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HOFSTRA HUHC 014 - Critique of Margaret Thatcher's government

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○"on the dole" - on welfare, like the rest of Britain○Critiques of England, jingoism, capitalism•Critique of Margaret Thatcher's government○Friend of NasserBrutalizes wife and kids□Drugs in the vhs tapeDeals cokeSaleem□Wishes to return to a Pakistan that no longer existsWorries about son's future and Johnny's future○Omar's father - HusseinSexual self-definition: challenges financial success○Omar□Experienced racismGrew up in suburb of London with parents○Pakistanis (Khareeshi-director/writer of film)•CharactersWomen are most admirable active non-participants in systemChoices: for men - to be victor or victimNasser - "There is no question of race in the new enterprise culture"◊Johnny changes from evictee to evictorParticipants in or victims of system - Men accept these roles□Uses conventional signs of femininity Choices: for women - Khareeshi attacks patriarchal ideals of gender○Gender-power nexus in British society•Role of Women in film○Those who escape with cheap vodka or celebrate with champagne○Success is defined as going from evictee→evictorOmar buys into ideas of success as monetary"Sick of hearing about these in-betweens"◊Chooses to be abused by Saleem and buy into his worldIn-between: Pakistani and British□Gives advice she won't take herself, to Omar:Cherry (Saleem's wife):○Women (bourgeois patriarchal values)•ChoicesSexual references in car wash = innuendo□Aspiring capitalist ◊"Unscrew" job that Johnny does="squeeze"Heterosexual domination=Milking, abusing (violent, negative connotation)□success is cast in sexual termsOnly women choose to get out of these binary systems◊Sexual bullying of British financial success OR sexual submission of Pakistan"Sodomized by religion"□Sexuality associated with impotence and submission of Pakistan"Squeeze the tits of the system"○Romance between Omar and money: financial success•Romance between Omar and his Laundrette•○□Continues to flourish□Based on corrupt English societyCherry is pregnant→indication of future prosperityCherry pretends she's Pakistani but buys into EnglandDaughters massaging Nasser□May be easier for women to opt out because they're already outsiders○Better to "take a powder" than to sell a powderSaleem's wife believes that she can have it all○Lurker•Nasser's wife Bilquis•Rachel - Nasser's mistress who can really have no place in his lifeNasser looking for a male to take over business○Even when she challenges the insider definition of successDegree of discomfort she forces on the weak Omar and audience◊Omar is reduced to a child - by Tania's sexual and also maternal actAudacity that is unavailable to OmarMale as spectator, woman as object–Dar Williams songTanis looks at audience directly - challenges voyeur◊Scopophilia=(in film) sexual pleasure based on looking; voyeurismMocks male society and voyeurismWhen a man is a sex object, woman is set as bearer of the gaze□Omar is both impressed and embarassed by TaniaOmar is unformed and maleable enough to refuse the patriarchy○Flashing Scene•Tania: knows she'll never have the chance to be an insiderProfessor Lorsch: My Beautiful LaundretteWednesday, May 07, 201411:08 PM C+E Humanities Page 1Omar is passive - "marry any day now", while Tania is direct◊When a man is a sex object, woman is set as bearer of the gazeJohnny accepts flowers from TaniaNasser - "marry her already"Tania attempts to escape, but only can with money borrowed from menHas to ask Omar to help her run away□"Who do you live off?" "Everything is waiting for you. The only thing that's waiting for me is your father"To Rachel: "I don't like women who live off men" - "disgusting, parasitical"○Opening of Laundrette□It appears like she killed herself--why?By running awayBoarding a train that supposedly passes everyone by○Tania opts out entirely of patriarchal, competitive world○Asks Johnny to help him get Omar in college, and to go to college alsoHussein is an alcoholic scholar that does nothing□Knowledge without action is nothing"We must all have knowledge if we are to see what has been done, and to whom, in this country"○Understands that Nasser is a crooke•Hussein wants Omar to go to college so that he won't make his fortune as an "underpants cleaner"○Even in modern European male world, female magic potion works○Bilquis intends to return to Pakistan after she hospitalizes Rachel•Bilquis makes a working potion using traditional feminine skillsStrength to remove herself from itOpts out of dependency on Nasser○Admirable woman despite position as Nasser's mistress•RachelOmar's mother "stopped the trains"◊Thatcher's capitalism: aimed to keep the trains running (if on time)Active, action of power (not passive)□To escape, she throws herself under a trainReminds of mother○Train runs past seedy flat with Hussein○Omar's father has no such courage to kill himself•Omar's mother○Rachel - affluent (from Nasser), possibly middle-class○Knows Johnny's mother - lower-class○Women in film are linked•Women in film have much in common:1.One of the skinheads of the film says "everyone has to belong"--does the director mean that?2.Omar washes clothes by hand in the beginning of the film and at the end of the film--Omar and Johnny end up washing clothes by hand in the first of a potential string of high-tech laundrettes--is this progress/success?Questions to think about: C+E Humanities Page

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