Rock Essay

1728 Words Mar 1st, 2013 7 Pages
Girl Power: Patriarchy in Sheep’s Clothing

Welcome to Harvard Law School Graduation: a pert, slender blonde wearing bright pink lipstick and a mortarboard is giving the graduation address; her classmates leap up to applaud her as the camera focuses on her darkly handsome boyfriend. Beautiful! Fabulous! What, you wonder, is this girl’s story?
Her story lies in the plot of the 2001 movie Legally Blonde, a pink and fluffy spectacular starring Reese Witherspoon. Reese plays Elle Woods, who decides to follow her ex-boyfriend to Harvard Law after their breakup. A fashion design major, Elle hits the books pretty hard to get decent scores on her LSATS, even missing parties – and then hires a professional to film her in a soft-core
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While the producers of this film would have us believe that this movie’s message is that all blondes aren’t dumb (in an attempt to contradict one of Hollywood’s earlier stereotypes), and harp on how wonderful it is that a pretty girl could make it in law school, that’s not what really comes across. Sure, Elle was disappointed when she found out she got an internship on basis of her looks, but shouldn’t there be more then just disappointment? In order to avoid this objectification, perhaps girls shouldn’t send tantalizing, sexual videos to the admissions committee. What Legally Blonde really teaches its viewers is that most smart girls aren’t pretty; smartness is intolerable in a woman unless she is pretty; and that any politically aware or feminist women are radical lesbians on the lower strata of society. These negative images have definitely traveled farther than the silver screen – in a recent New York Times column, for example, Maureen Dowd presented a few interviews with female Harvard students who admitted they kept their college a secret from their male dates. “It’s the kiss of death,” one female student lamented. Apparently, young men are still threatened by women who are smarter than
they are, or who might make more money. No, Legally Blonde is not an isolated cultural blunder, and we can buy into similar…

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