Movies and women’s work

September 5th, 2010

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to post, but …

In honor of Labor Day, Salon has a great slideshow of 10 movies “that really understand work.” It’s a great list, but where are the women? Granted, first place goes to Ellen Ripley of “Alien,” but come on; it’s also the only science fiction film on the list, and the role of Ripley was originally written for a man. What about women who are office temps, hotel maids, waitresses, factory workers, stay-at-home mothers, sex workers, soldiers, day care providers, nurses?

What movies would you say get work right, and show women doing it?

One Response to “Movies and women’s work”

  1. JP Gal on September 8, 2010 9:55 am

    My favorite is “Erin Brockovich” (Julia Roberts, 2000), which shows a single mom working hard to first create a job for herself and then keep it when the powers that be have a different idea. Then “Norma Rae” (Sally Field, 1979), about union organizing at a gritty small town mill. And finally “Silkwood” (Meryl Streep, 1983), which again gets at the gritty underbelly of corporate malfeasance. And even though I admire Sigourney Weaver, one terrible, absolutely terrible movie about a working woman is her “Gorillas in the Mist” (1988), in which a brilliant and pioneering scientist (Diane Fossey) is reduced to some sort of Miss Lonely Hearts of the Jungle. Ugh!

    I’m glad the original “Alien” captured the no. 1 spot, but what does it mean that it’s a fantasy?

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