Another feminist propaganda movie hit the theaters during the Christmas season, proving again that the feminists are an unhappy bunch whose lifestyle leads to loneliness.
The heroine of "Mona Lisa Smile," Katherine Watson, played by Julia Roberts, ends up single and jobless on a slow boat to Europe after tossing aside the latest of her faithless lovers.
At least her fate wasn't as grim as that of other macho-feminist movie heroines who mouthed the irrelevant silliness that women need to be liberated to make their own choices free from male domination. Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in "Thelma and Louise" demonstrated their liberation by driving their automobile off a cliff to their death; Virginia Woolf, played by Nicole Kidman in "The Hours," walked into a lake to drown herself; and Demi Moore, playing the lead in "G.I. Jane," had herself beaten to a bloody pulp to prove that she could take it like any Navy SEAL.
Proclaimed by CBS-TV as "the best picture of the year by far," "Mona Lisa Smile" is a sanctimonious feminist homily preaching salvation through modern art and making one's own career choices just so long as career does not mean marriage and motherhood. But the sermon boomeranged on reality, and the movie proves again that those who follow that commandment travel a dead-end road.
Watson's erudition didn't extend to an ability to evaluate human nature. She was totally snowed by a dishonest fellow professor even though she knew he had the reputation of sleeping with his students.
A preachy professor of art history, Watson came from the University of California-Berkeley to Wellesley College in 1953, before it was attended by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., determined to change student attitudes, expectations and career plans. She wanted them to work toward a J.D. rather than an MRS.
Her strategy was to immerse them in Picasso rather than Michelangelo. She tried to replace their respect for artistic standards with a search for meaning in meaningless scribbles on a canvas.
Watson pressured her star student Joan to apply to law school and she was accepted at Yale Law School. When she tells Watson in emphatic terms that she is rejecting this honor and choosing instead to become a wife and mother, the audience is supposed to think Joan is a fool.
Clearly, that's what Watson thought. The movie probably was designed to show that feminism is progressive and modern, and that courageous female professors of a generation ago challenged traditional orthodoxy and opened up new pathways for young women.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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