The Stepford Wives
The late 1950’s and early 1960’s in America saw a shift in the American lifestyle sparked by increased civil rights activism, and following the end of WWII, peacetime put pressure on the social policies. The Women’s Liberation Movement was a key factor in thissuch change. The standard lifestyle of married women in 1950’s America mirrored that of Leave it to Beaver’s June Cleaver. A dutiful wife rooted in the home complete with a routine of chores, cooking, and cleaning. The restrictions with this lifestyle would come to rally women of the nation. Within a short period of time women across America were given more opportunity and freedom in the household and society overall. Rowe vs. Wade was a landmark case in United States history that gave the right to abortion to the mother. Women had claimed right over their own lives and bodies with such court decisions and legislation, a large win compared to the previous decades. However, a growing opposing movement led by religious conservatives and political leaders, called for a return to former repressions, favoring the old lifestyle. The Stepford Wives would be what would bring this conflict to film. The movie was staged in a small suburban town, Stepford, Connecticut with the American-ideal nuclear families with trophy wives, dutiful and homebound, happy to cook, clean, and serve their husbands. However Bryan Forbes’ 1975 is a science-fiction thriller referring to the male paranoia of the time. During the 1960’s women gained the political freedom which they had once believed unattainable. Such a freedom worried men as women’s political awareness and organization deemed a threat to social and political structure. This paranoia of women’s rising political concern is addressed in The Stepford Wives, shown in a scene where the clone wives show a lack of interest in the consciousness-raising group organized by the film’s two protagonists Joanna and Bobbi. The meeting is held to elevate a political...
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