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May 2, 2007

Extra Blog-Battle of the Sexes

A few weeks ago in class we were discussing the Womens Movement and the famous tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, dubbed 'The Battle of the Sexes'. I was going to comment unitl Sara stated that she was not born until the following year and I decided not to offer my thoughts at that point. Needing to do an extra blog, here goes.....I was 12 years old in 1973 and remember the tennis match well. In those days there were only 4 channels here in the Twin Cities; ABC, CBS, NBC, and an independent station. This game was played and televised live on one of the major networks during prime time in the evening. Our whole family gathered around the television for the big event. My dad was totally outnumbered being that my brother wasn't home at the time and many more females then males were in the house. Of course we women were rooting for Billie Jean big time. There was a lot of hype leading up to this match and Bobby Riggs was really shooting his mouth off prior to it. He was a tennis star during the 1940s and was in his mid 50s when he challenged Billie Jean who was at the top of her game at this time. She won easily and really shut him up. Bobby Riggs was known as being a male chauvinist pig and it was a huge triumph for women when she won. We all shared in her victory and it is something I will never forget.

April 30, 2007

9 to 5

I love 9 to 5. I have loved it since I first saw it, and for the same reasons many of you probably do. Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, women taking over the office and holding their arrogant ass of a boss hostage? Really, what more do you want? I read the article we were assigned that analyzed the film, and while I found some parts accurate, I really didn't agree with the statements she made about the film not really being a feminist flick, and about the film being more of a girl-power type thing. Let's remember, "girl power" sprouted out of feminism (AND had government funding). Just because the feminist agenda was not displayed prominently in the lower right corner of the screen does not mean that it didn't have any feminist undertone. I thought it had lots of them, actually. Dolly Parton's character is continuously hit on by her boss, who wants her to be his mistress. She loudly and without apology refuses, and goes home to her husband at night complaining about it. What more could she do? She said a couple of different times in the film, "I need this job!", so she obviously wasn't going to do anything that could get her fired. She wasn't about to tell off her boss in plain words and get herself fired, so instead she and the other office ladies got together and figured out how to make their workplace better, and how best to get it through their boss's head that they weren't about to put up with his bs. Good things happened for all of the women as a result of their efforts: Dolly Parton's character got to leave her job and become a country western singer. Lily Tomlin's character got to be promoted to a bigwig executive. I don't understand what's not to love about 9 to 5: as a comedy, it did the best job of putting feminism out there that it could.

April 23, 2007

Nine to Five

I had never seen this film until it was shown in class. From the beginning to the end, the suspense and comedy keep me wanting to see more. I liked how the issue of how woman are treated in the workplace was made comical instead of dramatic. If the film was presented in a dramatic non-comical way I dont think that so many people would want to watch the film, although the message of how women are treated wrong would be there sometimes its better when serious issues/predicament are presented in a comical way. Most film viewers enjoy a laugh every now and then. Women have been mistreated in the workplace for the longest time and to show how the matter of sexual harrassment or un-noticable recognition is displayed between male and female within the office putting that hilarious twist to it appeals better. With the tv series Office Space, it is shown in documentary form so laughter is not there from the audience like most tv shows but Office Space presents some of the common problems within the workplace and make them more appealing to the audience. The characters that play within the tv series along with actress from 9 to 5 Dolly, Jane, Lily, and actor Dabney always provide greatness to the big screen. They are funny, great performs with big imaginations.
After seeing this film I have incouraged almost everyone I know expectially professional women to go out and see this film. Although it was made in 1980 some of the issues discussed in the film are still problems today!

April 22, 2007

9 to 5

9 to 5 is a film about women in the work place being put down and treated without respect by supervisors. Each of the three main characters played a specific "type" of woman trying to climb the corporate ladder in the workplace in the eighties. I don't appreciate these pigeon-holes, but I suppose at the time this film was made, the only way to begin to address gender inequality in the workplace was through the use of humor and sterotyping. That isn't correct, but we see that now in films as it relates to racial sterotyping and inequalities. The types I noticed are as follows:

Dolly Parton - "Sexy secretary" who is not having an affair with the boss, but everyone thinks she is. This "type" of charater is not respected by authority because of her good looks, and other employees do not take her seriously. This woman is quirky and uses humor to deal with her sexist boss.

Lily Tomlin - "Management-wanna-be". This "type" wants to climb the corporate ladder, and wants to be respected for her hard work and dedication to the company that continues to put her down and promote men over her. This "type" of working woman is smart and efficient, and her boss often takes credit for her work.

Jane Fonda - "The never-worked-before-Divorcee". This "type" of woman in the workplace has often never worked before outside of the home. She often is easily overwhelmed by the stresses in the workplace, and is still sometimes pining for her ex-husband.

I appreciate the way this film showed the main characters taking over the business and being successful with it while Mr. Hart was "kidnapped". The main characters were validated by the chairman of the board who approved of their work but yet recognized Mr. Hart for it. So, in the end, the characters were personally validated but within the eyes of the company, Mr. Hart was responsible for all the positive change within the company.

9 to 5

9 to 5 is a film about women in the work place being put down and treated without respect by supervisors. Each of the three main characters played a specific "type" of woman trying to climb the corporate ladder in the workplace in the eighties. I don't appreciate these pigeon-holes, but I suppose at the time this film was made, the only way to begin to address gender inequality in the workplace was through the use of humor and sterotyping. That isn't correct, but we see that now in films as it relates to racial sterotyping and inequalities. The types I noticed are as follows:

Dolly Parton - "Sexy secretary" who is not having an affair with the boss, but everyone thinks she is. This "type" of charater is not respected by authority because of her good looks, and other employees do not take her seriously. This woman is quirky and uses humor to deal with her sexist boss.

Lily Tomlin - "Management-wanna-be". This "type" wants to climb the corporate ladder, and wants to be respected for her hard work and dedication to the company that continues to put her down and promote men over her. This "type" of working woman is smart and efficient, and her boss often takes credit for her work.

Jane Fonda - "The never-worked-before-Divorcee". This "type" of woman in the workplace has often never worked before outside of the home. She often is easily overwhelmed by the stresses in the workplace, and is still sometimes pining for her ex-husband.

I appreciate the way this film showed the main characters taking over the business and being successful with it while Mr. Hart was "kidnapped". The main characters were validated by the chairman of the board who approved of their work but yet recognized Mr. Hart for it. So, in the end, the characters were personally validated but within the eyes of the company, Mr. Hart was responsible for all the positive change within the company.

April 20, 2007

9 to 5

I think it was a good idea to film this movie as a comedy rather than a drama. It was more effective as a comedy. I think that people are more open when they laugh. They are more open to hear the issues being addressed in the film. It allows the audience to see the situation as a whole, rather than as a isolated event. By that I mean had the movie been filmed as a drama, it would have been easy for the audience to pass it off as individuals with personal issues, rather than as a situation that can be generalized to a good portion of the population it represents. I think that it being a comedy allowed for the exaggeration of situations in order to demonstrate the ridiculous manner in which women were being treated. For example, the scene when Dolly Parton’s character tells of her fantasy of putting the boss in check by treating him how he had been treating the women in the office. This scene allowed the audience to see it from a woman’s point of view. It did play into probably every man’s fantasy of Dolly, but it was an attention grabber, it opened the door for contemplation about the issues at hand.

9 to 5

I agreed with a lot of things said in Slingo's article about the movie 9 to 5, though I don't feel it had no positive value. I agree with the fact that the three women are portrayed as pretty flat characters who are difficult to relate to other than the fact that I have had a horrible boss I've had to deal with while working under florescent lights at a desk for eight hours of the day.

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April 19, 2007

9 to 5

So I read the article before I watched the movie. Some of the things that Slingo said I agreed with, but other things I didn't. She concentrates on the only negative aspects of the film. She doesn't take into consideration the good parts, like when the women decide to take control and give their wonderful feminist speeches about disrepect and sexual harassment. II think that at first the women are not friends and are just working together to bring down Hart, but as time goes on they become friends and provide solidarity to each other. I didn't see Vi as taking all the power and not sharing it because the other ladies found something better for themselves to do. In her fantasy, after Hart is gone, all three women become queens, not just her. Another arguement that she made was abut Judy in her night gown at Hart's house. I did not see it as implying that she was wearing the costume to tease Hart, but I do agree that a lot of the shots of the three women are sexualized. I also didn't see the point she was making about the opening scene. I liked the movie overall. It was funny, but some parts bothered me. There were some heavy seens that made me uncomfortable and if it wouldn't have been funny there would have been no relief. When the boss was making the gestures to Dora Lee and almost everytime the ladies were in the office, it was hard for me to watch without getting angry. I did not like the end. It could have ended a different way and they could have left out what each character ended up doing, but if you look at it in a different way. It is allowing the women to do what they want. If we look at all of thye girla as feminist, then we can see the different types of women who can be feminist. Just because you get married and stay at home doesn't mean you are not feminist. It was interesting though how the "head cheif" liked all of the things that the women changed in the office. I wasn't expeting that. Of course, he didn't like the equal pay, but the ladies are going to keep working on it.

Nine to five

The feminist ideal of "fighting the patriarchal system" was played up in the film. One example of this is Violet, who had basically devoted her life to this company, was looking forward to being promoted, and had good reason to think that a promotion would be coming soon. However, because the business world is largely a patriarchal system, a woman in a position of power is seen as a threat. So she was not given a raise. I thought it was interesting that when she asked for a better explanation for not being chosen over someone she had seniority over, Mr Harp completely dodged the question and told her, "My hands are tied here, Violet, it was up to the big boys upstairs". This is when she really let "the man" have it. Her speech was strongly fueled by feminist ideals, and it had been delivered with a punch line, when Mr. Harp fell back in his chair. Comedy was effective here in getting the point across because it showed Violet in a position of control and power, giving a speech to her boss, and he proved himself incompetent by falling back into his chair again.
Nine to five demonstrates the use of comedy to challenge what society accepts as normal. In this case, "normal" in the workplace means that it is acceptable to talk down to women, sexually objectify them, and assume that they can only take on menial tasks. The movie showed the woman's side of the story, and made it clear that this treatment was unfair and unacceptable. Using comedy to address the issue of gender inequality in the workplace was an effective technique to be used in this film, because it makes it's message accessible.

9 to 5, a subversive comedy

Apart from the sillyness I think 9 to 5 is important for the issues it addresses. It not only deals with equality, sexually harassment it also deals with how to deal with aggressions. Now, of course there are some more or less weird resolutions to these issues but at least they are addressed and brought out to the general public in a matter that is accessible and relatable.

This is of course done by humor. Of course, one can discuss if it is at all funny but at least it is a “language? (almost) everyone speaks and relates too. Who doesn’t love a good laugh or at least a laugh at how stupid or non funny a movie is. However, it gets people watching, talking and therefore get the subtext in their head… they may even be affected and act upon it afterwards. It may not move mountains, but as they say, “This is just the beginning?.
A message wrapped in silly bubble wrap is after all still a message.

Making the movie a comedy was therefore a good choice in my opinion. Yes, I do understand that a serious issue is best resorted and addressed in a serious matter but in order for this to be accomplished you have to get people’s attention first; choosing comedy gets people’s attention. The problem has to get out there somehow and be recognized first. If they made the movie a drama, I think the issues wouldn’t be so “universal?. It would then have focused on the individuals, rather than the whole situation, a situation that many people could/can relate to. It is not to say that the comedy “dehumanizes? the characters and their personal needs but it definitely takes us a step back and encourages us to look at the whole picture first.

With all this said there is some setbacks on the whole comedic aspect. Some people may not see beyond the comedy and just brush it off as another insignificant slapstick comedy movie. Some people may not see the subversiveness in the humor and find it insulting that an issue so important is treated in this matter, with silly fantasies, body snatching and Amazon-kidnappings. I personally think it hit the right balance between subtle, effective criticism and over the top comedy.

However the denouement seemed too utopian in a way that makes things they did and accomplished somewhat impossible. It took them back a little, taking away some of the things they worked for and that somehow just seemed okay… I thought it wasn’t. But that may just be me being too pessimistic.

9-5

I thought the movie was funny. I love the way they used comedy to approach the issues. Each woman has a different way they'd like to take care of Mr. Hart. It's over the top but it depicts what was pretty much normal for this time period and this work setting. Although women have made a lot of progress since this movie was made, there are still stereotypes in the workplace. By using the Doralee, Violet, and Judy stereotypes they pointed out some of the gender inequalities. The movie did a good job of making the issues women face in the work place(such as sexual harassment, needing childcare, etc) clear and doing something about them. Overall I really like this movie and I think it's a classic.

9 to 5

I thought the movie was humorous. Though a tad over the top at times, it does depict what I assume was somewhat normal for the time in workplace treatment of the sexes. Though I believe women have come a ways since this 1980 idea of gender in the work place, I still feel like there are certain stereotypes that still permeate the workplace. Doralee, the "hot secretary," still seems to float around the work sphere as does the underappreciated, hardworking woman (Violet) and the "clueless woman" (Judy). Using these stereotypes, however, for me, was a smart move. In their exagerations, they highlighed what gender inequalites existed (and still somewhat exist) at the time. As a consciousness raising movie, I do believe 9 to 5 worked well to pronounce gender disparities, common gender misconceptions, women's workplace issues (child care, sexual harrasment, etc) and as always, I loved the (to me humourous) happy ending.

Workin' 9 to 5

Its amazing to see the difference in how much the workplace has changed since the 80s, and although the movie 9 to 5 is somewhat unrealistic, its is still a good, comedic, somewhat light way of getting the topic into the media and to bring it to the attention of people who can help make a difference. The three women portrayed in the movie are all different examples of the many women in the workplace, Violet is the hardworking, dedicated, well qualified woman who cant seem to get a break in terms of moving up the corporate ladder. Her constant degradation and demeaning job duties are a constant source of strife for her. Doralee is the secretary who is unfairly treated within the office by other employees because they are under the impression that she and Mr. Hart are having an affair, in light of the fact that his constant harassment is unwelcome explicitly by her. Finally Judy, the divorcee who is hired not because she is qualified or has experience but because she is good looking and Mr. Hart being the sexist that he is, wants something pretty to look at. I think that the film has an unrealistic ending and fails to identify the fact that changing sexual harassment and women in the workplace standards is a long and hard journey. However I understand for comedy sake and because it is a movie that this was a major first step in letting everyone know that women deserve to be equal in the workplace and that they are prepared to work long and hard to achieve that.

9 - 5

i really thought that the movie 9 to 5 really portrayed women in the workplace. the movie showed how women once could not climb the corporate ladder because men dominated. women were and still sometimes are treated as objects and are bossed around. Mr. Hart is a classic boss who wants to have an affair with his secretary and doesn't give praise to the employees that deserve it. he also did not give credit to the people who did the work, he took the credit for it.
i did however think that having the three women keep Mr. Hart hostage in his home for weeks at a time was not realistic (but its a movie). the girls wanted to have a workplace that they could be happy in. the changes that they made were very successful and gave the office a better feel.
i think the workplace has changed since this movie was made. women are more dominating and are gaining respect and success just like men.

9 to 5

9 to 5 is a movie which depicts three working womens' troubles with their sexist boss. After fantasizing about getting revenge on their boss, Mr. Hart, in various, humorous ways, they eventually do get their revenge by discovering his embezzlement of company inventory. They hold him hostage for three weeks while they can get the proof of his bad deeds. In their boss' absence, the women make changes in the office which are not only woman-friendly, but increase productivity and are reconized by the Chairman of the Board.

The movie looks at the many issues that working women encounter through its three main characters. Violet is a highly-qualified, dedicated employee, but she hits the "glass-ceiling." She is denied a promotion explicitly because she is a woman. She is also degraded at work, being asked to get coffee, run errands, and do things that are not included in her job title.

Doralee is Mr. Hart's secretary. Mr. Hart completely objectifies her by making inappropriate comments about her body and purposefully knocking things off his desk so he can check her out. He buys her gifts, and even attempts to assault her. She repeatedly tells him that his comments are unwelcome, and that she is a married woman. Despite her objections, Mr. Hart continues with his harassment. Because of his treamtent of her, Doralee is disliked in the office because it is believed that she is having an affair with him.

Judy is a recently divorced homemaker whose husband left her for his secretary. Judy initially faces several difficulties because she has had no job experience. The phenomenon of the displaced homemaker was relatively common around this time. Because women were not expected to enter the workforce, many women didn't have the education or skills necessary to have a well-paying job.

In the end, the women suceed in having their boss sent to Brazil, where he is subsequently kidnapped by Amazons. Violet succeeds in becoming Vice President of the company. Judy falls in love and marries the Xerox rep., and Doralee becomes a Country singer.

I thought the movie was a mixed bag. On the one hand, it raised most of the major feminist issues regarding the workplace, including on-site daycare, sexual harassment, the glass-cieling, and pay equity. By showcasing how the addressing of these issues improves workplace quality and performance, it lets the audience know that these are not only the right thing to do, but the feasible thing to do.

On the other hand, the women who accomplished these important goals recieve no recognition. They treated Frank's 'promotion' and subsequent shipping off as a success. That's something of an empty success. I also had issues with the acts of revenge the women took on their boss. Of course it was done for comedic effect, but it has the effect of making feminists themselves look bad. If feminists are willing to hold their boss hostage, fire guns at him, hog tie him, and even attempt to cover up deaths, then they are not going to win much favor with the general population, least of all men. It turns the fight for equality in the workplace into a series of scare tactics, as if to say "You better listen to feminists... or else."

The movie was funny, but the darkness of where the humor comes from was probably not the most appropriate considering the seriousness of the effect of those issues on real women's lives.


April 17, 2007

9 to 5 comments

I thought that 9 to 5 was good for several reasons: First, it clearly defined a variety of different personal and workplace struggles that seem to plague a great number of women. It certainly did not cover each and every difficult situation women are put in at work because of their gender, it did offer several prominent examples as well as solutions. Second, I enjoyed that it displayed a sense of sisterhood and teamwork as a way to solve problems. And while kidnapping, poisoning and shooting at one’s boss is not really the best option, the constructive action taken at the end of the film was a good example of simple changes and that can be made to improve working conditions to fit the lives of women and mothers. Third, I enjoyed the example of consciousness raising, and the way that it benefited the women in the movie. It sends a good message that problems like this don’t need to be suffered through in isolation and without hope of resolving them.

At the same time, I thought that it was problematic in a few ways. First, I thought that they over did the punishment and demise of the boss at the end. I don’t think that he necessarily needed to be kidnapped by people in the Amazon jungle. I also thought that they could have done more not to criminalize the boss simply on basis of his male gender, but rather as his part in participating in a workplace in which women have few choices and few rights. Second, I felt that the women were a bit too idealized in terms of womanhood. They are all mainstream-attractive and all had the sexual protection of marriage to defend their morality. They represented in many ways the conventional idea of what a woman should be, which I think was done in order to minimize criticism of the characters as whores or man haters as the reasoning behind their actions.

I think that more could have been done to treat the subject matter more seriously, and that in being more realistic about the women in the film and their actions, the point of the movie could be better made. But overall, I think it was an important popular culture message and a hopeful sign that it was made in the mainstream and well received.

Nine to Five

Summary: The main female characters (Jane Fonda - Judy, Lily Tomlin - Violet, and Dolly Parton - Doralee) are employees of Frank Hart, who is a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot; he takes advantage of the women and, in retaliation, Judy, Violet and Doralee manage to trap him in his own house they assume control of his department and productivity leaps.
Feminist issues: Also within the movie seems to stem individual issues that Judy, Violet and Doralee must deal with: Doralee was the ‘outcast’ at work due to the rumors Frank was sending around and she risked being fired if she ‘whistle-blew’ on Frank sexually harassing her; Violet was the intelligent and strong woman who knew what she was worth but was time and time again turned down for promotions due to her sex; and Judy was struggling with becoming a member of the workforce due to a deteriorating home/family life.
Conclusion: The women finally stand up for what they want for themselves and for all working women. They put Frank on house-arrest and end up having him sent away. But, intentionally for the times, the women are not admired for the work they accomplished while Frank was locked in house arrest, but for their having him sent away.
Impressions: I have mixed feelings about this film. While the film shows the women overcoming their issues and becoming independent working women, it does not give them proper recognition for their work in the office; rather, it chooses to emphasize Frank being sent off. These women should have been recognized for their hard work in the office. I wonder what this movie would look like now-a-days?!

April 16, 2007

9 to 5: women in the work force

I had never seen the movie 9 to 5, only bits and pieces, until now. I had just watched "coming home" with Jane Fonda, and here too, she plays a woman losing her husband (this time he is being sent off to war) and her growth as being independent, and making her own choices as a woman. So, it was interesting to watch her in this film, another pro-woman movie, yet her character was slightly different. A little bit more wound up, and proper, her character, Judy, is a woman trying to get along after a divorce, and starting off in the work force. Violet, played by Lily Tomlin, was, a very strong and smart woman, but was continually being walked over as she tried to work her way up in the office. Then there is Dora Lee, played by no other than Dolly Parton, who doesn't really understand why no other women in the office are fond of her, but of course later finds out that all three of the women's boss, Mr. Frank Hart, is telling everyone that they are having an affair.

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April 15, 2007

Response to 9 to 5

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