Bend It Like Beckham Essay

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HST 219
Bend it like Beckham
Term Essay

HST 219
Bend it like Beckham
Essay

What a blonde! Such a paki! What do women know anyway? It’s horrible that even in the twenty first century with human right laws and the idea of a ‘free’ country, there are still people saying these comments. What ever happened to everyone being created equally by God? Although this is a nice dream or thought, in reality this may only be words preached to young children. In the last few decades the world quickly became more multicultural especially in first world countries such as North America and Europe. People from all over the world immigrated to other countries in hopes of a better life for their families. Unfortunately sometimes society has a hard time changing with the times. It takes longer for them to get used to change than desired. For example today gay and lesbian marriages are allowed in society but as you may know some people are having a hard time copping with this significant change and are still against it. Change isn’t easy. As the saying says ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ it’s the same with society. It is very hard to change society if they are already set in their own ways. Each culture has different values and traditions; the one thing in common is that they each believe that theirs is correct. There are differences in values, money, class systems, gender roles etc. This essay will evaluate the portrayal of gender in multicultural Britain in the film ‘Bend it like Beckham’ directed by Gurinder Chadha. In this film Gurinder Chadha acts as the spokesperson for South Asian women living in Britain because she was one growing up there. She lived through what the characters of her movie lived through first hand. That is why it was named “Chadha’s most commercial films to date about a teenage South Asian girl.” “It is no surprise that within the first week of the films release it ranked number one in the box office producing 2 million pounds. (Bagguley and Hussain, 2003)” “Her work reveals the similarities between individuals across cultures and tries to communicate the Englishness of her South Asian characters.” This essay will look at the correlation between the time period and the scenes in the film relating to gender in Britain. This essay will evaluate the complications that the two main characters Jules a white British and Jess a Sikh British come across being female football players in their modern day society.

During the time period of approximately spring 2002 when the film Bend it like Beckham came to the box office two major themes were going on in Britain. The first is that football was extremely popular. The film was such a success because at that time “FIFA World Cup was reaching its climax in 2002” . “Football is like religion in England… I wanted to cash on the hysteria which sweeps both British and Asian fans.” (Chadha quoted in Sehgal, 2003) FIFA is an all male football tournament that runs periodically. Females were not allowed to participate in the tournament. The other theme in Britain at this time was the many new second generation immigrants living in Britain. Second generation meaning, that they had parents who are very traditional and then friends who are modern British. This generation had to find a balance between fitting in with society and their own families. Many times this meant balancing between two different cultures; Indian traditions and the British way of life. You could imagine the dilemma faced by thousands of Asians born in Britain, especially those who were female. In the Indian culture females are to be very respectful and feminine. They were supposed to wear respectful and delicate clothes. They were supposed to be able to cook for their family. And their purpose in life was nothing more than to work hard and get married to another Indian boy. On the other hand the British culture has similar roles for a female but not as intense. Females are also supposed to...
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