Pillow Talk Maintaining The Traditional Gender Roles

Last weekend I watched the classical and humorous movie Pillow Talk, and that was two hours well spent. The movie was really funny. It was about a love story following a phone line conflict, and it included lots of code switching scenes. I especially enjoyed the code switches used in the movies. The two main characters perfectly performed the frequent change of tones people use in real life.

Though it might not be the main theme and purpose of the movie, I want to explore the reason why more than one part of the movie mentioned pregnancy.

My opinion is that the movie maintains and emphasizes on the traditional roles of women and men, where women are considered weaker and less likely to succeed in careers and enterprises. But of course these are simply my assumptions. And I try to keep neutral when I analyze the scenes.

The first scene about pregnancy was when Jean went to complain that her phone line had always been occupied, and the staff said if she was pregnant, she would be on the top of list. On the one hand, this reflected society’s respect for women, because the company offered privilege for women’s special situations. But when I really think about it, it was actually clarifying women’s role of promoting fertility instead of contributing to social developments, and implying their weakness. In traditional view, men are always considered to be stronger and braver; and as long as a man is intelligent, he is admired and esteemed. Men use their charm to ‘conquer’ women. But women, on the other hand, are supposed to be hot and sexy, and to fall in love so deeply that the question ‘whether he loves me’ becomes her main concern of the day.

This role difference is seen in a lot in movies, including Pillow Talk. For instance, when Brad was calling his valentines, his expression was obviously contempting and frivolous. He didn’t even care for those women. But those women were so obsessed with him and moved by his treacle songs, that they never even thought about the possibility of being nothing but an entertainment for him. That was a typical description of traditional or hackneyed relationship between men and women.

But I also feel a little confused about a scene in Pillow Talk. The doctor, after hearing about the men’s ‘pregnancy’, actually believed in it and became so excited about the coming ‘scientific revolution’. This somehow revealed that people’s thoughts about gender roles were not always stereotype, but were generally changing. Moreover, Brad’s finally falling for one girl also looked like an implicit suggestion to me. So as far as I am concerned, these parts of the movie seemed to suggest the pregnancy of new gender roles, while the main tone was still about the traditional ones.

One thought on “Pillow Talk Maintaining The Traditional Gender Roles

  1. It’s an insightful article regarding the author’s opinion that gender roles in the movie reflects or implies male-oriented and male-dominance society in the 1950s. The author demonstrate her main point by using various “pregnancy”-related scenes. However, the example in the article which considers pregnant woman with priority to get a personal new phone line is sexually bias actually supports the opposite view of the author. It ‘s a development and progress of the human rights of woman in my mind because woman is subjected to this delivery procedure while man are not. Another confusing part of this paragraph is the structure that the author organizes. It starts with the analysis of the first scene, and thus I assume there will be the second, the third. But the six paragraph doesn’t really talk about pregnancy that I expected and seems to be off track. While the last paragraph does get back on track stating the author’s view. I think it would be better and clear if the author put her views well in order. After all, the examples are funny, hilarious.

    Liked by 1 person

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