Sunday, August 06, 2006

Sister Act

I'm having this lazy day today, kicking back and doing nothing much except shop for and put away the groceries, which is how I came to be channel surfing and ended up watching Sister Act. It gives me furiously to think.

First off, I really like Whoopi Goldberg. Anyone who names herself for a rude noise making device has got my attention and my vote right off the launch pad, and she is funny and real and a lot of other things. She can make a movie watchable all by herself.

And, I admit I like this movie. I've seen it four or five times and I always respond just the way I'm supposed to. But, do I approve of it? Hmmm. The messages it sends to women, that I'm not so sure I approve of.

First, the messages that I do like, which can apply to men and women both: make a joyous noise unto the Lord, (if you are going to believe, it is better to believe in a God you can sing to joyously); talk to people in the language (music) they understand; people can change and grow; and self-renewal is possible through using your gifts for the good of mankind.

Then, the messages that I don't like (which seem to be about women only): it is a woman's job to use her gifts in service to others; youth and enthusiasm are better than age and experience; women who have undertaken a very serious profession are cute (notice how the nuns manipulate the helicopter pilot so cutely and again how they cute around the casino); and loving a man is like loving God. Notice how easy it is to change one word, guy to God, and change the popular songs in the movie from songs about loving a boyfriend to songs about loving God. Is this a healthy message? That women should worship men? That we are handmaidens to them? That this is a healthy relationship? I mean, I have problems with the songs anyway -- they are already telling women that their role is secondary and basically to love and be loyal. When we take it that extra dimension that equates my man with my maker, it gets way too much for me.


J said...

I've never seen this movie, so I can't speak to it, but I did watch the Philadelphia Story a few weeks ago, and was horrified to find that the fault in her father's having an extramartial affair was in her, the daughter... because she wan't the loving, kind daughter that would keep a man young and keep him from straying.

The rest of the movie I loved, but I had to remind myself that the movie was 60 years old...and not fair even then.

Deja Pseu said...

J, you've put your finger on the one thing that keeps Philadelphia Story from being a perfect movie, for me at least. The rest of it is wonderful, except for that single steaming horse turd right in the middle of it.

I've never seen Sister Act but I love Whoopi too. She's a very funny and insightful woman.

Never That Easy said...

Maya's Granny -

It's so hard to watch some movies without analyzing them, isn't it? Sometimes I wish that part of my brain would just be quiet and let me enjoy the movie...

I tried to find an e-mail link at your site, to let you know, but I'll just sneak it in here, on your comments.

Your post was insightful, and more to the point than most anything I read about the topic. I'm so happy to recognize a blogger who is at their best.
Technically, yes, there should have been a button that I could send to you so that you could pretty up your post and let everyone know just how great I think you are. But, I am an amateur blogger myself, (despite the fact that I'm coming up on a year... I can't seem to work all the kinks out) and have screwed something up here.

I'm going to try to get it to you... soon-ish...hopefully?

Enjoy your best post award (hopefully, with a nice special button, as soon as possible).