To begin with, it is important to mention that poverty is defined as the state of a person, who lacks a socially acceptable amount of material possessions or money. A close look at the data indicates that the federal government usually considers poverty as the minimal acceptable level of income, which is necessary for families’ and individuals’ basic existence. The data yielded by this study provides convincing evidence that regardless of how poverty is defined or measured families headed by single women, especially those with children, are the poorest of any major demographic group (Goldberg, 1990). It means that families of single mothers and their entirely dependent children are extremely vulnerable educationally, economically, and socially. As a result, they suffer extremely high rates of social poverty (Goldberg, 2009). Furthermore, it is important to highlight that approximately half of the mother-only families is poor according to the official researches of poverty.
The current essay focuses on the analysis of the movie “Erin Brockovich”, where the example of feminization of poverty is shown (Erin Brockovich, 2000). Evidently, the film brings a number of various ethical issues to light through the personal perspective of Erin Brockovich herself. However, the prehistory of her success and wealth is even more significant in the aspect of the current analysis. The director of the film based the plot on a true story, which is the main reason to intrigue the audience. It means that this story describes the real situation in American society, especially the case of the single women. Without any doubts, it is extremely good that Erin achieved success but there are many other women, who have no possibilities to live fully. Therefore, it is essential to understand the reasons of their problems on the example of the film.
A close look at the data illustrates that in the film the main hero is Erin Brockovich, who is an unemployed single mother. She has three children and does not know what to do with her destiny. She tries to change the situation and search for a job but she always does not get it. The situation exacerbates when she get car incident one day. It causes injury of her neck. Her lawsuit against the driver failed and she finds herself in the extremely complicated state. Without any doubts, the female factor is significant in the aspect of her failure.
It is crucial to note that after that tragedy occurred, Erin Brockovich still could not find a job. At that time, she asks her lawyer to give a permanent job as her compensation after the crash accident. Finally, Ed Masry, who is her lawyer, gives her a possibility to work. Needless to say that even though she receives this work, she never gets some experiences to work in law. Thus, the audience watches the situation where a single woman with three children must work in order to survive. Moreover, she has troubles with children. She always entrusts them to her baby sitter during her work. However, one day, a baby sitter escapes from her job. Fortunately, her neighbor George saves the situation and helps her to take care of her children.
The other problem is that her relations with partners in office are not so good. She has no work experience and it causes some misunderstanding in the collective. For example, when she works, the partners feel uncomfortable because she wears sexy clothes. Moreover, she could not speak nicely.
Taking everything into account, it is possible to conclude that the “Erin Brockovich” movie demonstrates the problems of single women in particular and the problems of feminization of poverty in general. The film shows the situation in which women represent an absolute and disproportionate percentage of the nation’s poor. Evidently, this trend is not only a simple consequence of lack of income or problems with education, but also of lack of various opportunities due to the gender biases and firmly fixed gender roles in some societies (Caliendo, 2014). Undoubtedly, gender biases often deprive women of different opportunities to pursue independently careers or education and are usually linked to the expectations that women are personally responsible for childrearing and childbearing. Many factors place women at higher risk of poverty than their male counterparts. Though low income is the primary cause of female poverty, there are many interrelated sources of this problem. Lack of income deprives women of basic needs, such as food and shelter, and limits their opportunities for advancement. Furthermore, women disproportionately earn less money than men do. Thus, they are regularly deprived of basic healthcare and education, which lowers their earning potential. Needless to say that the responsibilities associated with motherhood limits women’s economic attainment. Single mother households or households with single parent are the households with the biggest risk of poverty (Farmbry, 2014). It means that the “Erin Brockovich” case demonstrates that women’s increasing share of poverty is absolutely related to the rising incidence of single mother households. The government needs to change the economic approach in order to improve the situation.
Caliendo, Stephen. (2014).Inequality in America. Westview Press. 288.
Erin Brockovich.Dir. Steven Soderbergh. Perf. Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart, and others. Universal Pictures. 2000. Film.
Farmbry, Kyle. (2014).The War on Poverty: A Retrospective.Lexington Books. 300.
Goldberg, Gertrude. (1990).The Feminization of Poverty: Only in America?.Praeger Pubns. 248.
Goldberg, Gertrude. (2009).Poor Women in Rich Countries: The Feminization of Poverty Over the Life Course. Oxford University Press. 352.