Disconnect Of Feminist History With Media

1941 WordsMay 1, 20178 Pages
Disconnect of Feminist History with Media Women are still facing steady discrimination through the film industry. Even as women gain more rights on the political front and through social movements, they are still locked into inferior roles beneath their male counterparts. As time progresses, the independent woman, Anna, in the original text of The English Governess at the Siamese Court is reduced to the role of a romantic partner for King Mongkut by the media of film adaptation. There is a trend in which films increasingly reduce the role and contribution of women from independent to dependent in order to appeal to a male-dominated audience. Anna Leonowens’ memoirs display its narrator as an independent and audacious woman who has…show more content…
King Mongkut may have the authority of the country’s ruler but in Anna’s perspective, he does not intimidate her and she firmly asserts herself as an English woman; Anna knew to state an older age and was quick to establish herself as educated and intelligent. Anna’s bold behavior is in line with the feminist movement of the 1860s. During this time period, women’s-rights advocates, known as the Suffragettes, were making headway in England and expanding women’s rights and equality. Her memoirs reveal her indignation at the the systemized inferiority of Siamese women to men. Upon meeting an old woman in the harem of the Royal Palace, Anna writes, “In the brutal tragedy of [her] experience,—a female slave in the harem of an Asian despot,—the native angel in her had been bruised, mutilated, defaced, deformed, but not quite obliterated” (Leonowens 20). Anna is shocked at the overt inequality of the old Siamese slave who experienced a life of subservience to the King and male officials. Anna’s words are therefore a self-portrayal. She expresses feminist sentiment as she is exposed to the treatment of the Siamese population of women. Anna Leonowens is admirable in her capacity of intellect and boldness as a woman and her memoir sets her apart as a female during the 1860s. From the 1860s to 1950s, there were many changes in the
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