Stepford Wives and Women Today

The Stepford Wives Movie With Katherine Ross and Peter Masterson.

For three bucks I purchased the original “Stepford Wives” movie from BigLots.  I had never seen that movie even though it came out in the seventies.  The remade version with Nicole Kidman in my opinion is just about awful!  I always loved Katherine Ross because I thought she was so beautiful so I decided to watch it.  It was interesting watching the old cars and the way people dressed in the seventies but some things stay the same, like the beautiful wife married to the balding, not so great looking, guy.  The movie is largely a statement about the threat women’s liberation is to men and their egos.  In the original movie we don’t end up with a satisfying ending.  In fact we are terrorized in the final thirty minutes of the movie when we realize what’s really happening.  I could feel the terror and confusion that Katherine’s character felt when she was trying to figure out what was happening in the village of Stepford.  Why were these wonderful, engaging, thinking, talented women suddenly turning into robotic images of themselves?  She was in fear of losing herself.  Just as all women secretly fear losing their identity when they marry a man and take his name.  In fact many women today keep their maiden names so they can hold on to their own identity whether it is for work purposes or to continue their heritage.  In the movie the men have formed a club, a club of men that work to make their lives perfect.  Perfect means a wife that is more like a robot than a human, a wife that will think you are a great lover, even if you aren’t, and one that will build you up and make you feel like you are the most important person in the world and can also cook.  The movie assaults men by making them appear to care only about the outward appearance of their women and nothing else.  The men were faced with a decision to rid themselves of their “nagging” wives by “creating” a better model of the imperfect one, one with larger breasts who could dolt after her husband and never challenge him in any way possible.

I used to think we have come along way baby, much like the Virginia Slims commercial from decades ago but now I feel that women have taken a huge step backwards.  It was brought home in the 2008 election when both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin were treated with such disrespect by the media, bloggers and even other candidates.  We all remember hearing about Hillary’s “cankles” and Sarah’s beauty was served up to destroy her credibility.  I thought we were living back in the fifties with the attitude toward these two women in politics.  I realize now that given the decades between the Stepford Wives and today nothing has really evolved all that much.  Men are still pigs as witnessed by the behavior of the Tiger, Jesse and Johns of the world.  Women are still trying to please their “man” as witnessed by the women who choose to get involved with these characters.  Most were probably opportunists that used their bodies to get what they thought they wanted, fame, fortune or whatever they were seeking but none of them were looking for self-respect which is foreign all of them.

As a young woman I never wanted to be “dependent” on a man.  I don’t know if it is because I have ten brothers or what.  I just knew that I wanted my own identity.  As an older woman I don’t care one way or the other but I am “man-less”.  I am a divorced woman of many years and I have never been interested in any real relationship since.  In fact I never put myself in situations where I could develop another relationship.  That in itself is probably strange for most people to understand.  However, I do have a strong sense of who I am as a person and what I’m willing to put up with.  In the Stepford Wives movie women with a strong sense of self were eventually beaten by the man and their identities and lives were brutally destroyed.  In real life today women are still putting up with men who don’t appreciate who they really are.  Women are still buying every product they can to please their man whether it be some beauty product, fancy negligees or even implants.  While women do everything they can to attract their man and keep him men continue to think the world revolves around them.  They have been told by their mothers that they are perfect and many of them believe it.  They can be bald, fat, and ugly but women will still appreciate them.  Women on the other hand better stay as they were in their twenties and thirties or they may risk losing their man to the younger version of themselves.

I don’t think women need to be more like men.  I just think it’s time that both sexes were honest with each other about what they need.  Men need to listen to their mates and really appreciate them and women need to see men as more than a paycheck.  Men control the world but need to let women have more involvement in the process.  The world would be a better place if we could use both sides of our brains.  Depending on men for everything only utilizes half of our potential as a race.  If we want peace in this world then we should try putting women of substance in powerful positions.  If we want equality then we should treat each other with respect.  If men love their daughters they should push for equality of the sexes and equality doesn’t mean a woman can choose which implant to get or what dinner to cook.  Equality means making decisions on your own without being pushed into situations you really don’t want to be in.  Equality means not being discriminated against because you are female.  Equality means you will be respected because you are human not because you are a man or a woman.

The Stepford Wives never knew what was happening until it was too late to change the inevitable.  People today, both men and women, can stop this disrespect of women by not feeding the frenzy pushed by the media and not buying into every gadget that is supposed to bring you fulfillment in finding a mate.  Equality will come when we have self respect.  This is not equality. While women might think acting like a man will get them what they want; it doesn’t.

Source: Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer The Portland Press Herald

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