The motion picture, Working Girl, is a romantic comedy movie produced in 1988. The picture, whose director was the talented Mike Nichols, recounts the stirring account of a stockbroker’s secretary with big dreams and aspirations. The secretary works in the Mergers and Acquisition subdivision in an investment bank. She is called upon to fill the shoes of her immediate boss, who injures her leg during skiing, and begins developing and creating novel business opportunities. The movie was nominated for the role of Best Picture during the 61st session of the Academy Awards that took place in March 29, 1989.
Tess McGill is an astute, formally employed individual having just graduated from university with a Business Degree. From Staten Island, Tess dreams of becoming an executive in a company. However, she finds herself in trouble when she insults her colleague and finds that she is given a different assignment. She thereby becomes the assistant to a different financial executive who is known as Katherine Parker. Coming off as a supportive person, Parker persuades Tess to contribute her ideas actively. However, Katherine Parker fractures her leg while on a skiing trip in Europe and requests Tess to fill in for her while she is recuperating. Later, she accidentally finds out that Katherine plans to steal one of her ideas. Consequently, she finds her boyfriend sleeping with another woman. Afterwards, she decides to organize a conference with another executive, Jack Trainer, whom she unknowingly sleeps with after taking alcohol and valium while suffering a panic attack. To her advantage, Trainer is positive with her idea and helps Tess have a meeting with another executive, Trask. Additionally, she discovers that Trainer was in a relationship with Katherine. A scuffle erupts between Katherine and Tess after arriving on the day of meeting. She lays the blame on Tess, arguing that Tess has stolen her idea. However, Trask confronts Katherine after being convinced by Jack and Tess that it was Tess’ idea. Katherine stumbles and is fired by Trask who offers Tess an executive job in the company.
There are various themes that the movie exalts especially pertaining to issues affecting women. In the past, women never had any right to work; instead, they were discarded as homemakers and mothers without any involvement in financial matters and decision making in the family. Consequently, men were the ones responsible for discriminating women. According to John Stuart Mill, men hindered women from taking part in jobs believing that they were protecting them from hurting themselves. He further asserted that, in real sense, men were afraid of what women could accomplish if allowed to pursue other opportunities (Mill, 54). The discrimination of women further accentuated the rise of women civil rights movement. The movements characterized feminism, which championed the rights of women. Despite the movements taking place in different time eras, they similarly advocated for economic equity, equal political power, sexuality freedoms, reproductive privileges, family issues, equity in educations and employment equality as brought out in the film (Flexner and Fitzpatrick, 201).
The film is an interesting piece to watch especially the calculative and manipulative nature of Katherine Parker and the resilience. However, it should be noted that the movie does not only connect with women’s intricacies in the job sector, but also on upward mobility. This is indicated by the appraisal of Tess McGill’s status from an ordinary secretary to a corporate executive. Furthermore, the movie portrays the competitive nature in companies and businesses in order to move up the social ladder. This is indicated by the manipulation of Tess McGill by her former figurehead, Katherine Parker, by stealing her ideas and causing her failure, which will eventually lead to a disastrous outcome. There have also been instances of sexual connotations, which have mostly ensued between McGill and another figurehead, Jack Trainer that still portrayed the use of manipulative techniques to ensure upward mobility.
Flexner, Eleanor, and Ellen F. Fitzpatrick. Century of Struggle: The Woman’s Rights Movement in the United States. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 2000. Print.
Mill, John S. The Subjection of Women. Lexinton, Kentucky: CreateSpace, 2012. Print.