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Working Girl Pet Peeves March 7, 2007

Posted by rachaelg in betrayal, careerwomen, deception, Female Power, Power, Working Girl.
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1. The response to Mick’s infidelity.  I assumed that when Tess stormed off their relationship was over.  When she sees him again at the party, I applauded her for managing to be so civil, then groaned when they started dancing and it seemed like she was having trouble moving on.  I felt sorry for her.  Then, when he had the nerve to ask her to MARRY HIM after what he did and all she did was say MAYBE?!  I was appalled.  And then his reaction… how did he think he had the right to be so furious?  And HE was the one who walked away.  At least if it had been her, it might have been a symbol of SOME kind of agency, but no, she gets dumped after he cheats on her.  That pissed me off.  Where is the female empowerment?  I wanted Tess to stand up for herself a little more.

Cynthia was the worst, though.  First, she asks Tess to cheer Mick up.  Alright, so it’s her bridal party, but if it were me I would settle for civil instead of shooting for friendly.  And then she berates Tess for ignoring him!  Poor Mick is depressed, so sad.  Well, at least at this point Tess speaks up a bit and reminds Cynthia of what he did and asks her whose side she’s on.  I felt like the whole “Mick cheats” scenario sent a horrible message about infidelity: that it’s minor and forgiveable, maybe even on the verge of acceptable/inevitable male behavior.

 2.  Katherine’s “bony-ass”.  Something about that scene made me uncomfortable.  I had no problem with Tess, the wronged woman, displaying her anger with an insult about the other woman’s appearance, but when Mr. Trask used the phrase it seemed inappropriate and low.  A hit below the belt.  I understand that it was necessary for Trask to be the one to pull Katherine down since he was the only one with the official power to do so, but it seemed wrong to use that insult, probably because he is a male and in such an overt position of authority over her already.  I almost felt bad for Katherine. 

Part of the reason I might have felt bad for her might have something to do with how ambiguous Katherine’s character was for most of the film.  When we meet Katherine, she’s controlling and overly self-assured, but she seems good-intentioned.  She wasn’t likeable, but she wasn’t a BAD person.  Then when she comes back after her accident and explains the message Tess saw, I believed her… was I the only one?  I was like “Oh, sh*t!  What did you do, Tess?!?!”  I think maybe I was disappointed that she actually turned out to be “the bad guy” instead of just an unlikeable, rigid, careerwoman.  Maybe I felt bad for her because I was trying to hang on to what she could have been.  Imagine what the movie would have been like if Tess really had made a mistake and misjudged her boss… what would be the moral of THAT story?

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Comments»

1. robynbahr - March 7, 2007

I didn’t hate Katherine either. I think the movie maligns her because she used “masculine” behavior to get somewhere in the movie. I think we’re supposed to not like her because she’s this upper class patrician and we should identity with poor Cinderella. I, too, felt it was inappropriate and crude for Trask to invoke Katherine’s “bony-ass” and felt even worse for Katherine when, with dignity, she told him she didn’t appreciate such treatment and rudeness to her face. I was like, “Go Katherine!” Meanwhile, Tess (who I have restrained here from calling whorebag) steals her man and her job using HER identity, house, and clothing. And we’re supposed to respect that? No thanks.

2. priyanka2 - March 8, 2007

On normalizing men’s infidelity…i think this happens all the time in movies and sometimes the movie is in fact all about how it’s perfectly natural (and forgivable) for a man to stray. Take “The Last Kiss” and “I Think I Love My Wife” as examples. It’s almost too offensive for me to talk about.

3. teana - March 13, 2007

I also found it interesting that Katherine became the villain. I think that Hollytwood is so accustomed to making the underdog victorious. I think that including the twist about Katherine wanting to tell thatl the business idea was Tess’ is interesting. This bit of information changes the viewer’s perspective of Katherine. At this point it is hard to decide if katherine or Jack s lying. Katherine only becomes the villain when her power is in jeopardy. The two women could have come to some agreement without trying to ruin the other’s career. Not only were they fighting for recognition but they were also competing for a man. This extra “reward” tipped the balance and declared war between Katherine and Tess. Once again, a man is able to destroy a relationship between two women.


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