Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What movie were *you* watching, lady?

As noted previously, by me and by others, there is this outfit styling itself Ladies Against Feminism. It is chock full of twee fundanazi goodness; but I am especially fond of Lady Lydia's take on the Stepford Wives:

The first thing that attracted me to the original movies was the beautiful Victorian style clothing of the women in the film and their clean houses. Right away, I was drawn in! I absolutely love looking at show homes and home decorating sites with beautiful colors and arrangements. I have a favorite antique store that is located in an old house, where the proprietor has created a dining room, bedrooms, living room, kitchen, and bathroom, with everything in them for sale. Each room is a different color theme, and each room feels like home. I jokingly tell her that I love coming there, because there are no dirty dishes piled in the kitchen and no laundry to be done. The original "Stepford" film had all the elements I admired in home living. Everything was neat and clean, dinners were served on time, and happy, contented wives loved and honored their husband--and the husbands were courteous of them, also.

The first time I read this piece, I confess, I skimmed. I was wondering exactly what she meant by "and the husbands were courteous to them, also." It is a very interesting definition of "courteous." If you've seen the original (not the godawful remake), you know what I'm talking about. Particularly if you, you know, watch all the way to the end.

But so Amber reminds me of this site's existence and I go back and--screee! Waitaminute!

Eventually, the viewer discovers that when a bell rings in the neighborhood, these perfect wives take a pill, which regulates their perfect behavior. They are all brainwashed, subjugated, and programmed to do all the laundry, meals, and other things. The bell rings, and the ladies start cooking and cleaning!

A liberated reporter comes into town and begins to investigate. She discovers that there is a central control station where a man rings the bell at a certain time. The husbands are all in on the plan--husbands who are tired of the way things are going "in real life" where the women are independent, wear pants, and cut their hair.

The reporter exposes the whole sham, and the culprits are made to own up to the terrible thing they've done to their wives. The wives are then taken off the program and the pills to live in freedom once again.

So! Wrong!

The godawful remake does indeed have a different, defanged ending from the original; but it's not that, either. And anyway, she said she saw the original. Like a fool, I believed her.

Oh, Lady Lydia. How can I ever trust you again?

On edit: Excuse me. The reviewer here was not, in fact, Lady Lydia; it was Mrs. Stanley Sherman.

I guess I can't ever trust me again, either.


A White Bear said...

Victorian dresses?

The most bizarre thing about most conservative thought is that it requires one to live in an imagined past reconstructed in the present. If you asked these people if they wanted to live in 1830, they'd be delighted, perhaps without realizing that also means no indoor plumbing, your kids maybe having to work in factories at age eight, rampant illiteracy, and no *choice* between staying home and working outside the home. That is, these prissy prims wouldn't even be able to appreciate what heroes they are because they'd be, like everyone else, compelled to live a certain way.

They love to rag on Hirshman (stupidly calling her a "prominent feminist thinker," not realizing that Hirshman is not a particularly prominent feminist or a prominent thinker) because Hirshman, like themselves, would like to compel women to live a certain way. But for many feminists, feminism is entirely about freedom from compulsion.

They can't understand that maybe women returning from Iraq are extra-disturbed because they spent most of that time getting sexually harassed/assaulted by their fellow soldiers? Must be because they've got vaginas and those vaginas will take to beeping if you carry them too far from a kitchen.

Ugh. As someone who works in historical literature, I run into a lot of nutso "would that it were three hundred years ago!" idiots who know nothing about the past, can't enjoy the present, and so create a false fantasy-time to live in where they can feel really fucking superior to everyone.

Sorry. Everyone keeps linking to Konservative Krazies today and it's got my blood up. I'll go live in the special fantasy-time I like to call "Right Now" where I don't have to spend time with these people.

belledame222 said...

Yeah, at the moment I'm just mostly amused at the whole Ren-Faire-on-fundie-crack vibe, you know.

doesn't mean they aren't scary also.

Even creepier-funnier-scarier is this guy:


...in fact, I already blogged about him, didn't I...oh, yeh, here:


Anonymous said...

I just love LAF. A never-ending source of fascination!

belledame222 said...

I still am not 100% convinced that they aren't all trannies in the Emily Howard mode.

Anonymous said...