Photo courtesy of Mazamaa

Battle of the Sexes: Fighting social norms

A long awaited  film based on the world-renowned female tennis player, Billie Jean King, came out on Sept.  22 named Battle of the Sexes. A documentation of the start of role changes for women at home.

The movie was about the famous Billie Jean King who fought for women’s equality, in society by using her platform of sports popularity to bring awareness. In this movie, feminist and LGBTQ+ awareness is seen throughout.  

The cast for Battle of the Sexes star the Academy award winning actress, Emma Stone as Billie Jean King, and Steve Carell as King’s opponent, Bobby Riggs. These actors  and actresses effortlessly channel their character’s persona throughout the film freely portraying Rigg’s enthusiasm and King’s vigorous determination.

Photo courtesy of Mazamaa

The movie portrays Bobby Riggs as a hustler, setting up tennis matches that he knows he will win, against female players as a way to show masculinity wins no matter what and that ‘tennis is a man’s sport. An obvious example of this is  his match against Martina Navratilova. Riggs challenges King to a match, and King accepts, defending the idea that women deserve respect and equal treatment on and off the court.

The film expresses female equality, and represents the LGBTQ+  community in a way that could not be hidden. Viewers will encounter several controversial and shockingly intimate scenes in the movie between King and Marilyn Barnett, her hairdresser and lover, behind her husband’s back.

Likewise there may be contention among the viewers as to how the characters were portrayed. The movie seemed to shine a light on King, in a way made her look better than she most likely was, compared to how the movie looked down upon Riggs and everything he associated him with.

Though the film has a seemingly one-sided view, overall it had an  inspiring 1960s feel to it while challenging and bringing important issues in today’s society into the light.

Written by Kiyara Long

Kiyara is a Junior at MC, a writer for the MC Sun, and a varsity tennis player.
Her aspirations in life are to eat any and all processed food snacks that come her way and to find a cure for permanent sock tans. She is currently researching majors and colleges, but she's going with the flow at the moment.

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