12 November 2014
Females Can Be Dominant
Amanda Bynes (Viola) and Channing Tatum (Duke) star in She’s the Man, a typical “chick flick” romantic comedy, with Andy Fickman as director. When Amanda Bynes’ brother (Sabastian) decides to ditch school for a couple weeks in London, Viola heads over to his elite boarding school (Illyria), disguises herself as him, makes the varsity soccer team because the other boarding school Viola attends (Cornwall) does not have a female soccer program and will not let the girls tryout for the boys team. Viola then proceeds to fall for one of her soccer teammates, Duke. Little does she realize she's not the only one with romantic troubles, as she, as he, get in the middle of a series of intermingled love affairs. She’s the Man has a troubling message that women are synonymous with the lesser. This is a bad movie because the only way Viola can make a name of herself is when she disguises herself as her brother.
In the opening scenes, Viola is portrayed as an unbeatable soccer player, dribbling past her female opponents and finally scoring against a male goalie. This is important to note because it proves to us that girls can be just as good as or even better than boys at sports, but She’s the Man did not promote that. So instead of praising girls for their skills, Fickman degraded them. For instance, Viola and the rest of the girls’ soccer team disrupted the boys’ soccer practice after Cornwall Prep had canceled the girls team due to not enough players signed up. Viola and others confronted the coach and asked if they could try out for the boys’ soccer team. The coach laughed, then said, “Girls aren’t as fast as boys, or strong, or as athletic; this is not me talking, it is scientifically proven”. The boys’ soccer coach is obviously hinting sexism while stating a false generalization about girls. Oxford Dictionaries defines “Sexism” as, “Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex”. The boys’ soccer coach deflated the girls’ chances of playing over ridiculous stereotypes.
Viola is represented as a tomboy, a female who enjoys male activities. Viola’s mother, hates that she is like that, and wants her to attend a debutante ball. Viola has no interest in the ball and refuses her mother’s offer. Viola’s mother quarrels back, “Sometimes I think you should be your brother”. This again is a stereotype that all females love wearing expressive, elegant dresses and attending fancy dinners with others of the same interest. According to Health Guidance, “Women are supposed to look pretty, and to be looked at”.
Viola catches Sebastian sneaking out of the house with a duffle bag and a guitar. With a puzzling look on her face, Viola asked her brother where he was going. Sebastian responded by telling her that he is not going to their step-father’s house, instead he is going to London to follow his dreams and play in his band. Viola did not have a problem with that, but posed the question, “Do you know the percentage of bands making it the big time”? Sebastian responded with, “Probably the same as female soccer players”. This indicates the stereotype that women are not allowed to play sports, and only men can follow their dreams. This was an interesting scene because it shows that males are the more dominant figures, and they get to follow their aspirations, but females cannot.
Viola notices an opportunity that she cannot pass up, she will disguise herself as Sebastian, attend Illyria Prep, make the male soccer team, and beat Cornwall. According to She’s the Man, this will be an impossible feat. Viola, as Sebastian, makes her way to Illyria and meets her new roommate, Duke. According to Buzz Feed, a LGBT website, “As Sebastian and Duke become closer friends, Sebastian points out that Duke has emotions”. Duke replies, “Shut up” to Sebastian. Duke’s remark establishes another stereotype that only women are allowed to express