Frye’s “Opression”

Frye’s discussion of oppression in the work place if highly relevant to my topic. While women once were prevalent in the film editing field, it is now dominated by men. Why is this? Frye states, “whether in lower, middle or upper-class home or work situations, women’s service work always includes personal service (the work of maids, butlers, cooks, personal secretaries.)”  In the earlier days of film editing, before sound, the field was dominated by women. Editing was seen as a job similar to sewing or being a librarian. When sound was introduced in 1927, more men flocked to the field because sounds was considered as being similar to engineering, and therefore a manly profession. Frye also discusses perceptions of women’s attitudes in the workplace. She says, “anything but the sunniest countenance exposes us to being perceived as mean, bitter, angry or dangerous. This means, at the least, that we may be found “difficult” or unpleasant to work with, which is enough to cost one one’s livelihood.” This is an interesting observation that is highly relevant to the film editing field. Film editors work closely with the director and producers and while men’s attitudes tend to be perceived as conveying power or leadership, women’s attitudes may be interpreted as bitter. There is a stigma in the entire working world that women are “hard to work with” but if a man was acting the same way he would not receive the same label.

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4 Comments

  1. I agree that women are not allowed to act the same as a man especially in the work field. When a man is assertive he is being normal, but when a female acts the same she is being rude and mean. Men are allowed to act and speak a certain way without being held accountable for it which is not the case for a female.

  2. Great connection to your topic! It’s really interesting how women once dominated the film industry until sound came along.

  3. women’s service work always includes personal service — Once a job isn’t perceived as “service,” men take over?

    Disposition is interesting to think about. Can you be “sunny” and “friendly” as a film editor making hard choices? Doesn’t the job itself require a certain “hard ass-ness” — and are women allowed that option?

  4. I like the connection you made, it also makes it more clear that what we used to believe were “women jobs” have shifted. It is crazy how women are judged differently then men are not only in the work place but everywhere.

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