Feminist propaganda is not just humorless preaching about how work in a law office is so much more fulfilling than raising children. It's also an incessant put-down of the homemaking role and even of traditional customs and morality.
The students and their Wellesley instructors are authentically costumed in the fashions of the 1950s. Nobody wore torn blue jeans, purple hair or the metallic items used in body piercing.
The neatly dressed and bright Wellesley students have more self-confidence and self-esteem than the professor. But the movie caricatures them to look smug and old-fashioned.
The movie ridicules the notions that a wife would delight in displaying her new automatic washing machine and dryer - remember, this was the '50s - or take pride in keeping a kitchen clean. The movie shows a wife who didn't even look oppressed when she was mopping or vacuuming.
Irrelevant advertisements from the '50s for Dutch Cleanser, an ironing board and a girdle are what passes for humor during the dreary two-hour movie.
The audience is supposed to be unsympathetic to the student who had a big traditional wedding and soon discovered her husband was cheating on her. The audience is supposed to think it served her right because she was dumb to choose marriage.
On the other hand, the audience is supposed to sympathize with the lesbian nurse who is fired for giving contraceptives to college students in violation of state law. The audience is expected to empathize with the student who was outrageously promiscuous.
Despite enormous advance TV publicity, the message of "Mona Lisa Smile" isn't selling. When Oprah Winfrey featured the movie cast on her program with a live student audience, the final comment came from a student who rejected her mother's feminist ideas and said she wants to be a wife and mother.
What's out of date today is not the fashions of the '50s, but university-imposed political correctness of the 1990s.
To enjoy the smiles you didn't have while watching "Mona Lisa Smile," I suggest you rent a video of the 1988 movie about another stereotypical feminist professor. The movie is called "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death" and stars Bill Maher in the "politically incorrect" role of his life.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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