Molly Ringwald Revisits The Movies Of Her Youth In The Age Of The #MeToo Movement

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Kayla Timmerman, Staff Writer

Molly Ringwald has acted in many movies, her most popular being from the 1980’s, including Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, and arguably her most popular one, The Breakfast Club. Ringwald starred in these movies when she was merely in her teenage years. Now, being 50 years old, going back and watching these movies from over 30 years ago, she has realized how much has changed.

Ringwald writes how when filming The Breakfast Club, her character Claire is sexually harassed by another character named Bender. At the time, she didn’t question it very much. She looked at the scenes and the script as it was normal. For the time period that she was in, it was normal. Ringwald says in her article from The New Yorker, “Back then, I was only vaguely aware of how inappropriate much of [director John Hughes’] writing was, given my limited experience and what was considered normal at the time. I was well into my thirties before I stopped considering verbally abusive men more interesting than the nice ones.” Ringwald is more aware now, comparing how the world used to be to how it is now, she can see how much it really changed. With more people opening their eyes, she can see what’s clearly wrong with scenes like these, scenes with what many thought was acceptable because it was just “how it is.”

Now, about 30 years after the film was released, Ringwald discusses how she has watched the movie with her daughter who was ten at the time. She explains that watching this movie again got her thinking about what films portrayed back in the day, and about what’s happening now with the #MeToo movement. She says, “If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes.” Basically, if women are treated poorly in films, those actions will be mirrored in society. Movies like The Breakfast Club show signs of this and when people watch the film, those actions are reflected and repeated. Which is something we can’t let continue to happen. With the #MeToo movement, more and more people are opening up about what has happened to them and aren’t letting the actions of female subjugation just be brushed over and ignored.

Looking back on the films from Ringwald’s teen years, her eyes have been opened to how much has changed, and how people now are beginning to stand up more and more for what they believe is right and wrong. The #MeToo movement is a perfect example of this. Female subjugation won’t be looked over and disregarded anymore.