Little Women

Little Women' Review: Greta Gerwig Makes An Old Story Feel New Again

One of my new favorite movie is called little woman. The movie starring actors such as Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep is the seventh film adaptation of the 1868 novel of Louisa May Alcott. The movie happening in 1868 talks about the life of 4 sister breaking out of their performative roles. The predestined housewives all have dreams and passion that they want to pursue and all decide in their own way to break the expectations society had for them. I love this movie because it represents the struggles women faced during that historical period and society views on what a woman should be. It’s a touching  romantic comedy that talks about many issues feminist have fought for.

Lets talk about the 1800 first, at this time, marriage involved ore financial aspect than love. Women were not able to do many things and the father had to be the figure of authority in a household. In the movie, the father is a loving man that is appreciated by his whole community and his daughters. He doesn’t impose anything on them and just wish each of their happiness which is in my opinion honorable. Still, marriage was inevitable for a good life so the four girls already had a path drawn for them. The fact that many women thorough the world still live in those condition where they have no choice on who they are going to marry or if they want to marry someone is still an ongoing issue that I can’t get out of my mind. Social status also were a really important thing that prioritizes money over happiness. Education is also a subject addressed in the move since it shows how women school weren’t as good as boy’s school and the inequality in the learning system. The four women in the movie were faced with all of those issue and tried to denounce its absurdity in a moving way.  

The main character is Josephine March most commonly named Joe. She is an inspiring woman that really stood her ground in adversity. She is an author whose only dream was to write a books about crimes and bloody battle. Those not really feminine taste caused her to hide her passion for a long time and publish her short stories anonymously. She had no interest in getting married which made her even weirder in the eyes of her family .We can see misogyny issues in the first 15 minute of the movie when Joe goes to publish her first short story in the New York time and the publisher tells her that her character needed to either end up dead or married at the end of the story because readers wanted something that reflect their reality. Its with disappointment that Joe changed the end of her story and it was also the first time she experienced sexism that way. She wanted to go fight in the union army with her father but was denied since she was a girl . Joe says that being a woman in that time is a curse and I couldn’t agree more. she has always been taught that no woman could have her own path and her only way of escaping marriage was to be rich (which wasn’t the case for her). She then started teaching in a girl boarding school in Mississippi where she was revolted by the fact that boys school were much superior than the girls school. For Joe, getting married was renouncing to her liberty. She wanted to prove to the world that a woman wasn’t only good at love and that it wasn’t her only destiny. She did follow her dream and she published a book of a new genre which became a best seller. She also opened a school and proved to the world that she didn’t need to marry anyone to be happy or succeed. Those morals even if they are not the same as modern one can also be applied in the modern woman life and I think that she gives a great lesson to all the fierce independent woman out there .

Even if they are less represented, the 3 sisters of Joe also have interesting character development. Meg, the oldest, renounced to have a wealthy life with a rich man to marry the one she fell in love and going against her aunt will. Beth wasn’t represented long enough in the movie but she did inspire all of her sisters to follow their passion and not give up on their dream. To finish with, Amy is a self conscious girl who went to Paris to perfect her art in painting. She realized soon enough that even if she was more talented then the men in her classes , she would never get the recognition they get because she is a woman. That crushed her so she decided to marry a rich man to secure her life. She sees marriage as a financial proposition  and often refer to herself as “only a woman”. Her opinion of marriage changed when the man she loved proposed to her and she lived  happily after teaching arts to the kids at her sister school. She realized she was good enough and that she could marry the man she wanted and have the life she dreamed of. They each broke out of expectation and taught us valuable lesson about the importance of happiness our life.Our own happiness should always come first and the choice we made should always be based on our desire. If the girls would have listened to society none of them would have had their happy ending.

In conclusion, little woman is an historical masterpiece and really show the high and the lows that a woman can encounter in her life. It teaches us a lesson on perseverance and acceptance. Each girls has a unique character and end up being happy because they are true to themselves and that’s what we should all go for in our lives whatever our gender is. Gender shouldn’t define our lives and how we want it to end. We are the only master of our destiny and we are the only one responsible to make it great. I definitely recommend that movie. Some tears might be spill but at the end its all worth it.

This scene made me cry but its also my favorite. Joe reject the marriage proposal of her best friend because she is not in love and doesn’t want to get married. For her marriage at this time in her life would make it impossible to achieve her dream.

The Failure of the Patriarchal System.

For some, being a feminist translate into being anti man. A lot of people are still thinking that feminists are trying to erase the place of the man in society to be the one in the power position. Those affirmations could not be more wrong. Women are not trying to dethrone men, they are trying to reach equity in every aspect of life and be considered as important as them in society. But to acquire equity, men must be allowed to break the expectations they have been subject to all their lives. What a man should be and how a man should act is defined by the rules of manliness. Those rules are stopping the men from being who they are as individual and are instead forcing them to live with restrictions. Any human individual has emotions and preferences. They love, they hate and they feel a different way each uniquely. Those things should not be defined by their gender identity.  Patriarchy installed in our society expectations keeping the men away from expressing their emotions or personality. I’ll show in this text why patriarchy is a failed system and how manliness has intoxicated our society for generations.

When we research masculinity in the dictionary, the official definition is “qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men.” The example of the usage of the word masculinity is:  “handsome, muscled, and driven, he’s a prime example of masculinity.”. The first synonyms of masculinity are virility, vigor, strength and toughness. I was shock by this simple grammatical research and how the man is portrayed even by the dictionary.

A man need to be tough, he can’t show his feelings.

A man need to be handsome he cannot be called pretty or cute .

A man need to be physically strong and driven by ambition or he wouldn’t be manly enough.

When did manly became an adjective to describe someone as person. I still don’t understand how gender must reflect a person identity but that’s what we have all been taught since we were are born. In a patriarchal society, the man has the main power and need to govern his household by establishing respect that he has acquired by being feared. Boys and girls are raised with the ideology that they are not the same and they can not do the same things. Those ideas being perpetuated for generations, the barrier of gender have been defined and the women place also. Patriarchy is a fear based system that ; “promotes insanity” and “is at the root of the psychological ills troubling men in our nation” ( Bell Hooks p.4 ). Emancipation being the biggest fear of the men, patriarchy is a system that destroyed many lives for the one that could not fit in every restrictions masculinity has. For men to finally feel included in their own community and be able to fully express their own identity, we must redefine what being a man is.

Redefining and  dismantling those expectations will not only allow the men to feel better about themselves but will also reduce sexism. Patriarchy’s abolition would be beneficial for the emotional liberation of men and could reduce issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia. Michael Kimmel said ; “Homophobia is a central organizing principle of our cultural definition of manhood” in other words, a lack in manliness is what creates homophobia and that fear of loving another man actually comes from seeing him not fitting in the manly category.  Any member of LGBTQ+ community would be able to feel better without the principle of the patriarchy since right now our world is not a approving of their preferences because it is defying the principle of manliness. A kid growing up should not be denied to play with barbies because he’s a boy of refused to play with cars because she’s a girl. Since “Homophobia and sexism go hand in hand” (  Michael Kimmel p.148) so we could also diminish institutional sexism and gender discrimination in our society . Women would feel more free to be themselves without being judge or belittle. Racism can also be implicated in that revolution since the concept is the same which is taking a marginalized group and discriminate it by using their differences against them and isolate them. Racist misconception or stereotype are perpetuated like sexism. No group of individual should dominate another and redefining patriarchy will help that.

In conclusion, patriarchy is a failed system that was mold by a society that claimed that superiority is pictured as a heterosexual white man. A ” normal ” household should be scared of their father who is the figure of authority meanwhile, the mother should be a sensitive housewife. A man cant show any feelings and should work to provide while their woman only purpose is to procreate. This ideology is now outdated and proven to have been false. Its repercussion have hurt family’s , individuals, and even created discrimination. Patriarchy should be redefine and the definition of what a man is should be abolish because our uniqueness , personality and identity should not be reflected by our reproductive organ.


Masculinity as Homophobia

Understanding Patriarchy bell hooks

The Disabled Women’s Network: Bringing the Intersection of Gender and Disability to Light

International woman weeks has for objective to raise awareness about the problems women are facing daily whoever they are, their ethnicity, background and sexuality. Inclusivity is the key of the whole concept and thats why disable individuals should be represented to whoever they decide to identify themselves. The disables women network is a non lucrative association that came to speak to us, the Vanier students, and bring awareness to the challenges women with visible and invisible disabilities faces everyday in a society that is not conceive to acknowledge their needs. The message D.A.W.N association is trying to share is that their goal is to finally implement a more equal system by providing accessibility and ressources ( tangible or not ) to those living with impairments.

The vanier students seemed pretty engaged with the issue and even started to state the accessibility point present at vanier for the students from  physical disabilities. They weren’t quite as engaging concerning the questions asked by the speaker but I think that we all had a common understanding of the lack of ressources present for disable people in our society. The conference was quite repetitive since there was a lack of participation from the students but it didn’t stop the speaker to make us realize the ableism of our society. The event really made me more empathetic to the women suffering from any form of disabilities and the injustices they have to live with on a daily basis. It also redefined the definition of disabilities for me.

Dawn is an amazing organization that really focus on the equity in every way for the women all over the world. Their mission is inspiring and the awareness they are trying to spread should be taken more accountable by the city. Montreal is one of the city with the less ressources for people with physical disabilities and their psychological ressources or programs are also limited. Action must be taken to benefit the population. I would recommend this event to develop the student sensibility about the matter but I think that the presentation could’ve been better because it was long and at some point repetitive.

Wangari Muta Maatha; The Woman who Planted Trees

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Wangari Muta Maathai"

Wangari Muta Maatha is a woman I have never heard of before in my life but her impact for the Kenyan deforestation issues was so significant that I taught that she should be known more by all of us. She was born April 4th, 1940 in Kenya with a family of 6 children where she happened to be the eldest. In Kenya, the woman are the one suppose to go collect fire wood for their family but Wangari realized growing up how much wood was exploited and that the forests of her country might disappear if no actions were taken. She studied hard and acquired a baccalaureate in 1959. In 1960 she received a scholarship allowing her to pursuit her studies in an american university. In 1964 she became the first woman in West Africa to receive a biology licence at “Mount Saint Scolastica college” in Kansas. In 1971, she acquired her PhD at the Nairobi university where she then started to teach veterinary medicine. Even if she worked in the veterinarian field, she didn’t forgot about the deforestation issues Kenya was

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Wangari Muta Maathai"
Wangari Muta Maathai planting a tree with Barack Obama

facing and she was scared. Driven by her fear, she funded the green belt movement which consist of empowering Kenyan communities (especially their women ) to conserve the environment by planting trees and taking a better care of the soil to prevent deforestation. The organization also tries to fight against big corporation construction or development that might affect the environment and the forests. Deforestation is a direct cause of climate change and its affect not only affect the earth but also the living condition of the citizens affected by those cuts. The movement planted more than 30 millions trees in 16 years. Shes not only a environmentalist but also a member of the “Maendeleo ya wanawake” (The national woman council of kenya ). She also started her career in politic by founding the “Mazingira” ( the green party ) which later became affiliated to he federation of green part of Africa. In 2003 she becomes the deputy minister of the environment and was the first African woman to win the Nobel prize. She also became a member of the Nairobi branch of the Kenya Red Cross society, and became the director in 1973. Me and Wangari Maatha, we may not have explicit resemblances but the simple fact that she is form Africa like me make me so proud even if I am not from Kenya. I really wish that in Algeria ( where I’m from ) , women will one day be recognize a for the impact some of us made on our community. She’s different from me since she is much more older and lived in a very different era than mine, so I would have a lot to learn from her. I chose Wangari because it’s the end of black history month and I didn’t want to have only an influencing woman but more specifically an influencing black woman. I found inspirational that she made the most with the resources she had. She was the definition of a strong independent woman and she really made a difference for the women and the ecosystem of Kenya. For me, the definition of inspirational is someone who motivates me to do better thing or more significant thing of my life to help the world get better.

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Blog 2:The Woman of the House

Yasmine Meddane

A movement can only start if a whole group comes as united to fight the common enemy. To be able to achieve change as big as the feminist movement, the changes must start by the improvement of the woman status in her household. We always hear about “the man in the house” and even if the woman work as much I never hear anyone referring to their mom as “the woman I the house”. Why is that? Why would woman still not be automatically consider as being a source of income and discipline in their family equal to their partner? Households perception of the man and the woman in their family need to change before anything else. 

Women as soon as they are born are told how pretty they are an how they will marry a good man one day. A man that will be able to provide for her. Parents raise their daughters to be, yes, independent but only until they find the good partner for them. Meanwhile, man are raised with “values” emphasizing on their capability to support their future spouse and family. A woman should have dreams but as soon as she turns 30 there is that believe where everyone will tell her to find a good man before its too late because when she will, her life will magically be perfect. I don’t agree with those false expectations and I definitely think that they should evolve. The only way to do that is to raise our kids ( if we do want to have kids ) with equity being a boy or a girl.

Woman shouldn’t be the only one whose place and education should be revisited in an household because there is a lot of pressure placed on men for them to be socially acceptable in the eyes of the opposite sex. Money, ambition, athletic, pragmatic are the characteristic the young boys are taught to adopt so they can be able to find a good wife and girls are sadly perpetuating those stereotype also. We all know many women who would not date  a man without a car and that tells us a lot about our perception of what a man should bring to the table to “impress” us. Those toxics behaviors are creating a never ending circle of dependence and the perpetuation of stereotypes concerning both gender. For the woman place in the household to be change, we must also change our perception of the man of the house. Lets raise and teach our children equity and reflect on what type of household and relationship we wish to create  for some changes to happen.

Blog 1: The Lifelong Fight

Yasmine Meddane

Both Jessica Valenti and Bell Hook tried to showcase the inequality every women faces everyday and the vision of the public ( especially man wise ) toward feminism. Feminism is portrayed as a white, lesbian and angry movement of jealous woman envying what the man have. Both author are trying to redefined feminism, their vision of it and the relevance of this fight. Valenti really emphasize on the fact that the woman status and place can only be changed if she decides herself to change. She also challenge the perception the feminist movement as an individualist. Meanwhile, Hook is really trying to prove to the reader that feminism is an inclusive movement that can only achieve its goal if  women stands as a group to fight for their rights. Both are also saying and emphasizing on the fact that man can also be feminist and that they have to end the stereotype of the angry feminist to really understand the movement. They are also both exposing the discrimination projected on certain individual in the movement and the hypocrisy of its members. 

Feminism is a movement that will only be achieved if the nation comes united as one and put their sexual, racial, and cultural differences aside to finally achieve a goal of equity. Without this effort from any individual, the fight will not which will be engendering discrimination, inequity and racism tension around the world.  The fight Is yet to be over and the authors are well aware of it. Those articles didn’t change my perspective of feminism but only made my conviction about the feminism movement stronger. For me a feminism is defined as a unique individual fighting to the equality of sex in any field where fairness is required.

I want to end this blog by stating something hat Valenti said that really stuck with me. She said : there is no doubt woman made progress but just because we get to vote and have the “right” to work doesn’t mean things are peachy keen”. That paragraph and sentence really made me proud because a lot of women think that there is noting to fight for anymore but she says and we can even see in our daily life  that the problem of sex injustice isn’t solve and that we still have a long way to go for equity.