Final Project

Briana Panaccione

Movie: She’s the man

The movie she’s the man encompasses a story on sexist gender roles and feminism. It is about a young girl with a passion for soccer trying to prove that women can be just as good as men in soccer. It all started when the girl’s soccer team got cut from the sports list because they didn’t have enough players. Viola, the main character, asked the boys soccer coach if they can join their team but the coach and team players responded with sexist stereotypes about women. Viola saw an opportunity to prove that women are just as good as men in sports; she disguised herself as her brother Sebastien in his new school while he was away and joined the boy’s soccer team in order to beat her previous schools’ boys team named the Cornwall’s. The ending resulted with Viola revealing her gender during the game against the Cornwall’s and her team ended up winning the match. Her powerful message was sent across and she even got herself involved in a little romance.

The point of this movie was the prove that women can do anything that men do. We are all capable to accomplish anything we set our minds to and that we all deserve an equal shot. This movie also exposes how the world views genders. It proves how our society is patriarchal due to the fact that to prove her point she had to dress up as a male. She couldn’t be taken seriously or be able to prove her point if she wasn’t seen as a male figure. As a woman she wouldn’t be taken seriously even if her predicaments were true. Therefore, the story proves that women and men strengths could be the same, but it is how we see things and due to patriarchal societal views that make us judge women more harshly.

While the movie teaches viewers that women and men can have the same strengths, it also covers a stereotype about men sensitivity. Duke is perceived as a typical high school jock; Viola expected him to show interests in girls for only physical attributes but as the movie goes on we see otherwise. Duke is talking to `Sebastian` about women. Sebastian made a comment about a girls sexual appearance and Duke defended by saying “Why do you always talk about girls in such graphic terms?”, he proceeded by explaining how he believes that a sentimental connection and being able to have good conversations is worth more then the sexual relationship. Another example is the relationship developed between Viola and Olivia. Olivia is a popular pretty girl who falls for Viola disguised as Sebastien. She appreciates `Sebastian’s` ability to be open and honest about his feelings and fears and says how most men wouldn’t admit their fears and aren’t in touch with their sensitive side.  Because `Sebastian` is honest, Olivia perceives him as more of a man and it is the reason she falls for him. These passages open up the topic about the meaning of masculinity. It is trying to show that men are often criticked for being insensitive and only caring about the sexual aspects of relationships when it isn’t always true. Men should be able to show affection and care and sensitivity; it is normal for humans to have these emotions. The movie also proves that a male will be defined as a man when they’re honest and don’t feel barriered or influenced by the stereotypes of society. Men indeed are in touch with their feelings and they should feel freer when expressing their emotions.

While watching this movie, I noticed the gender expectancies that are put on society and all the demeaning words that are put on women. At the beginning of the movie, when the girls as their schools’ boy’s soccer team if they can join their league, the coach laughs in front of their faces. He tells them that they won’t win the tournament with girls on their team and says that women aren’t as fast, strong, and athletic enough as guys. Other insults were when the coach from another soccer team was telling his players that their acting like a bunch of girls since they were being irrational and starting a physical fight. Instead of acknowledging that the men are the ones acting this way and that it is their fault, he sees it as acting like girls. The coach also used phrases like don’t kick like a girl or you’re being a girl, etc. Violas mom also criticized her for not being womanly enough. The mother keeps insisting that Viola attends this ball and wears a ruffled large gown, but when Viola refuses, the mother says, “you might as well be your brother”, which insinuates that she can’t be considered a girl since she doesn’t want to wear a dress. There are many more details and examples of sexism in the story.

I really enjoyed watching this movie; I had seen it numerous times before but was never attentive to the sexism and messages lying in the story. I find this movie is great to reveal the boundaries set on women and men and it proves that women are strong and capable. There should be no difference when defining men and women in strengths because we all deserve a fair shot at proving our abilities. I think this movie is a good example to show men that showing feelings is normal and that it should be more accepted in society. I also believe that women should not be defined as a woman based on their appearance or how we dress or the curves we have and so on. We are all human beings and although there are some factual differences, we are still all alike in many ways and we should all have the freedom to express our selves in any way we want, and we shouldn’t be discriminated or judged by anything other than what we as individuals bring to the table.

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