Term Paper: Females and Their Plights

Pages: 8 (2220 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Women  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] This alone is an excellent example of the stereotypical situation when it comes to men and women. The entire movie is based on the fact that the ex-wife has cancer and is going to die, while the new wife is going to have to get ready to be a full time mother to the children involved. While this is a story in and of itself it is not the complete message. The entire movie is an excellent portrayal of the struggles the female gender has faced.

Julia Roberts plays a young new stepmom. She is a professional photographer who does not cook all that often and is not exactly Suzy Homemaker. She represents the new female in this nation with her career ambitions, her ability to speak up and her refusal to accept the old norms when it comes to men and women. Her rival, the ex-wife is from a different mindset, while not an entirely different generation. She is caught in the middle of the older women in the nation and the younger women.

Though Stepmom was dismissed as a contender in the 1998 Oscar race, it's worth giving a second chance to this rather cogent, sharp-tongued look at second chances. Susan Sarandon's performance as a mom about to be replaced by her ex-husband's new girlfriend (played by Julia Roberts) has a lot of bite.The rancor that passes between divorced mom Jackie (Sarandon) and trendy fashion photographer Isabel (Roberts) rings true, aided by the sincerity of Jackie's ex-husband Luke (Ed Harris) and the emotional plight of their children, who have the most to lose in their parents' divorce. As the drama makes clear, the kids are the real victims in the agony that ensues between old and new love (Stepmom (http://www.poptwist.com/shop/apfh-item_id-0767819462-search_type-AsinSearch-locale-us.html).

This movie provides a front row seat to the current struggle being faced by millions of women all over the country. Having a career is fine as long as one is home to cook, clean and take care of the children as well. This is shown by Sarandon's attitude the day the small child wanders off while in Roberts care. Sarandon is the typical wife and mother from yesteryear (Stepmom (1998) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0767821769/103-0?v=glance).Her life was her family. She cooked, she cleaned and she was not a career woman. She devoted herself to her children and without them every other weekend she is lost. Roberts and Sarandon provide an onscreen story of the current state of affairs. Women are "allowed" to have dreams, careers and ambitions. The women's movement has brought them that far in the current state of affairs. The women however, is expected to work these needs around her basic responsibility for raising the children, and the cleaning and the cooking. Women have historically been responsible for those duties and even given the last four decades of equalization between the genders they are still responsible for those duties.


The women's movement did a lot to change the way women live their lives. The film industry has always worked to mimic the views of society. The two films in question are perfect examples of the current dual role women are still trying to break out of. Fried Green Tomatoes and Stepmom show the way society has forced women to juggle it all. They have not been liberated as much as being told they can pursue their lives as long as they make sure they still get their "chores" done.


Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101921/

Fried Green Tomatoes http://entertainment.msn.com/movies/movie.aspx?m=462912

Stepmom (http://www.poptwist.com/shop/apfh-item_id-0767819462-search_type-AsinSearch-locale-us.html)

The Art of Mary Beth Edelson http://www.organicanews.com/news/article.cfm?story_id=220

Stepmom (1998) (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0767821769/103-0?v=glance)

Notes on 'The Gaze' http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/gaze/gaze09.html

Daniel Chandler [END OF PREVIEW]

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"Females and Their Plights."  Essaytown.com.  November 21, 2003.  Accessed July 19, 2019.