Gender exclusion and bias has been in existence in most of recorded history. The role of the woman in this film has been created based on what the dominant character thinks of her. The film North Country is a film created based on a true story of a woman, Josie Aims, a single parent who left an abusive marriage to go back and live with her parents in Minnesota. She arrives home to her parents, Alice, and Hank. Hank thinks that her leaving her marriage was because of her failures as a woman. This is to the shock of Josie, who believed she was right by running away. According to how the father reacted, clearly illustrates that women are the ones always in the wrong at the expense of their submissive nature.
A particular period has distinctive ways at which the gender roles have continuously been experienced. At the inception of the film, a fact is written on the screen” in 1975, the iron mines…. hired their first female miner….” From the word, it only shows where the women in that society belonged at that time. It was a moment of awe for an employer to employ Josie because women had a particular role to play in their homes and not in the workplace. The movie specifically highlights discrimination against women getting employment in the mining industry (Dargis, 2005). Men in this society from the onset of the film are the dominant identity and the women have to remain the minor ones.
The movie depicts Josie getting a job at the mining company, was the first problem, she encountered in her struggle to support her two sons. To her this was a genuine way she could support her young family. On the other hand, Hank with his over thirty years of experience in the mine thought that the job was too technical for her. He believed that some particular jobs are meant for men. In the movie, women are angry about that, but they have limited options to make a change. Josie experiences sexual assault from his ex-boyfriend, she goes to report, but nothing is done. The manager who promised to protect her does nothing about it, but, in turn, offers her a resignation letter. All the men seem to gang up against her in her efforts to get equality and fend for her young family (Boland, 2005, p. 26).
The women, who are considered the weak ones, are given selective jobs. They are given less desirable and low paying jobs giving the men an opportunity to tease them at work. Different juxtapositions of patriarchal activities are evident in the film. Women working in the mine are subjected to juvenile pranks, sex jokes, sexual assaults, and derogatory comments by their male co-workers. Clearly showing that the women have no protection against the men in their workplaces. Josie decides to go against that oppression through a court case. The women in the mine refuse to be part of it due to the fear of rejection and more abuse from their families and friends. Men in that society, always get away with their acts making them superior. In the film, it is evident, that men are the management meaning that they are the only ones who can handle the specific tasks (Korzec, 2007, p. 150).
Gender disparity has been evident in the film. Gender differences are caused by class organizations, societal norms, sexuality among others (Jackson, 2014). In the movie the, specific roles are for particular genders. In the mine, the roles that are specifically meant for men because of their structure. In the film, women have continually been targeted for sexual harassments. Her ex-boyfriend, Bobby Sharp, targets the central character. According to him, Josie is supposed to give in to his demands because that is the custom. The wife to Bobby considered her as a threat and embarrassed her at a hockey tournament warning her to stay away from her husband. From the above, that society has reviewed a single woman, a loos women who can quickly snatch away another’s husband. This is not the case in her story. The woman who is the victim has no say at all. As Josie tried so hard to fight this, she encountered challenges that were beyond her. Her son, Sammy considered her promiscuous because of what Hank had thought about Josie. The change, in that society as she tries to reconstruct the societal beliefs brings about more challenges than the changes. The people she is attempting to fight for are in fear of the oppressors, and that is why in the court battle is Josie against the mining company rather than her and other woman victims against the mining company. Although she gets their support, much later as the case goes on (Hidalgo, 2008).
Advising the EVTAC- the Eveleth Taconite Mining Company, clearly articulated rules that protect either gender should be in place. These laws and policies should in place these mean that, in any case where assaults against women are reported and the perpetrators being their coworkers, duly actions should be taken against them. Important is the need to protect women from tasks that are demeaning to them. The company should focus on giving roles equitably to avoid abuse of office to the women by their men counterparts. Equal working conditions should be maintained. In the film, women have their lunchtime minimize while their male has it as stipulated. This mining company should ensure that they have equal rights and similar working conditions to ensure that they remain productive in their working (Funk, 2007). The management should also ensure that work ethics are maintained. In the film, the administration failed to protect some of its workers. It failed in not being able to protect all its workers by the said laws. The management was also not honest in their doing of things, when Josie reported about the assault they took sides against her. In ethics, management is supposed to remain impartial as they deal with their employees. Therefore, for the conducive business environment, the management must ensure they remain ethical in all they do to allow for equal and efficient productivity (Goldenberg, 2006).
Boland, M. L., 2005. Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. 1 ed. Naperville,Illinois: SphinxLegal.
Dargis, M., 2005. Ney York times. [Online]
Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/21/movies/a-few-women-at-a-mine-striking-a-blow-for-all.html?_r=0
[Accessed 19 2 2016].
Funk, E., 2007. Women’s and Gender Studies Blog. [Online]
Available at: http://feminism-gender.blogspot.co.ke/2007/11/film-review-north-country-elena-funk.html
[Accessed 19 2 2016].
Goldenberg, S., 2006. The guardian. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2006/feb/03/gender.world
[Accessed 19 2 2016].
Hidalgo, D. R., 2008. A Man of Moral Sentiments. [Online]
Available at: http://dennishidalgo.blogspot.co.ke/2008/04/north-country-and-gender-inequalities.html
[Accessed 19 2 2016].
Jackson, R. M., 2014. Newyork Education. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nyu.edu/classes/jackson/causes.of.gender.inequality/
[Accessed 19 2 2016].
Korzec, R., 2007. Viewing North Country: Sexual Harassment Goes. University of Baltimore Law Review, 36(3), p. 150.
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