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Feminism - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date The Film Precious: Race, Gender and Class The main character and a teenager, Clarisse Precious Jones, is an untidy, semi illiterate, poor, obese, and a pregnant girl. She is made pregnant twice by her HIV positive father due to her carelessness…
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The Film Precious: Race, Gender and The main character and a teenager, Clarisse Precious Jones, is an untidy, semi illiterate, poor, obese, and a pregnant girl. She is made pregnant twice by her HIV positive father due to her carelessness. Precious mother, however, gets bitter for Precious’s careless actions and decides to physically abuse her. She even wishes that Precious was not her daughter and that she should have aborted her. Despite, the abuses, the mother still has hope that Precious can still make it in life (“Precious”). At school the principle invites Precious to her office because she had a message to pass to her. The principle tells Precious that she will search for an alternative school for her because she is pregnant for the second time. She informed her that the school is called “Each One, Teach One”. The principle also visits Precious’ home to inform her mother that Precious had to move to another school. Precious mother is very unhappy that a white woman came to her house. Precious mother words are, “… the dumb bitch.” This demonstrates that the society where Precious lives is a racist society. They hate each other because of skin color and forget that they are helpful to their children. In another aspect, by the fact that Precious mother does not like to talk to a teacher who teaches her daughter, demonstrates that there is no cooperation between the teachers and parents and, therefore, the poor performance by Precious (Shaw 8) The letter to join “Each One, Teach One” school by Precious is not good news to Precious mother because it implied they would not receive the welfare support they have been receiving. This demonstrates that Precious family is poor and this the reason why Precious attended her classes in a school supported by donations from well-wishers. The schools do not give quality education to pupils because Precious cannot read and write at the age of sixteen. The school also discriminates against pupils who are pregnant. The school rules requires that pregnant pupils to leave the school and search for alternative school (Lee 20). In the film, it can be deduced that the female sex is assigned the role of raising and seeing that children attend their classes. It is Precious mother and the female principle that are mentioned to be concerned with Precious education. Despite the fact that precious has a father; he is not concerned with Precious welfare. Precious is made pregnant two times by her father which is a sign that this society abuses and rapes women without any legal action being taken on the violators. For example, it is expected that Precious father should have been charged for rape because Precious is under the age of 18. The scholar Felice says, “Women continue to face discrimination and harassment in the workplace, domestic violence, rape and abuse, inequalities in education, poverty and racism” (16). Black women in the play are brought out as illiterate. At 16 years Precious cannot read and write with ease. The illiteracy is partly contributed by the fact that Precious parents are poor. Precious mother spends most of her time watching TV in the house since she is jobless. The black skinned are also brought out as irresponsible because the character that made Precious pregnant is black and he does not provide for the kid. Shaw says “… such ideas encourage blaming the poor for their poverty rather than understanding the wider societal forces that shape people’s existence and maintain classism.” (67) Throughout a considerable part of the film, Precious attends her classes in the school where Mrs. Lichtenstein is the principle. This school is attended by pupils who pay their school fees through the money they receive from welfare department and other well-wishers. At the alternative school, the pupils pay their own school fees. Therefore, the society where Precious lives is divided into two classes. The first class consists of rich people who are able to take their children to good schools and pay their school fees. The second class consists of poor people who take their children to schools run by donations from well-wishers. The schools do not accommodate students with special needs because they lack enough financial resources. For example, although, teachers noticed that Precious had issues with her family that negatively affects her academic performance, the teachers did not take any action to improve her performance (Susan 15). In conclusion, the film is a representation of the real world society. It reveals that regardless of diverse society, its people must be naturally divided into classes of either those who are poor or those who are rich. In the same world, society is also composed of two races, the black and the white. The play teaches us that we should appreciate our diversity in skin color instead of being racists as Shaw notes “we’ve got to live in the real world. If we don’t like the world we’re living in, change it. And if we can’t change it, we change ourselves. We can do something.” Works Cited Felice, Yeskel. “Opening Pandora’s Box: Adding Classism to the Agenda.” Diversity factor 15.1 (2007): 11. Print. Precious. Dir. Lee Daniels. Lionsgate, 2008. Film. Shaw, Susan M, and Janet Lee. Women's Voices, Feminist Visions: Classic and Contemporary Readings. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2009. Print. Read More
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