Stupid Girls

Friday, May 14, 2010

MOVIE: "Boys on the Side"

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This film is a good friend of mine. I'd watch it, or listen to the sound track, to keep working toward my escape from abusive relatives as I fixed up an old RV to drive 2,300 miles to try to start my life over.

Twenty years later, I have no close friends or family here, but I'm so proud of myself for taking the risk and, for the most part, I am satisfied with what I've managed to accomplish now that I'm free from all that.

This film would probably have been stronger if it had been written by a woman, but I do recall being amazed, at the time, that it was written by a man. I would never have thought some of the nuances of women's friendships, sexuality and even a cameo by the Indigo Girls would have been included by someone not female.

"Chick" is an epithet, just like racist epithets. Nobody would ever use such terminology to describe "Malcom X" or "El Norte" as films.

This film is as strong as "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" or "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." Just because it is woman centered is no reason to diminish or dismiss it with epithets, simply because it doesn't center around men. Boys on the side seems to be a threatening concept to the status quo.

To reduce this, or any, woman centered art to a silly epithet like "chick" is insulting.

And, to whomever said the plot is predictable? When this film came out, there were scant realistic depictions of women's collective living, of a Lesbian bar, of mulit-cultural community and of surviving with AIDS. It was, in its way, a revolutionary film.

All you cynical, snide peticritics who think you're so superior to this film? What have YOU ever contributed to the arts that helped a terrorized and victimized woman travel twenty-three hundred miles to take her life back?

That's what I thought.