A. Glenn: But is it really a wonderful life?

Am I the only one who thought that “It’s a Wonderful Life” was a little bit sexist? I mean in all honesty, I love the movie. I enjoy watching it during the holidays. And when I saw that it was on last night, I couldn’t resist watching it again. But I noticed something new this time that I never saw before, the little dash of sexism at the end of the movie.

We all know the story George Bailey, who is down on his luck and attempts suicide. There is some divine intervention and he is saved. He learns what a miserable place his town would have been without him: his Uncle would have gone crazy, his little brother would have died, a man would have spent 20 years in prison for accidentally poisoning a child, and his wife would never have married.

That’s right, that is the worst fate for his wife, the fact that she never would have married. When I finally noticed that I couldn’t help but think, really? A woman not getting married is on par with all the other terrible things that happened? It’s just as bad as dying, being committed to an asylum, and going to jail for 20 years? And it isn’t like without him she completely failed at life. She had a job and was supporting herself; she wasn’t living on the streets.

It is interesting to take a glimpse into the past and look at movies. They tell you a lot about the culture of the time. Apparently back in 1946 the worst thing that could happen to you (as a woman) is to never get married and have a bunch of babies.

It does make one appreciate the present.


One thought on “A. Glenn: But is it really a wonderful life?

  1. It has always struck me as particularly ridiculously every time I watch it… it just seems to pale in comparison with the rest of the things that change. I can’t believe it didn’t stand out then, even with their sexist views.

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