“It was in the 1970s that feminist psychology emerged as a vital force in the discipline and the psychology of women became recognized as an “official” subfield” (Landrine and Russo, 2009).
However, there was an event that preceded a mentioned one and that made a ground for the psycologinal development of feministic consciousness. This event is described in the film by Katja von Garnier Iron Jawed Angels. It has not only a historical meaning, but a psychological as well, as it shows the development of women’s feministic psychology.
Iron Jawed Angels is a film about the feministic movement which took place in the 1910th. It is about political activities of two great activists Alice Paul and Lucy Burns. These two women mane a great contribution to the American feminist movement that was aiming at establishing women’s right to vote.
Their actions resulted in adding a passage concerning women rights in the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is a story of the drama of the suffrage movement. The story depicts women from different social statuses and backgrounds who joined to have an equal status with men and changed the flow of the history without even having right to vote.
That period of a history of the USA is characterized by the patriarchal society and women were no more but mothers and home workers. It may seem that a film author makes an allegory about youth, especially, when Alice Paul says, “We don’t make the laws, but we have to obey them — like children.”
But the author did not want to make a parallel between women and youth right. What he was intended to do is to make a connection between psychological development of women who were discriminated. This movement prepared a ground for the second-way feminism that:
“forced many women to choose between their racial and gendered identities, created the idea that the world would change if women were elected to public office because they were more peaceful and nurturing, and ignored the fact that some women had benefited from slavery, colonialism, had waged wars, and were not necessarily or naturally oriented toward change that would support women from all class, ethnic, racial locations, and sexual orientations.” (Biklena, Marshallb and Pollardca 2008).
Thus, the psychology of a woman, Alice Paul for example, is shown in its development. At some extend, at the beginning of a film, her psychological state can be compared with the state of a child who rises against the injustice. During the film, she becomes stronger and her first subconscious intention to feel herself free transforming into conscious intention to free all women and defend their social rights.
According to the book by Barbara R. Bjorklund, Helen L. Bee, different factors as “gender, culture, ethnicity, race and socioeconomic background influence on the adult development” (2008). We can assume that a socioeconomic background of Alice played the leading role in the psychological development and establishing of feministic consciousness.
Thus, the film is a story of a first feministic movement in America that describes real historical events and figures. The psychological line of the film shows a development of the feministic consciousness on its early stages. One of the main characters of the film Alice evolved from a young women with subconscious desire to become free to a grown up individual who fought for the rights of her gender.
Biklena, S., Marshallb, C. and Pollard, D. (2008). Experiencing second-wave feminism in the USA. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. 29, (4).
Bjorklund, B.R. and Bee, H.L. (2008). The Journey of Adulthood (6th edition). New Jersey,Pearson Prentice Hall Publishers
Landrine, H., Russo, N. F. (2009) Handbook of Diversity in Feminist Psychology. New York, Springer Publishing Company.