Thursday, 4 February 2016

Gender Representation in the 1980s

Women's Identity

Women in working environments were increasingly being represented through the media in the 1980s. The views on women's roles were shifting from expecting women to stay at home, to being supportive of those who wanted a place in the business world.  

Working girl was a film released in 1988 about a women named Tess who works her way up the job ladder, encountering issues on the way because of her gender. This film represents a powerful message that women in this time do have a place in businesses and that they can work to the same level that men do. Although it also shows the struggles that have to be overcome in order to get to this place. 

The character of Tess shows some of the problems with being female in a male dominated work force. At the beginning of the movie, she find herself in a position where her male co-workers treat her as a sex object, not seeing her as an equal employee. This issue holds her career back and she feels that the only way she will get to her goals of becoming a successful business women is to find a new job. Tess then starts to work for a powerful woman, Kate who manipulates her and uses her for her clever ideas. This is until Kate breaks her leg in a skiing accident and Tess has the opportunity to pose as an executive and experience life as a successful woman. 

The reaction to Working Girl was very positive when it was first released, with film critics such as Roger Ebert rating it four out of four stars. This was important as it shows that the idea of working women was happily received and accepted in society at this time. 

When looking back on this film today, it is clear to notice the obstacles that women had to overcome in order to be in a good position in the working world. These things are less of an issue today although that is not to say that there is still not gender bias around. We can definitely observe a progression from the 1980s to the present day with how working women are treated and their experiences in the job. 

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