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Spring Symposium on UR and Community Engagement has ended
Tuesday, April 24 • 3:05pm - 3:25pm
“Man, I Feel Like A Woman”: A Feminist Literary Critic Of Mrs. Doubtfire

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It is perhaps surprising that a story about a man who violates court orders, manipulates his family, and perpetuates stereotypical gender roles would ever have been considered fit for the big screen. In our society, however, if we add a ridiculously-costumed comedy actor to an already impressive cast, a film can make over $400 million at the box office, as Mrs. Doubtfire did. Using the lens of feminist literary criticism, I will take a deeper look into this film, which was and is still characterized as a remarkable tale of the lengths that a devoted father will go to be with his children. In this paper, I will argue that Daniel Hillard (played by Robin Williams) perpetuates both male and female gender stereotypes through his mannerisms, speech, and body language. I will also take a deeper look into the specifics of the female body which Hillard chose to inhabit. I write this critical examination of the portrayal of this man as father, “mother,” and husband in an effort to answer the question of why Hillard chose this particular body to accomplish his purposes, and how his perspective changed as he shifted from the father figure to the “mother”. I will also briefly discuss the problematic themes of the book Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine, which was the inspiration for the film. A presentation by Natalie Branson (under the advisement of Dr. Melissa Burchard) in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.


Tuesday April 24, 2018 3:05pm - 3:25pm
236 Zageir Hall

Attendees (3)