Now that the kid is visiting her grandparents in New Orleans, mr. delagar and I suddenly have time to watch movies again -- now and then, between the exhausting press of prepping for summer session classes and studying for his comps and French competency exams and me writing Book IV, I mean.
But last night we watched a movie: North Country, which had Sissy Spacek in it, though you barely noticed that, also the woman from Fargo, ditto. Lots more could have been done with both of these fine actors, for my money, but never mind.
The movie did a deal more to raise mr. delagar's consciousness that it did mine. Nothing in it was new to me -- having been raised a woman in the lower American middle class how I was.
As the movie is opening, he's sitting watching it with me. "What's this about?" he demands, grumpily.
"Oh, shut up," I said.
"Why would any woman want to be a miner?" he demands.
I shot him a deeply annoyed look. Like, are you fucking well kidding me? "Mostly," I said, "because she's blown through her trust fund."
After a moment, he laughed. "I'll never understand you poor people," he admitted. "Why can't she just go to law school?"
But as the movie rolled on, and the main character begins to get slammed by not only the men in the mine, but by her own family, his outrage developed. "Excuse me?" he erupted at one point. "What the fuck is this?"
"I put up with that every day of my life," I told him. "That's what junior high was like for me."
He gave me a look. "And no one stopped it? The teachers did nothing?"
"Oh, right. On planet Oz the teachers stopped it. I shouldn't have had tits if I didn't want boys grabbing them in the hallway, should I? I shouldn't have been a girl if I didn't want guys asking me how my cunt smelled."
The only part of North Country which does not ring true for me is the bit where her family and friends finally stand up for her. I know we need that at the end of the movie, and yay hurray I'm glad it's there. And I know the women at the mine did win their lawsuit. I have my doubt that the men at the mine rallied around them, or that their families stood up for them. My family never did. In my experience, your family never will. It's a rare thing when your friends will either.
I'll tell you what the worst part of watching North Country was: realizing I have an eight year old daughter, and knowing that the world has not changed.
1 hour ago