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A Pretty Woman in an Interesting Situation

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A Pretty Woman in an Interesting Situation

The film Pretty Woman opened at number one in theaters in 1990. The movie was the fourth highest grossing film of the year in the United State and third highest-grossing worldwide. The film remained number one at the box office for four non-consecutive weeks and on the top ten for sixteen weeks. The film is about a prostitute that agrees to work for a wealthy businessman for a week. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Some believed it was a modern day Cinderella story that shows how love transcends money while others disagreed that it wasn't a story of love but more of money, power and an obsession with status symbols (Gleiberman, 1990).

The two main characters are a prostitute named Vivian and a corporate raider, Edward that is wealthy businessman who specializes in taking over companies and then selling them piece by piece. Edward has hired Vivian to spend a week with him while accompanying him to business events as well as to perform the expected duties of a prostitute. Throughout the film, both of these characters go through all types of emotions due to their own personal issues as well as their challenging and nontraditional relationship. The two main characters each have a friend, Philip whom is Edward's friend and also business partner and Kit, who is Vivian's roommate and also a prostitute. These two characters play an instrumental role in how the main characters act or better stated react to difference situations in which they are placed. This film has so many social psychological principles exposed that it seems difficult to choose just one. There is a scene that is critical to mention that will explain the social psychological principle of social inequalities, as they relates to gender, status and class, that is prevalent throughout the entire film. In the scene during the Polo Match, Edward was jealous when he saw Vivian in a friendly conversation with a business rival. He told Philip that Vivian was a "hooker" in an attempt to alleviate Philip's fear that Vivian was a spy for a potential business rival. Philip used the information immediately to let her know that is aware of her job and that he would like for her to work for him when Edward is finished with her, as a way of humiliating her and making himself feel superior to her because of his status as well as with his relationship with Edward (Lawton, 1990). This scene is a blatant reminder of social inequality, it shows that are people that will not show all people the same amount of respect because they are not of a certain gender.

The social psychological principle relevant to this important scene in Pretty Woman is gender inequality. Explaining gender, gender inequality from a social aspect is important to provide a clear understanding of how the scene in the movie conforms to this social psychological principle. Ridgeway states, "Gender has many implications for people's lives, but one of the most consequential is that it acts as a basis for inequality between persons (2011)." After much research it seems as though the level of inequality between men and woman has increased and decreased over the years however the hierarchy that men have an advantage over woman has never completed faded or reversed. Studies have been done and still being done and the results have overwhelmingly shown that when it comes to gender men have an advantage over women in many different areas. Gender falls into the category of inequality in that it's based on a person's membership in a specific membership or group. Gender is usually thought of in terms of material resources, power and status (Ridgeway, 2011). In terms of gender inequality there are many different forms, economic



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