Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Ferris Bueller and the feminine imperative.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out when I was 15, and as such I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been the perfect age for its theatrical release. The film was huge at my school. Everyone saw it and most kids went twice. John Hughes wrote and directed the film, and it came right after his other monumental teenage film of the time, The Breakfast Club.

The two films are mirror images of each other. The Breakfast Club is a film about teenagers having a terrible day and all of the pain and angst that is associated with being a teenager. While Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is about a teenager’s perfect day and how much fun and opportunity there is for teenagers at that age.

The other day I caught a documentary about the inside story of the filming of Ferris Bueller. It is a bit cheesy and is one of those obviously made for television specials that stations throw together on the slimmest of budgets. But hidden away at the 1:09:00 minute mark is a startling observable truth of the feminine imperative in action.

In the documentary they’re talking about testing the film in front of audiences so as to make any final tweaks before the general release. The executive producer and one of Paramount’s vice presidents at the time, (who was a woman), talk about this first test screening. It all went extremely well but there was one negative reaction, and it was a big negative reaction. It concerned the parade scene when Mia Sara is talking to Cameron, Ferris’s best friend. The line she says goes something like this:

It’s so much harder for boys because a girl can always cop out and have a baby and find some guy to support her.

Cameron says that this is depressing. Mia replies,

It is depressing, but it’s an option. You don’t even have an option.

Well, believe it or not, but at that first test screening, girls hated that line. As the VP at Paramount recounts:

The young female scores for the film at that first preview were very low, and we realized right away from the cards and the focus group that it all came down to that one line, and we cut the line.

I think it’s the most dramatic preview change I’ve ever seen by simply cutting one line. We cut that one line and young female scores went up 40 points.

The running time for the film is 103 minutes. That one line can’t have been more than 15 seconds. That’s 15 seconds in a film that plays for an hour and three quarters. And yet it affected the young female score by 40 points. That’s astounding.

But it’s understandable. Because that line is pure truth about female hypergamey which is female poison in a feminized world. That line speaks to the heart of what drives women. Yet it is the opposite of what society tells us. Remember, women are good and pure, and everything they do is “empowering” while men are supposed to be the awful ones who benefit from this mythological entity known as the patriarchy.

The crowning irony of the feminine reality is that men should be accused of patriarchy while enabling the very framework of the feminine imperative. The feminine sexual strategy is victorious because even under the contrived auspices of male oppression, it’s still the female goal-state that is agreed upon as the correct effort. Satisfying the feminine imperative, achieving the ends of the feminine sexual strategy is still the normative condition. Men’s goals are aberrant, women’s are beatific.

That is a quote from Rollo’s brilliant essay on the Feminine Imperative. What John Hughes did in the film with that one line was to blow away the mask of deception that clouds this reality. And young girls positively hated it. From Rollo’s same essay:

Everything a man experiences, every social conditioning he receives from the earliest age, every accepted social norm and every expectation of him to qualify as the definition of a mature adult Man in contemporary society is designed to serve the female imperative …

Our media celebrates it, and brooks no dissent. There is very little dissent, since to peel back the veneer is to be at odds with a reality defined by the female purpose.

Not only does the media brook no dissent, but young teenage girls watching a film with a 15 second throwaway line will absolutely positively brook no dissent. Based on those scores, if the producers had left that line in the film then Ferris Bueller’s Day Off might well have been a flop.

That right there is a startling piece of real life evidence of the laws of the feminine imperative in action. Right from the voting scores of young teenage girls.


Podcast #55 – The anecdote episode.


The Friday links & hawt chick of the week – there’s a storm out there edition.


  1. The carrot and stick method seems to work really well for progressives, referring to the quote from Feminine Imperative.

    That’s why no matter how much you grovel, you can’t get them to stop calling you a racist. The whole point is to drag you in their direction and if they have you crawling on your belly, all the better.

    This is how feminism 100 years ago talked about equality, while now it talks about toxic masculinity, #yesallmen are rapists, and keeping men in cages to be checked out like at a library. (Which video I was unable to find.)

    They’ve gotten a little long on the stick, though, at this point and that’s probably why their control is starting to wobble to where people (men) are beginning to seriously question their position.

  2. The difference between then (1986) and now (2017) is that the Feminine Imperative no longer cares about keeping Hypergamy a secret. The irony is that teenage girls of today would still find the line offensive (even a boycottable offense), only in the same duplicitous breath they will celebrate their sexual strategy openly and laugh while they imply that it’s men’s duty to fulfill it in spite of their knowledge of it.

    Open Hypergamy in this era means women can take offense to a line like this, but also feel comfortable in telling men they’re going to accept the role they want them to play in their strategy and expect them to shoulder the consequences of women’s failed decisions.

    • It’s interesting though that it was a universal reaction from teenage girls. For men who still hold on to the concept of NAWALT I think that it could be rather illustrative.

    • thedeti

      And another difference is that the line might have survived the cutting room floor had Ferris Bueller been released in 2017.

  3. areukittenme

    Soon very few couples will be able to afford the privilege of mum staying home to raise the children. This should please all the young feminists but they will complain about this too.

    • They will complain and demand payment for staying at home and raising the kids.

      • Chris

        If robots and automation really do eliminate 50% of jobs over the next 20 years, as some are predicting, there will be a push in the wealthier countries to introduce a Universal Basic Income (funded by a variety of higher taxes). This would likely include a smaller UBI amount for children, paid to the custodial parent.

      • Chris

        Meanwhile, in Australia, taxpayers subsidize childcare to the tune of $10,000 per working mother, which encourages mothers with young children to take a job that would otherwise be filled by an unemployed person who is getting $15,000 per year in benefits. So the total cost is $25,000 to the taxpayer for each mother encouraged back into the workforce.And no net benefit to society. The funniest thing is the working mother is most likely taking a job from an older unemployed woman with similar skills and qualifications – an older version of herself – since women tend to be concentrated in certain industries.
        Naturally no politician ever talks about how totally illogical this is.

  4. Brandon

    I’ve just had a thought.

    On the power of the feminine imperative: In our last election The Conservative Party’s women Prime Minister looked set for a certain victory. The previous local elections had seen the opposition trounced. We now know of two factors that led to her “landslide” actually resulting in a devastating diminished majority and a hung parliament.

    Theresa May, a married women with no children, issued ill-conceived plans to to make elderly “people” pay more for care in their own home. Those particularly affected by this were mature women who still provide care to parents or partners or expect to be cared for themselves in time. The back lash was so great she had to reverse the policy mid election campaign undermining her strong leader image.

    Secondly, in the last 2 weeks of a long campaign we now know there was a swing against her not from university students (men and women), most of them had already decided to support the opposition which had promised it would pay off their student debts. The swing was amongst their parents. These parents, often Mothers or Step Mothers who did not want to share their (read fathers or the state/male taxes) provisioning indefinitely with their own off spring.

    If one sentence in a film that challenges the feminine imperative of young women can have such an impact, an impact that those affected would no doubt deny or obfuscate; what if every election campaign is really an unconscious or disguised working out of the feminine imperatives drive for ever more provisioning; and this imperative, discussed as fair taxes, gender pay, student debt, access to health care is so completely unrestrained because it is describe as a feminine good not the selfish misandry that it actually is. Its malevolence is invisible because it is the normal.

    Single women liberated from the restriction of tax and a male bread winner merely calculate how they can syphon off provisions from the state (welfare, male tax surpluses or their future children’s liabilities) in their pursuance of a cradle to the grave provisioning.

    What makes a conservative women vote conservative is not “values” it is her calculation as to the best way to secure her provisioning: via the welfare state, via lower taxes or via her husband’s income.

    The female imperative is at work at every moment and in every discussion, conscious and unconscious, it is rapacious and it will inevitably bankrupt the economy in the process.

  5. Marty

    Remind me of an aphorism I read just today on an older Vox blog entry: No amount of pleasure will ever satisfy a man. No amount of comfort will ever satisfy a woman.

  6. Brandon

    From the same blog post this little beauty:

    The weak will always attempt to outlaw the strong.

  7. Patrick Albanese

    I suppose this line must have had a similar impact on the FI, yet it remained in the film.

    Of course that’d never happen today.

  8. Darwinian Arminian

    The sad part is that they probably could have kept that line in with all the ladies hating it and still made bank at the box office. People who analyze moviegoing trends have talked about how the highest-grossing films usually end up being “boy movies,” (e. g. action, sci-fi and superhero flicks) and one of the reasons that they give for this is that when a movie attracts men, they’re more likely to be able to get their wives or girlfriends to go see it with them, resulting in a larger audience with a better representation of both men and women. The same trend fails to work in the opposite direction, meaning that films that are popular primarily with female audiences (like romantic comedies) won’t succeed in getting the men to follow them into the theaters, and thus even the successful “chick flicks” are hits with lower ticket sales. So consider this a shit test was failed by movie execs.

    Interestingly, that wasn’t the only red-pill line to get deleted from Ferris Bueller. The original script apparently also had the title character make this zinger at the expense of the Baby Boomers:

    My uncle went to Canada to protest the war, right? On the Fourth of July he was down with my aunt and he got drunk and told my Dad he felt guilty he didn’t fight in Viet Nam. So I said, “What’s the deal, Uncle Jeff? In wartime you want to be a pacifist and in peacetime you want to be a soldier. It took you twenty years to find out you don’t believe in anything?” [snaps his fingers] Grounded. Just like that. Two weeks. [pause] Be careful when you deal with old hippies. They can be real touchy.

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