Because I was in the mood for feel good movies this weekend I watched Little Women (2019) and Bend it Like Beckham (2002). They did the trick. However, there were a couple of things about the latter that struck me. At one point Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley are (mistakenly) believed to be lesbians and Knightley is mistaken for a boy because she has short hair (and wears pants). Writer/director Gurinder Chadha effectively makes the point that people are quick to jump to the conclusion that girls who have an affectionate, congenial relationship are lesbians. She also demonstrates how unusual some people find it for girls to have short hair (they expect girls to have long hair and equate short hair with boys). She makes the point that short hair for girls is normal (i.e. just as normal as long hair). I would have found it incredible that these inclusions were necessary but for the fact that nearly 20 years later they are likely still necessary. People are still making similar regressive assumptions about girls and women (i.e. that girls who are affectionate must be lesbians and not adhering to regressive sex stereotypes makes one a boy). Now society is going one step further and brainwashing girls into thinking that if they want short hair (not long) and prefer pants and flat shoes to dresses, skirts and high heels they aren't really girls and must actually be boys. It's absolute rot of course but believed by many at the moment. I suppose because I come from a family of heterosexual women with short hair (both grandmothers, aunts, mother) who wear pants much more often than skirts and dresses these regressive assumptions always seemed ridiculous to me. They should seem ridiculous to anyone thinking critically. I wonder what future movies made about the madness, sexism and misogyny of the second decade of the 21st century will look like.
P.S. Both Bend it Like Beckham and Little Women (2019) have much to offer female viewers.
Copyright © 2021 Alline Cormier
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