Gender Issues in Legally Blonde

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Gender Issues in Legally Blonde

In many ways today's society, even though women have come a long way, we still live in a patriarchal world. There are many examples of this in everyday life, whether it be that there aren't very many women CEO's or the mere fact that we've yet to have a woman president. No matter where you live, there is the presence of a male dominated world. It especially extends into the working fields. There are professions that are categorically 'women's' jobs like nursing, school teacher, or secretarial jobs. The rest of the professional world is mainly male dominated, i.e. engineering, CEO's of major companies, and Law Firms. Which brings us to the movie I picked to watch, Legally Blonde.

In the movie Legally Blonde the male dominance over the legal field is everywhere. This movie is based on a typical ?good looking? girl. Reese Witherspoon?s character Elle Woods is a tall, thin, blonde haired, blue eyes girl, the typical female in which society sees as ?perfect. Along with these things Elle also is rich, is in a sorority, and is portrayed as a ?dumb blonde? with no common sense. The bulk of the movie is based around Elle going to Harvard Law School in hopes to impress her high society boyfriend. Throughout this movie the gender biases and the male dominance over the legal and field is so blatantly obvious you can?t miss it.

The main reason I selected this movie was because of its obvious gender biases and its very blatent patriarchal society from which Elle comes from initially and proceeds to go to at Harvard. In this movie the males are good looking, successful, rich, and are attending or previously attended Harvard. With an exception of a few, the males of this movie act as if the women are object to be played with rather then to be taken seriously. The first example of this is when Elle is on a date with her, at the time, current boy friend Warner, they?re at a restaurant and Elle thinks he?s going to propose but instead he breaks up with her because she isn?t ?serious?. Here is where I must mention that Warner falls into the generic gender role of a male, he is tall, good looking, wealthy, not dramatically buff but not scrawny either. When I was watching this scene the main thing that popped into my head was that to Warner Elle was good to look at but wasn?t what he thought of as smart and good enough for ...

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...s is a good motivator. I believe that the purpose of this film is to show people that no matter who you are or what people tell you, you can always do what you set your mind to. No matter how many people tell you that you can?t do something for whatever reason, you yourself have the ability to prove them wrong, if you have the will power and the motivation you can get anything you set your mind to.

My overall critical assessment of this movie is that it is a little over the top to get the point across. I did enjoy the movie it wasn?t a hard movie to watch and in the initial viewing it didn?t take a lot of analyzing to see the gender stereotypes or gender roles because they were practically spelled out and stamped on everyone?s foreheads. From Elle the typical blonde bombshell to Warner the tall, handsome, rich male, to Callahan the professional lawyer at the top with no female lawyers in his firm, who also uses his power to try to get in bed with Elle, there was Emmett who wasn?t self centered and didn?t try to make unwanted passes at Elle but at the same time he wasn?t ugly. So this movie Satirically pointed out many stereotypes that are very real in our society today.
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