Sometimes the occasional rogue woman will try to "live like a man," finding contentment in her career. This week I examine what happens in a pair of films from the 1930s.
- Female (1933) - What a dazzling display of girl power! Alison Drake (Ruth Chatterton) is the CEO of a large company and runs it with finesse and efficiency. She also treats men as they so often treat women. One by one, she invites her male employees home to "talk business." She sets the mood with music and Vodka and has her fun with them. The following morning, she dismisses them at the office. When they become "jealous, moody men," she transfers them out of state. Her career is her life, and she loves it.
Chatterton in Female - LOVE this powerful dress!
- Ann Carver's Profession (1933) - Here is another woman who loves her career. Ann Carver (Fay Wray) is "aching to go to work" instead of hanging around the home all day. Her husband Bill (Gene Raymond) approves until she gets a $5000 bonus for a court win compared to his measly $10 raise. Bill's delicate male ego is further bruised when he gets no love from his workaholic wife while she entertains business associates. (Hmmm....interesting double standard here. If it was he who entertained, would she be allowed a complaint? I think not.) Ann tries to smooth things over with her unhappy hubby. And behold--a pleasant surprise--she actually admits that she would be lying if she said she wanted to give up her career. Poor guy (ha!) feels forced to take a job as a crooner to make more money and give up his architect job in the process. It is her boss's (Claude Gillingwater) turn to dole out the advice, "a man can't stand the burden of obligation. Especially to a wife." (Good golly--really?!)
Join me next week as I continue to explore Career Girls and Marriage during the 1940s.