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>Don't you think its a little problematic that a film which is so utopian
>about tolerance (the son is perfect because he is so accepting of all
>difference) makes it points by 1) creating homosocial links at the expense of
>the woman in the pub and 2) by its misogynist and racist treatment of the "mail
>order" bride??
 
I don't think it was a misogynist or racist treatment - her character
was not sympathetic but that says nothing about Filipinas in general.
You have to have some "bad" characters - unless you're producing Barney ;)
 
>The transsexual wins the approval of the men in the pub by cutting down the
>woman truck driver (who is something of a local celeb; there was a Tv
 
Yes, but the woman was mean and belligerant beforehand. I also had the
impression that she was one of the big kids in the bar, and that by
standing up to her Bernadette earned the respect of the others. I don't
think it had anything to do with her sex (other than the specificity of\
Bernadette's retort).
 
BTW, a TS butch dyke friend of mine *immediately* read the "woman truck
driver" as a bull dyke. . .it's not specified in the movie, though.
If people are holding up the woman in the bar scene as an example
of misogyny towards straight women, it may not be as solid an example
as previously thought. . .
 
>documentary about her) the assumption here being that as long as you
>can be mean to her we don't mind that you're queer.  The homosocial links
>between men against women are used to overcome homophobia and panic.
 
I think it was "as you as you stand up to the playground bully, we don't
mind that you're queer." Bernadette's retort was pretty funny. It stopped
the other woman dead in her tracks. Male or female, anyone who acts like
that woman did deserves such a stunning verbal reply.
 
>The episode with the Asian woman, which frees
>Bill Hunter's character to join them also seems really repellant to me.
 
Which one in particular. . .the way she acts when met? While eating? Her
dance in the bar? Her farewell?
 
I agree that it could have been written around, but I don't see her
role as particularly threatening.
 
>Why do we need this?  To prove that while some may be able to perform gender
 
"Peform gender?" I'm confused by your wording, and I'm not sure which
characters you refer to as trapped - Bob or his wife?
 
>others are simply trapped?  What's the deal with the ping pong balls?
 
Probably the same deal with the spring-loaded phallus worn by Kinesias
in a production of *Lysistrata* I saw some time ago. Each time he went
forward to his wife Myhrine *sproing!* he was pushed away. Low Comedy.
Highly amusing.
 
>Not sure what to make of the scene with the Aboriginals... seesm more in
>line with the utopian promise, or at least recognizes that there are different
>kinds of outsiders who might be able to find some way to connect, but
>in context of scene with Asian woman, I'm uncertain how to read it.
 
Maybe it means that we can find things in common - but that sometimes we
can't understand other people.
 
I will admit that at first I thought Bob was a bad guy for keeping her
locked up like that - I still don't agree with what he did, but I suppose
he didn't want her teasing all his mates and possibly sleeping with them,
especially if she was still looking for passage to Sydney. YMMV.
 
 
 
J Roberson