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The Established Aspects of Gender Division, Essay Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1894

Essay

Introduction

When womanhood is taken into account, it almost [if not always] considerably refer to femininity, the act of modesty with a disdain condition of alluring attraction because of the natural value that beauty implies on the being of a woman. Respectively, this particular idea about women has been used to define the feminine member of the society especially when it comes to movies and other forms of media presentation that provide such ideas and influences to the human community. The movie Colombiana released in 2011 uses the same theme about womanhood with a particular twist on the real value of such stereotyping approach. Instead of using such a characterization about women as the weakness of the character, it is used as the primary asset used to cover the real being of the individual behind the beauty of a woman.

In the discussion that follows, a distinct identification on how womanhood was represented in the said movie shall be given attention to. Focusing on three particular points: (1) the value of being feminine; (2) the poignant view about one’s history; and (3) the real capacity of women, the discussion shall try to expand on how the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir does support the condition of living that the main character in the movie has been subjected to.

The Assumption of Role and Personal Identity

The movie Colombiana (2011) starts out in a hunting scene where the father of the main character Cataleya, is being chased by armed men because of the information he has. Apparently, the father was able to dig out important information and lead about a drug syndicate and is now ordered to be killed by Don Luis Sandoval. The young girl, not knowing what to do was directed by her father to flee out of the country and live with a relative in Chicago. After receiving such instructions she witnessed how her parents were murdered. Cataleya maneuvers to take herself safely to the US Embassy and was then sent to Chicago to meet with her uncle.

Her uncle, being a criminal and all, had nothing to teach her but the backgrounds and skills of being a criminal. Cataleya accepted the training as if it was the primary key she needed to take revenge. Ever since, she already received several assassin assignments due to the skills she has and the asset of being a woman as her primary bait among her victims. Take note though that not all her victims are men, some are powerful women, who she was able to full about her supposed kind façade.

A criminal with the perfect alibi of being a woman; this was the primary element that kept Cataleya simply hard to identify. With the immense condition of damage she is able to inflict upon her victims, police officers were easily led that their suspect is a man. The belief over a woman not being capable of becoming dangerous and extremely fearsome has not immediately touched the minds o the investigators. Even Cataleya’s signature, the Catleya flower, was considered a mere deception on the part of the criminal as ‘he’ desires to lead the authority of ‘his’ track. Seemingly, setting aside the capacity of women identifies the value of gender stereotyping used in the movie.

Throughout the movie’s plot, Cataleya did not mind being stereotyped as weak or somewhat dependent to men [when actually she was an independent person who is able to live off from the streets and find her way protected within the walls of an untraceable location]. She actually realized that this aspect of being stereotyped was the key reason why she would be able to get to her targets more easily making her tasks easier to complete and faster to accomplish. The main idea of taking revenge against those who have caused the death of her parents was the primary driving element that has brought her into the conclusion that to be able to deliver the death of those who have decided to take the lives of her parents is the primary and only reason why she is still alive.

The traditional treatment of a crime-defined plot of movie has often explored the different capacities of men in committing the most complex patterns of criminal implications as they try to handle the need to manipulate situations to be able to come up with a reflective plan that would bring them to what they want to accomplish. Likely, it could be realized that somehow, it was the same thirst for danger and thrilling encounters that was used to identify the character of Cataleya in the movie Colombiana. Modern movies try to point out the flexibility in women’s characters while utilizing a common idea about women being weak and dainty which makes it harder for them to be identified as fierce individuals who are capable of inflicting pain on others.

The overall concept of the movie specifically identifies the conflicting manner by which men try to decode the situation while not completely accepting the possibilities that their suspect might be a woman. The disdain assumption of a man being the one behind all the killings was based on the skills presented by the killer. It was as if there was no way that a woman criminal would be able to be as precise as the killer was. Patriarchal as the community is, it has been realized through this movie that with men trying to decipher the situation, they refer to the possibility of dealing with a criminal with the same gender simply because they were accustomed to think that only men would be capable of such precise work.

To note the overall presentation of women in the movie based on the lenses used by Simone de Beauvoir presented here are the three aspects of developmental presentations used in the story:

(1) The value of being feminine

As mentioned by de Beauvoir, men has created a distinct separating line between them and the women in the society that they deal with. Basically, they defined women to be the ‘other’; specifically pointing out that they have lesser capacities than men. This has been resounded repetitively as the investigation over the crimes Cataleya committed has been marked to have been completed by men because of their complexity. Because of the weakness assumed to be the primary characteristic of women, the police officers immediately thought that the crafty work was completed by a man.

(2) The poignant view about one’s history

Revenge, being the primary reason behind Cataleya’s training for becoming a well-crafted criminal, has become the basis of the acts that she has committed. In the lenses resented by de Beauvoir, she notes how women are expected to keep revengeful ideas in them and never act in them as they are expected to just let things go because of their inability to actually plot specific plans to respond to the desire of doing anything to instantiate their reason behind the most desired revenge. Again, this is seemingly observed as somewhat a sense of discrimination in relation to the real capacities of women to respond to their emotions acting upon their most distinct desires.

(3) The real capacity of women

In the movie, Cataleya has used all the masking characteristics that the society has imposed among women to her best advantage. De Beauvoir’s presentation on how women could make a difference in relation to how they are noted by the society is then proven through this scope of the movie. The consistency on the use of this particular aspect of the theories of De Beauvoir points out how specifically distinct womanhood could actually defy what the society believes in.

Simone de Beauvoir specifically points this matter out as she considers the fact that women are being set aside for their particular characteristics that involve daintiness and supposed physical weakness. Setting them aside as the second gender in the community is practically an insult. Nevertheless, for the value of the movie itself, such characterization among women has been used effectively by the heroine of the movie as her perfect cover. She had nothing in mind but to accept such stereotype as it serves her and her goal at the best benefits.

Conclusion

Womanhood, while it may often be related to motherhood, being settled and protected by her man, has gradually changed through the years. Women are becoming more capable of protecting themselves, at times even going through the extraordinary and taking into account the responsibilities of men to be their own just so to survive the challenges of life. Although the stereotyping among women still exists as suggested through the writings of Simone de Beauvoir, it could be analyzed that women themselves, in real life, are successfully able to manifest a distinct condition of identifying how modern women are more able to take the challenge of living than to simply sit around waiting for the men to take action.

Although the movie Colombiana uses a woman as its main character, it could be noted how she has been used to define the being of a woman in the eyes of the society. De Beauvoir’s understanding of the matter does coincide with the theme of the movie. Take note that even though Cataleya was evidently independent, she did not have a goal in life that was for her alone, thriving in the desire to take revenge for what has happened to her in the past kept her in prison with her history. While it is not ‘the man’ that is seemingly used as the ‘master’ in accordance with this plot in the story, the factor of history being used as her containing element makes her a slave to ‘something’ making her less of a person and more of a woman who is weak enough to face her own life and make a change on her own path to be able to do something for herself. Also, it is evident how she was trained by a man, taught by a man and later on was presented to the police force by the man that she loved. It was as if she was the only woman against all the men in the story. Notably, such condition of being separated from the other gender points out how De Beauvoir’s idea of women being the ‘supporting role’ in the overall concept of social patriarchy is obviously defined in the plot of the movie.

Women in the 21st century are more than capable of breaking the stereotyped identity that they have been specifically branded with through the years. With the capacity to use their intuition and the concept of valuing their own personal capacities as the basis of their survival, women are now more than ever, empowered to take responsibility over their own course of living. Independent and strong in their own feet, women , like Colombiana, try to fight their weaknesses and the disdain characteristics that the society tries to define them with. Facing up to the challenges of life as people who simply want to survive whatever life wants to offer, women are even much stronger when it comes to identifying their capacity to specifically handle the different pressures that life has to offer.

Works Cited

Sharkey, Betsy (26 August 2011). “Movie review: ‘Colombiana'”. Los Angeles Times.

Louis Menand (September 26, 2005). “Stand By Your Man: The strange liaison of Sartre and Beauvoir (Book review of the republished The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir)”. newyorker.com. http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/09/26/050926crbo_books?currentPage=all. (Retrieved on October 25, 2013).

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