Saturday, November 10, 2007


LaPorche Carlisle
Organizational CommInsights/observations The film “Gattaca” had a great plot with what I thought were hidden meanings. I observed the ideal that the main point of the film was to prove that only the strong survive and that the life expectancy is pre-determined so people who believed in their “destiny” would die off because of their mind frame already believing that they were useless past a certain age. For example the main character Vincent, was not supposed to live past 30, he had a high chance of heart conditions and he was not smart enough to compete with the best of the best in the workforce. His whole life was determined by his genes. His destiny kept being reinforced by his parents because they were so sure that he would become a low man on the societal totem pole. He was what they called a “God Child”, he had all these imperfections that were of no good to his family or his future, according to how they kept reinforcing his fate. Vincent knew better of himself and his ability to succeed regardless of what his genetics read. That example shows how he was not influenced by his genetic reading to just accept his conditions and live with it. He was in that situation for life, but he took measures to accomplish his dreams to fly an air craft. So the ideal that your genetics is the only way you will get to accomplish certain things were non-existent to him but alive in his society. I think that Vincent being born into that situation of “poor genes” gave him will power and strength over everything around him that told him differently. Things in his environment such as the doctors, family, employers, and even his love interest once she found out he was not genetically chosen was what kept giving him foresight to overcome his genetic disabilties.Also another observation, which can be in regards to the topic of one of the four frames in the book of gender difference at work, was that the work scenes were of mostly male workers and a few females. What I furthered recognized was that the only other woman that was in the film besides, his mother and love interest was of more masculine type. She was monitoring the staff as they were working out but she could almost be considered a man because of her demeanor and the way she was dressed, there was no womanly appearance to her. That part in the movie brought to light that maybe the films creators were saying that a supervisory position in which I think she was playing, can only be displayed and taken seriously in the work world of the future, by a stoic looking woman, who in many ways resembles a man. On the topic of gender narratives in popular cultures I could say that in the film it took on a role of men being in roles of power are more legitimate than a woman. For example in some households it is traditional and popular still, in some homes that the man holds the power because he may be the one making the money. The story goes that if he makes all the money then he can most of the time rationalize what can be given to the wife, how much can be spent, and whether he wants to give her money at all. Some working husbands with non-working wives take advantage of their “power” and use their excuse of they are the bread winners as justification for their attitude. Explained in the book the main ideal of gender narratives in popular culture is “the meanings we assign to ourselves, our work, and our organizations are significantly influenced by the texts-films, books, television shows, news reports, magazines, fashions, and even scholarship-we consume in our everyday lives.” That is what the book states but I believe that texts, films, and books are influenced by real life. The topics and concepts writers make in the movies are from real life activities. Where else would films get their ideas from? People think that the way our society is, is a reflection of what we read and see when in actuality it is a reflection of our life trials and tribulations that cause us to sometimes develop certain attitudes and ways of living. In the movie “Gattaca” the lady that was monitoring the staff exercising was probably not a made up look. The writers may have experienced a situation or plenty which let them know that the woman needs to look dominate in a supervisory position.
Gender discrimination is when people accept a person or not based on if they are man or a woman. People have pre-conceived beliefs of what a man can do and what women can do. If it is not usual for a woman to work and a man stay at home a woman who was trying to apply for a job may get judged in regards to that notion. In the film gender discrimination was not so transparent because the character make up was of mostly men. When watching it you would have to have to know something about how the society really is to understand that there were hidden messages of gender discrimination. For example the father overriding the name that the mother was picking for Vincent, he cut in and it was just accepted. That could be saying that women have no say so, because they are supposed to be quiet and submissive.
Before the movie I never really thought of genetic discrimination, now that I have seen “Gattaca” I understand that the definition of genetic discrimination is when you are chosen to succeed based on your genetic make up. If your parents are average working people, you will be average with even more health problems than they will have. In the film Vincent had a brother and his brother was supposed to be smarter and stronger than him because he was not a natural born but all his cells were chosen for him to be a perfect child. Vincent was average, with all sorts of imperfections that were unacceptable for him to succeed in his goals.
These two concepts are similar because they are not broad enough. It is either black or white. If you are naturally born, you will have aspects about yourself that you can not do anything about because you are supposed to be placed where you fit. If you have all your qualities chosen for you than you are a shoe in for a good job and success at whatever you do. Vincent was smart and articulate but no one noticed that, because no one recognized him. They only read his genes. I do not know if gender discrimination is taking place today so much in California, I think that gender discrimination is more so prevalent because people now look at and judge who you are instead of trying to figure your genetic make up.

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