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"The Bridges of Madison County" A Highest Rated Film

Indeed, her traditional role of housewife on a farm has always had a sense of equality that eludes women in the professions, for women on the farm work alongside the men and have a de facto equality much more powerful and permanent than what their sisters seek in the city. They also face a life of drudgery for the most part, but in this as well they are equal with the men. The postfeminist sheen on the characters in The Bridges of Madison County comes not from the characters themselves but from the way their lives and passions are treated by the author of the book and the makers of the film.

The man in the book is the creation of an author imbued with vague ideas of feminist requirements and postfeminist ideology. The news photographer who has the affair with the farmwife is a man both very masculine and very understanding and nurturing at one and the same time. In the jargon of the time, he has "gotten in touch with his feminine side" and so stands as everything a woman is supposed to want--all man and with the sensibilities of a woman. This element is less important in the film, where the two people involved respond more to real character traits in one another than to the physical or even to a romantic ideal of what a woman or man should be. At the same time, given the two people playing these parts, there is a greater sense of attraction because of physical attractiveness and the power of charisma than in the novel.

Sandra Lipsitz Bem writes about the construction of gender identity and the process of socialization and notes about our social structure,

Because that social structure is everywhere based on a gendered division of labor, this preparation must include the gender-differentiated molding of not only skills but psyches as well; male and female children must be shaped to fit their very different adult roles (Bem 133-1340.

Yet with feminism, many questioned the way society had long imposed that role and educat...

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