Playing Dumb

— subversive privilege

Watched Blue Jasmine for the second time and got a different take.

I was surprised how women are still allowed to play dumb. In the movie, friends gossip about Jasmine saying she must have known her husband was involved in shady dealings. I believed it was possible that she might have known but I was more convinced she was a silly woman who conveniently looked the other way.

Later in the movie, it is revealed that Jasmine is instrumental in swindling clients, like her sister’s husband. She not only knew, she assisted.

Blue Jasmine

As a woman, I bought into her ‘I’m just a silly lady who likes to decorate’. Many of us women like to decorate but at the same time, we’re capable of grand schemes.

If a woman like me took Jasmine to be ‘silly’, I’m sure many others, both men and women, did as well. If women are benefiting by playing dumb, I can see why it’s difficult for us to be taken seriously. We can’t have it both ways, get away with playing dumb while be seen as people capable of responsibility.

No one ever questions if it’s a fair trade. ‘Playing dumb’ is still used today. It’s still effective and there are plenty who value it.

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