Problems that face women presented in the movie:
All these women unknown to them cross paths and their lives interact throughout the movie. The movie is structured such that each of the women has their own stories and problems that are facing them. The movie is based on the problems that the women were facing at the period of the production of the play in 1975. Time has changed but the issues that were facing the women in the 1970s are still relevant in this day and age. This are still the same issues that women are facing in our current millennium. The movie slowly develops and all this women come together to openly share their troubles. The movie mainly revolves around the problems that the cast of nine African-American are facing in their lives. The issues presented in the movie mainly consist of HIV/STDS, rape, abortion, abandonment, infidelity and male cruelty. The paper is going to pick the theme of HIV and STDs, rape and infidelity and male dominance.
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HIV and STDs:
The text has highlighted this as one of the major problem that faces women in the world. Many of them are infected by their unfaithful partner and are oblivious to the fact that they are infected until the symptoms of the infection start to show.
The movie clearly has approached the issue of HIV and STDs in the society. The first character to present this theme is Kelly. Accompanied by her husband she visits a physician who after conducting a few tests tells her that she has an untreated sexually transmitted disease that she has had for a long time. The doctor explains to her n her husband that the untreated sexually transmitted infection has robbed her of her ability to have child bearing ability since her womb has become weakened. Kelly is distraught and run wait leaving her husband at the doctors office. Later that night at their home Kelly confesses to her husband what had really transpired so that she contracted the infection. She explains to him that long before the two were married she was having a sexual relationship with a man who unknown to her was having a sexual relationship with a friend of hers. She traces her infection to this incident in her life which she greatly regrets since it had caused her infertility. Her husband however is supportive and tells him that he loves her despite the incident. He decides to stand by her in her problems.
This theme is also brought out by Jo who we see confronting her husband on his infidelity. Jo has recently discovered that her husband was having sexual relationships with other men. She had discovered this while the two were at an opera and Jo caught her husband exchanging glances with another man. She later had taken a HIV test which turned out to be positive. She discovers that her husband through his relationship had infected her with HIV and she asks him not to be sorry for anything since he knowingly committed the infidelity. She kicks him out of her house and she goes to share her problems with the other women in the movie. Juanita offers Jo comfort and readily offers her advice on how to live positively even with HIV. Juanita is on the forefront and advices women on the use of condoms so as to avoid unnecessary problems from sex.
The text has discussed rape and has shown that in our present time the rate of rape is still high most of the rape cases go unnoticed and many women shy away from reporting such cases due to the stigma and shame that is attached to rape. Mainly in the developing world rape and sexual harassment is still a serious problem that faces women all around the world.
The movie has effectively presented this plight. In the movie we see a number of rapes and sexual belittling of women which is a problem that is still face women in our current times. Yasmine in the movie is having what looks like a good time at a restaurant with a man named Bill at a restaurant. She later lets Bill into her house and he takes advantage of her. He undresses and undresses her. Her forces himself onto her, first he fiercely assaults her before raping her. Yasmine ends up in hospital and even with Kellys husband trying to ask her about the rape she offers no information but rather offers him a poem as her answer. We later learn in the movie that Billy had been stabbed by another woman who he had tried to rape also.
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
The theme is advanced further in the movie in the scene where Alice is furious and bursts into Tangies apartment to confront her about her advising Nyla to go to the abortionists. In the ensuing argument it becomes apparent that Tangie is also a victim of rape. From the argument we learn that Tangies grandfather who was Alices father had raped her. It is also apparent that Tangies grandfather had had his way with Nyla. Alice also reveals that her father had raped her and taken her virginity at an early age. The scene also reveals that Alices father had forced her to have a baby with an old white man when she was just fifteen. The men that they had trusted the most and who were supposed to protect them had been the same people who had hurt them.
Infidelity and male dominance:
The movie also furthers this theme. This is shown first by the incident of Kelly contracting a sexually transmitted disease. She discloses to her husband that her previous lover was having a sexual relationship with her friend. It was this infidelity that had cost her the ability to bear children. Jos husband is always coming home late and when she confronted him at one point he claims that his phone battery had died. Jos husband had also infected her with HIV since he was having extra marital sexual relationships with other men. She confronts him about it and it becomes apparent that he was having unprotected sex with other men and thus had contracted HIV which he had passed on to his wife.
Male dominance is also shown by Jos husband who claims that since Jo earns more than he does and provides for the family he feels that he has been robbed of his masculinity and has to succumb to her control. Crystals husband also exemplifies male dominance and sheer cruelty when he come home to find a man in the drive way. He quickly assumes that the man is his wifes lover and he storms into the house to confront her about it. He shouts and abuses her and eventually takes their children and he drops out of their apartment window. The children die from the fall. Jo then realizes the level of abuse that Crystal has to go through every day. Crystal had to suffer through this due to her husbands machismo that asserts to him that he had dominance over her since she was his wife and she was a woman. Bill also furthers the theme of male dominance since he forces himself on women so is Alices father who raped her and robbed her of her virginity. Male dominance in the movie has been built up on the lines of viewing women as sexual objects
At the end of the movie all the women meet at the top of balcony and they all discuss openly their problems. They stand by each other and offer each other comfort through their struggles. They prove to the audience that women need to stick together and support each other through their problems.