Deconstructing the chick flick

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, students gathered at the Student Center to watch the film Legally Blonde as part of the three-part film series called “Deconstructing the Chick Flick.”

The event was hosted by The F-Word Brantford – an organization that was launched last year on campus and designed to educate students on gender theories as well as eliminate the stigma associated with the word “feminism.”

Tarah Brookfield, an assistant professor in Contemporary Studies, and Rebecca Godderis, an assistant professor in Contemporary Studies and Health Studies, were two of the event’s organizers. Both Brookfield and Godderis were very pleased with the turnout, especially considering that March is a busy time of year for many students.

“Clearly there is a lot of interest in talking about gender issues,” says Godderis. “This is a time at which you’re introduced to a lot of ideas and there is a lot of struggle around that and you need space to work through it because it is not always clear what position you want to take on these things. There is a whole bunch of different ways that you can take up feminism.

“I think that it’s important that students have the space beyond the classroom to sort of work with those ideas and figure out if they even want to adopt these ideas of feminism,” she continues, “and if so, what does it look like in my life? Versus what a professor might present to me what it looks like in class, or what film presents.”

“We could have chosen any film [but] we thought for people who aren’t as comfortable with feminism yet, this would be an easy entry,” says Brookfield.

It was a good choice; the film not only sparked the interest of female students around campus, but there were also two men in attendance.

“It’s not a terrible movie… I really enjoyed the discussion afterwards,” says Eric Freman, one of the two male students in attendance. “I wasn’t at all uncomfortable. I don’t think that people should feel uncomfortable; it’s your choice and no one is judging you. This is university after all.”

Students can look forward to another two movies over the next two weeks. On March 15, there will be a screening of Pretty Woman, and on March 22, the 1999 Hilary Swank gender-bender, Boys Don’t Cry.

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