Rita and Sue Escaping Constraints of Class and Gender Backgrounds

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According to W.G. Runciman there is a British underclass below the working classes of skilled and unskilled manual workers, a term which 'stands not for a group or category of workers systematically disadvantaged…

Introduction

The film's opening sequence show's Sue's father swaggering from drunkenness on his way home. Meeting Sue just before he approaches the house, he questions the girl as to where she was going and admonishes her not to be out all night. Sue tells him to mind his own business and that she'll be back when she wants. This first instance immediately shows escapist behavior for Sue who disregards male dominance and asserts feminism. "The changing nature of work the introduction of new technologies and the subsequent deskilling of traditional male jobs have undermined traditional working-class masculinities." (Rutherford 1988)

The next scene is Sue and Rita going to Bob's house to baby-sit. Also early in the firm, Sue works for a taxi company where she meets Aslam. Again these depict the feminine response to the changing economic and social circumstances of the period. Instead of females staying at home and males going out to work, Rita and Sue are escaping the traditional gender expectation that they assume domestic roles. In another scene, Sue derides Aslam. She first insinuates that being Pakki or Asian is beneath her class, and then makes up her mind that since Aslam is a man he’d probably be no different from all other men, which passes judgment on the growing emasculation of the males of her time.
The use of profanity throughout the film is another form of escape. Vulgar language is freely used by males and females alike. For the females, use of such language is gender freedom from previous eras when men silence women. The girls’ sauciness is also a form of rebellion against conformity, an underclass characteristic which have tends to prevent its members from rising above their class.
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