Bend It Like Beckham Essay

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This essay is about the 2002 film ‘Bend it Like Beckham.’ The film is about a teenage girl of Indian decent, living in modern-day London. She is passionate about soccer, but her immigrant parents who follow the Sikh religion and culture, ban her from playing it. The major themes that will be discussed in my essay are the issues of gender.

My major theme includes such topics as sexism, sexuality and the expectations put upon a certain gender according to religion or culture. Examples of sexism include when Jules’ mother, Paula, believes that Jules shouldn’t play soccer because she is a girl. Paula believes Jules should be more feminine. Jesminder’s mother thinks that Jess shouldn’t play soccer because according to their religion and culture girls should stay home and worry about marrying an Indian boy. If Jules and Jess were boys, it would be completely acceptable for them to play soccer. An example of a sexuality issue is when Paula thinks that Jules is a lesbian because she plays sport and wears masculine clothes. Paula is homophobic and makes ridiculous comments, like ‘there’s a reason why Sporty Spice is the only one without a fella!’ Jess’ Indian friend, Tony, is a homosexual but can’t tell his family because it’s against their religion and would put shame on his family. It’s upsetting that there is such a problem with sexuality. Because of her gender, Jess is expected to go to university, be able to cook traditional Indian food and marry a nice Indian boy. ‘What family would want a daughter-in-law who can run around kicking a football all day, but can’t make round chapattis?’ her mother asks. Jess is supposed to stay covered up and not ‘running around half naked in front of men.’ However, if Jess was a boy a lot of these pressures and dilemmas wouldn’t exist. Jules’ expectation is to be like all the other girls. We see this when Paula encourages Jules to buy girly bras instead of sports bras and tries to persuade her to be more feminine.

As Jess is a...
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