social connotations take place in this film, but we will concentrate on the ideal revolutionary taking place within a female figure. What other emphasis of strength and dreams can be both forceful and futuristic than a woman -both strong and mechanical as well as a stature representing all humanity. Thank you Fritz Lang for a complex social reality in which to explore the roles of women. This film clearly shows an attempt to control and utilize the feminine causes an entire social structure to come crashing down. 

"True Love" (1989) - Annabella Sciorra as Donna appears at first to have everything a girl could want. When she begins to see her world with clearing vision, trouble ensues. An awakening of the structured sense of being a woman, when to question and when to answer for yourself. Very much an 80's film of self, place and familial norms. 

"Thirteen" (2003) - Its harsh, realistic, funny, frightening, and important. It may not be your existence, but its pretty certain some aspects of this are truthful for girls you are raising or girls you know. Pay attention with out judgment and feel the need, strength and worldliness it takes to be 13. 

"Their Eyes Were Watching God" (2005) - Zora Neale Hurston created a character riveting, real and thirsty. Of course, the book is incredibly better than the film, but the film is worth while and the essence of Janie's craving for independence and belonging are developed as the book warrants. Much of her searching for herself revolves around relationships with men, but Janie is aware of this and is able to learn about herself from the events. Making aware choices and balking at what is expected.





 

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