Astounding as it may sound, considering how little progress has been made in the intervening years, 1975 was declared International Women's Year. Bernard Pivot, a popular TV show host, invited Françoise Giroud, the French Secretary Of State For Women, on for a seemingly light-hearted and celebratory overview of the state that women could currently find themselves in.
Maso And Miso Go Boating takes that TV show and edits and intercuts in a way that highlights the constant misogyny, the appalling way in which very real problems were dismissed by both men and women, and the way in which everyone could so easily work together in a comfortable environment to create a world in which progress was hindered, because it's more difficult to push yourself beyond your limits when you're being told that it's not necessary, and ultimately just laughable.
Created by a collective of female artists (Delphine Seyrig, Nadja Ringart, and Carole Roussopoulos), this reactionary work of art maintains sharp focus and great wit throughout. Although they create replies to comments from Giroud, the males onscreen, and Simone de Beauvoir, the final statement clarifies their true motivation. They are not targeting one woman, or ANY individual women, but are rather highlighting the fact that women cannot effectively work within, or with, a patriarchal structure designed to really just maintain the status quo.
People read my blog, I guess, for movie reviews. Not necessarily for political statements. I'd also say that nobody comes here to read my views, as a male, on the ongoing issues faced everyday by women. So you're out of luck today. Look, as with all things, the time to stand by and be silently complicit in all of this was never, although we've done it for decades, and the time to highlight every main issue and be an ally is now. It is today, tomorrow, and forever. That applies to all inequality and prejudice that permeates the layers of our society. But for now, and for here, Maso And Miso Go Boating is a stark reminder of how far women still have to go in order to even be taken seriously when discussing subjects such as misogyny, and even abuse.
Don't be the kind of guy who tries desperately to play the White Knight in every interaction. Don't be the kind of guy who responds to any description of the problematic treatment of women with a message of "not all men". Don't jump into conversations that relate experiences you won't have as much insight on. Just keep learning, keep listening, do what you can do be a part of any attempt at a solution. Watch art like this, the searing Born In Flames, and Be Pretty And Shut Up! (and those are just the titles I have enjoyed lately on MUBI) Read more, get better at recognising all of the ways, big and small, that sexism and misogyny are turned into bricks that make the walls that women have to smash through every day.
Even getting to the end of this "review" without rolling your eyes to the back of your head may be a small positive. But definitely check out Maso And Miso Go Boating.
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|Larger than usual, format-wise, because it needs to be.|