Modernization and Gender

Modernization and Gender

‘Work Smarter, Earn More’
The Modernization of Dutch Agriculture in Films 1923-1982
Studium Generale Series organized in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

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Modernization and Gender

Short introduction by dr. Margreet van der Burg (WUR)

How got women engaged in agricultural modernization? How were farm women addressed; what image were they supposed to live up to? We can mark a sharp distinction around the 1980s. In the two early movies, The Countryside and Us (1955, 40 min) and What to Wear? (1958, 21 min, colour) the farm woman is urged to proudly keep up with her part in the modernization of farm life as complementary to her husband. In When You Marry a Farmer (1981, 39 min, colour), however, farm women have started to question these expectations. They develop alternative strategies that for instance increase their part in farm decision-making and farm work formerly defined as suitable for farm men only.