Battle of the Sexes

Expect a flurry of report backs on outings en femme! That is right we are footloose and child free. Our girls have gone on a holiday with their grandparents and we are on our own, providing me with plenty of time to be me. Cue a fun filled weekend, here is what happened.

After dropping the girls off at their grandparents on Friday we were a little too tired to do anything. Saturday was spent doing some chores and seeing a Priscilla’s Services client in the early afternoon. Whilst that was happening I had a lovely long bubble bath and started to get ready for a night out. We had decided to go and see a movie. I had looked and saw that ‘Young Marx’ was showing. It looked very interesting and we decided that we would see that.

As we were doing a movie, I decided to go with something a little more casual than a dress. I played around with the idea of a skirt. but finally opted for a pair of white jeggings and a sleeveless, frilly, black top, with high heeled sandals. As always, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few thousand words compressed into just a few megabytes.

We had a salad for dinner and arrived at the cinema just on time to get tickets ahead of the 7-30 start time. Oops! I discovered I had misread the website. Young Marx was showing in mid-January. Why they had decided to advertise it in December I cannot say. Anyway, we quickly decided on a backup plan and bought tickets for ‘Battle of the Sexes’ instead.

The only problem was that we were now very early for the movie. What is a girl to do? Well in the words falsely attributed to Marie Antoinette, ‘let them eat cake!’ We happily went up to the Mugg and Bean coffee shop. I had a cappuccino and a divine lemon meringue. My spouse’s lemonade was good, but she could not eat the peppermint crisp cake. It was just not very good. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

On that slightly appropriate note, we went back down to the cinema to see the movie. Battle of the Sexes is a movie about the 1973 exhibition tennis match between the legendary and amazing Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. The match (spoiler alert, well not really, this is a matter of historical record) was won by Billie Jean King and at least in part contributed to changing attitudes regarding sexism in sport and paved the way towards women achieving pay equality in tennis. Whilst parity at all grand slams was only achieved in 2007, when Wimbledon finally bridged the gap, it is worth noting that the US Open offered men and women athletes the same prize money in 1973, the same year as the match.

I was impressed with the movie. Even though the story is relatively well known, the director managed to create suspense and drama throughout. I was also very impressed with the makeup artists who made Emma Stone playing Billie Jean King and Steve Carrel playing Booby Riggs look very much like their real-life characters. No mean feat when you are dealing with well-known, much photographed, people. I was also very impressed with the attention to detail. As far as I could tell, all the props, from the clothes and cars to the hairstyles and hotel furnishings were all ‘period appropriate’. I was particularly impressed to see that the radio studio equipment used in one scene was all suitably antiquated.

The values, attitudes and behaviours were also mostly ‘period appropriate’. It was quite shocking to be so clearly reminded of just how sexist society was a mere 44 years ago. Seeing ‘men only’ clubs and men openly sporting their sexism and bigotry was a good reminder of just how far our society has progressed in a relatively short period. The movie did touch on Billie Jean King’s sexuality, but it does gloss over LGBT issues. I think the director wanted to focus on the battle against sexism rather than her sexuality and the discrimination she (later) faced as a result of her sexuality. Perhaps there is scope for a sequel here?

All round it was a very good movie and one that I would be happy to recommend. You do not have to be a tennis fan to enjoy the movie as tennis is simply the backdrop to larger societal issues.

After the movie we returned home without incident. A thoroughly fun night out!

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