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.