09 November 2012

Friday is the (Inspirational) Movie Night: Dirty Dancing (1987)

Yes, you are allowed to be surprised. Dirty Dancing (1987, Emile Ardolino) might seem to be the close-to-last movie when it comes to empowerment if you haven't really stopped to think about it. Yes, it is about the very sexist dancing industry that teaches you how to bend your wrists in a feminine way. And, yes, it is the all over good-girl-falling-for-the-bad-guy story. Sort of.

But then again, it is a story of a young woman breaking away from the taught perfection of being the ideal daughter and decides to grow up. By doing things. By daring. By challenging her parents and other authority figures. By dancing. By learning to live with her body. By having sex with a man she wants to and doing it on her own terms. That is a whole lot of things.

Also, there are subplots of class conflicts, on the importance of intergenerational communication, on the importance of the access to safe and legal abortion, on how complex (and counterproductive) is to - contrary to what Baby does - to try to use sex and virginities as means to maintain somebody's attention/affection...

+ The soundtrack is really cute. Go, download it from the internets!

And if it's not enough for you, read a whole essay on the topic by Melissa McEwan in the Guardian: Dirty Dancing, Feminist Masterpiece.

Now, think again while we dance away.


No comments: