Blog By: Caroline Wingård
Growing up, the movie “Pretty Woman” was a recurring film on our TV screen and I dreamt about the day my prince charming would swoop me of my feet and climb the ladder to get me.
except I would not be a prostitute…. at least I hoped not.
Luckily I did not end up selling myself, nor did my prince charming climb any ladder to get me.
I guess life is not a movie, huh.
As I was being lazy and watching movies last night, “Pretty Woman” came on and I decided to watch it… again
It is one of my all time favorite movies and I love it, but to my disappointment I realized that behind the beautiful love story there are some disturbing gender dynamics.
In the movie, Vivian (Julia Roberts) is hired as an escort for a week by the rich business man Edward (Richard Gere), only for them to fall in love with each other….
“Pretty Woman” like many other movies, advertises stereotypes of men and women in society and communicates what have become our cultural values.
It’s really interesting if you study the opening scenes of the movie and observe how the two characters are introduced in different ways.
Edward is interacting with associates at a fancy networking party, dressed in a powerful suit and looking sharp.
Vivian, on the other hand, is introduced in fragments. Butt, boobs and other body parts.
They are both representing the gender stereotypes that movies loves to manifest
Which lead me to the fact that there is almost always a game of the sexes in movies. Men are powerful and women are submissive sex objects.
But not all movies play on the gender stereotype.
Contrary to “pretty Women,” the movie “500 Days of Summer”, goes against the grain and presents a man under the love spell of a woman.
Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) falls madly in love with Summer (Zooey Deschanel), who doesn’t believe in love and the audience slowly sees his heart break.
Even though Tom is not portrayed as a sex object, I love that Summer is actually using him as her pleasure toy, but then decides that she only wants to be friends.
Tom is experiencing reverse gender roles
Even though Hollywood is still making movies about gender stereotypes, I am glad to see that someone is at least thinking about sparing us women from being portrayed as sex objects.
Who agrees with me?