Mama Mia

Curious about the lack of older female characters in fiction and literature or indeed in the culture at all. Where are they? Even when they exist, they may not be so flattering. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice features Elizabeth’s mom as being over the top, desperate to get her daughters married into a good situation. Yet who can blame her? Because the alternative for being a poor spinster in England at that time was dismal at best. She has 5 daughters and no sons who will take care of an unmarried sister. The young women have only their looks and charm and intelligence to help, no fortune.

In fairy tales the mother is just part of the parentage or worse, such as Disney’s version of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. There are older women in the Greek tales and plays: Penelope has alot of action and story given to her in the Odyssey, which is quite beautiful to consider how a wife copes when her husband goes off to war for 15 years or so. When is enough enough?

We saw some really good movies come out of the 1960s and the 1970s that featured real women’s stories, not just “who will I marry” or such. Hollywood has had some good gems despite all the bad examples. Norma Rae┬áis about a woman who helps unionize millworkers and has to cope with raising her children on her own.


Movies with Women

Here is a start on my list of movies with women that I find to actually hold my interest as a good story to be told. Is it just me or has the past 2 years been quite sparse in terms of finding women in movies? They just aren’t there.

The Queen
Boys on the Side
Polish Wedding
Where the Heart Is
The Sheltering Sky
The Stepford Wives
An Angel at My Table
Once Around
The Good Mother
Steel Magnolias
Away from Her
Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont
My Life Without Me
Lady Jane
The Importance of Being Earnest
My First Mister
The Piano
Gone With the Wind
Imitation of Life (yes this has some racist elements, but it is really a movie about women)