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The Consequences of Feminism1906

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  • 3.4
Easily among the most famous of the early female filmmakers, Alice Guy (later Alice Guy-Blaché) would not be the person you would generally expect to make the gender-bending CONSEQUENCES OF FEMINISM. It features an unusual take on feminism, to be certain. For? Against? Somewhere in-between? In any event, it serves as an ideal situation for the comedic possibilities of role-reversal even if the reversals are particularly absurd.

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1 member likes this review

This short film offers an honest critique of patriarchy and the prevailing social order of the time, which, similar to the ideology espoused by the Cult of True Womanhood, insisted that women's roles revolve around domesticity, child-rearing, or the home. In Alice's world, however, gender roles are reversed and women are free to roam wherever they wish -- without their male counterparts or children clinging closely to their knees. Alice envisions a world where men are relegated to child-rearing or taking care of the home while women spend time outdoors - at their leisure - or in "rooms of their own." She makes a powerful statement toward the end of her film when the men of the town take a stand against women's increasing independence and desperately seek to stomp down or put an end to their progressive efforts to liberate themselves from the prevailing social order. Women are quickly punished for their independent behavior and men are free to run the country again. The consequences of being feminists in 1906, then, was quite dangerous if it meant abuse by men or outright marginalization and exclusion. The short felt very much like a stage play. The cinematography was well done. Also, it was empowering imagining a woman writer-director behind the camera in 1906. Well done.

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top reviewer

Member Reviews (11)

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top reviewer

This short film offers an honest critique of patriarchy and the prevailing social order of the time, which, similar to the ideology espoused by the Cult of True Womanhood, insisted that women's roles revolve around domesticity, child-rearing, or the home. In Alice's world, however, gender roles are reversed and women are free to roam wherever they wish -- without their male counterparts or children clinging closely to their knees. Alice envisions a world where men are relegated to child-rearing or taking care of the home while women spend time outdoors - at their leisure - or in "rooms of their own." She makes a powerful statement toward the end of her film when the men of the town take a stand against women's increasing independence and desperately seek to stomp down or put an end to their progressive efforts to liberate themselves from the prevailing social order. Women are quickly punished for their independent behavior and men are free to run the country again. The consequences of being feminists in 1906, then, was quite dangerous if it meant abuse by men or outright marginalization and exclusion. The short felt very much like a stage play. The cinematography was well done. Also, it was empowering imagining a woman writer-director behind the camera in 1906. Well done.

1 member likes this review
C6eae3b6e9c7e8730d7c144bb1cfc60e?default=https%3a%2f%2fd3uc4wuqnt61m1.cloudfront.net%2fassets%2favatars%2ffemale%2favatar f 0031
top reviewer

One of the more interesting and funny Alice Guy shorts. Yes, role-reversal has her been taken to an extreme here -- however at least in 2012 California much of the sbsurd gender-bending role reversal in this film is ordinary reality: heterosexual men ironing, walking with their children, caring for their babies,using male facial cleansers and moisturizers and worrying about their looks. The once-ridiculous is the new normal. Woder what the next 100 years will bring -- equal pay for women for equivalent work?

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top reviewer

For anyone one who doesn’t know, there is actually a fairly large sub-genre in film, photos, and essays from this time trying to deal with the evils of the equality of women, and warning of the havoc that will fall on society if we dare give women the right to vote. I love this genre of propaganda, and this may be one of the best examples I have ever found! It has everything; women smoking, drinking and neglecting their children, men becoming limp wristed panty waists, who get beat by their women. Luckily for us all the men set everything right in the end! The Pub for man, the Kitchen for woman! What would ever happen if women got the right to vote!?!

Wow talk about gender bending!!!

extraordinary and bizzare....very capivating

Oh dear, watch out for those women who get men into the bedroom and -gasp- try to remove their clothes! Amusing and quaint now, I'm sure that some folks really thought this would be the reality if women were allowed to "get out of hand."

I didn't know they thought of feminism in 1906, but their version seemed to just mean that men became effeminate.

A wonderful portrayal of reverse roles.

This 1906 short by Alice Guy is basically gender switching of the then, current society. Men taking the women's roles and acting effeminately and the women taking the male roles and acting fairly butch. There is no cross-dressing, but this is an hilarious take on life in the early 20th century.

Is this propaganda in itself, or was she satirizing the sub-genre of propaganda that "myshkin" refers to in their review below? I would have guessed she was making fun of the paranoia around feminism by reversing negative stereotypes, but I am not familiar with her or other films of its kind from that era. Whatever the case, great stuff!

I'll give it 4 stars for being very ahead of it's time. Would have loved to see crowd reactions to this one 100+ years ago