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Another discussion of "The Breakfast Club," at the NewYorker Movie Facebook Club (my post)

There is a school of psychoanalytic therapy (the Masterson Approach) where if you want someone to move away from their false selves into becoming their true selves, so long as they're not narcissistic -- who'll run away if you try this with them -- but rather borderlines, you confront them. In Molly Ringwald's essay on John Hughes she summarizes John Bender as a sexual harrasser -- that he is only someone interested in hurting her character Claire. My experience of this film is that without Bender, none of them would have emerged out roles that give them esteem from their peers and from their elders but which may not reflect their own interests and desires; none of them would have emerged out of being "brainwashed" and see what else out there might actually suit them. 
Ringwald sees the finish where she ends up with Bender as further evidence of the invisibility of sexual harassment in the film: you weren't harassed, but probably had a crush on your ostensible "victimizer" the whole time. It didn't feel this way to me -- that is, an abnegation of her and her pain -- but rather more like a decision on her part to try dating someone who didn't let her get away with things that ultimately wouldn't be of help to her; with someone she was coming to see as helpful and heroic, rather than the person she had learned to superimpose on him, regardless of who he actually was, to "fit" her own regressed self-image needs: the loser who doesn't count at all. 
What do you think?
NEWYORKER.COM
Revisiting the movies of my youth in the age of #MeToo.
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Further: Bender may be Hughes's mouth-piece, and we may understand him as such, but he's also working class (we remember -- and certainly credited -- his being of the background where a father would burn his son with a cigar), while Claire is upper-middle / lower-upper. In today's culture, Bender's class is discounted, all its pains, and Claire's is annoited, and the fiction isn't only that she would fall in love with him but that she would have any contact with people like him at all. This mixing no longer happens, not even for a brief time in, say, highschool. 

Is this Molly Ringwald' essay, the vocal enthusiasm for it, ALSO a counter to the growing momentum behind Bernie Sanderism and Hillbilly Elegyism and Roseanne Barrism, that is lending support to a group of people -- the white working class -- we'd grown comfortable making use of as our own poison/sh*t containers, forcing us to realize that we were determined to undermine them because it made our own promotion feel more entitled, less guilty? 

Does it help us escape the fact that the path we took, and the one we're making for our children, is a betrayal of the John Hughes' theme of fidelity to the person -- that we're going through life now so that your social background basically will dictate who your friends are and whom you'll end up being -- what schools you'll go to; what kind of career-paths you'll take, and what exact nature of husbands/wives -- and we can't own up to this because it would be too destabilizing?

Is this an essay for status-quo reassurance purposes, masquerading as progressive reveal? Is this "progressivism," almost more Catholic counter-attack?
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Aman Ganpatsingh Interesting. I wonder if this can be applied to pretty in pink as well, but with a reverse of the genders (ringwald is working class and spader/McCarthy upper-class, if I remember correctly).
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston Certainly the concept of how much the youth are at risk of losing as people more and more split off into firmly isolated status groups, is there. Both lower and upper class are portrayed as having, both, their duds and their absolute triumphs. In that film, the only parent of any worth we see, is actually working class, of which there are effectively two.... leverage to the working class a bit. 

In Pretty in Pink, Spader was spurned by Ringwald. There is no sense of this in regards to Bender vis-a-vis Claire, though... something Ringwald argues was no doubt the case.
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Samantha Marie Daniels It’s interesting because prior to reading this article, I didn’t think too much about it, either (the last time I saw this movie was also my freshman year of high school, so it’s been awhile and the film isn’t exactly readily in my mind). I’m inclined to say that just because that wasn’t the take-away when we first watched it doesn’t mean it’s not there. I do see your point about the working class/upper class division, and it sounds plausible, but I don’t think that negates the sexual harassment issue Ringwald’s article talks about.
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Samantha Marie Daniels I will say, though, that it seems your analysis focuses on Bender’s character more than his action, whereas Ringwald’s article focuses on the action and how it does make sexual harassment invisible in the film because it happens and is never mentioned again. Bender’s character is the catalyst for the rest of the film because he’s the one that sets everything in motion. So again I think you’re right as far as his character being crucial for the film, but at the same time, again, i believe it does not mean the “invisible sexual harassment” issue is not there

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