if this is feminism, I’m not in

by Andrea Elizabeth

*contains spoilers*

On the plane home last night they played The Intern. I did not purchase the headphones, so I just watched the body language and filled in the gaps with the plot on wikipedia. So they pick the most sympathetic actress to play a successful entrepreneur, a dumpy guy to play her husband who gave up his career to watch the kids, and a cool, prestigious old guy to play her fairy god-father intern. Her whole problem is that she’s got the success, but has lost touch with her family, and her husband had an affair, and so she is unhappy. DeNiro, and conveniently, her husband, convince her to keep control of the company so as to be fulfilled creatively. She decides to forgive her husband and deal with her losses with tai chi.

The worst thing was how everyone’s attention is only on Anne Hathaway. The writer must be a narcissist who thinks everything revolves around her. This is very obvious with the body language, even though Anne is interested in other people. She has to give them permission to have other interests. She is in control that way. This reminds me of the end of Gladiator when Maximus is dying and the queen, who is in love with him, gives him permission to go to his wife. But maybe this is the way of alpha people. They have so much gravity that they do have to give others permission not to be totally sucked into it.

The second is how DeNiro is self-serving in his servileness. He is too focused on her and her problems. She even texts someone early on that he is “too observant”. He systematically removes her defenses and wins her trust to make her a devoted follower converted to tai chi with him as the master. Mutual, platonic narcissism. They both want all the power and I do believe feminists want it to be a partnership whereas men seem more to want to be the only one. Sports couples surprise me where there is a male coach and a female star athlete. There apparently is a component of maleness to want to be the creator of a star woman. Like Phantom of the Opera. Like the doctor in another movie based on a true story of a female sex-addict narcissist over-comer who became her speaking engagement cheerleader. Maybe some dads are also like that.

A more positive review is here, called, “De Niro and Hathaway’s chemistry is a sheer delight, but Nancy Meyers’ distracted screenplay in the second hour undercuts an otherwise genuinely entertaining start”

But what about the feminists’ idea of self-actualization? Is it just my individual goal to be fulfilled as a mother first? Or is it innate? Women do have other potentials, but I think they are best gone after in early adult-hood and then sprinkle one’s life after having children like dessert. When there has to be a decision I have gone for maximalized motherhood, not that I’ve achieved it or been completely faithful to it.

Back to dads, if a daughter is not nurtured early on, or feels a lack of support from her parents, who are the ones to revolve around children, then she will probably look for it from other people later in life. I think she will be disappointed though in some ways forever, and will have to find a positive, healthy way to relax.