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Martin Scorsese, an American-Italian filmmaker produced and directed “The Wolf of Wall Street” that was released to the public in 2013. This film tells the story of Jordan Belfort, who was a stockbroker living a luxurious life on Wall Street in the late 90s. Belfort ended up being unemployed due to the crash of all stock markets, but then lands in a company where penny stocks are sold through a small brokerage where Jordan was able to gain 50% commission at the end of each sale. He was able to rapidly convince many clients with his charming ways he learned back at Wall Street. Jordan became so good at his job he immediately formed his own company, Stratton Oakmont where he was able to gain all his wealth. He continued to manipulate the stock market and persuaded many potential investors to purchase his stocks with false information. Although the result of his unethical stock sales were resulting in many people’s loss of investments it was still fully legal, until he lost control and ruined it all. Through Belfort’s riches, he became addicted to the money he was acquiring, along with drugs and alcohol, which led him to start committing federal crimes. Also, throughout the film, many scenes portray and reinforce gender stereotypes along with the human desire for wealth.
For instance, women are constantly being objectified while men hold all the power. In the opening scene, it is obvious that the females in this movie are only being portrayed as objects in and are only seen to exist about men. To emphasize this point, Naomi Lapaglia who is one of the main actors appears to be pleasing Jordan Belfort orally while he drives along in his Lamborghini at the beginning of the film. This shows the audience how the masculinity desire is to have sexual interactions with females along with the power of wealth. It is also important to realize that there are very few dialogues exchanged between both Naomi and Jordan throughout the film. When Naomi becomes Jordan’s fiance she seems to have no life of her own. She is caught mainly talking about maintaining the house and is most definitely portrayed as just a sex object. To demonstrate this point, there are many scenes where she is fully naked and mainly seen to be in only tight short dresses to of course dominate the male gaze. Along, with a very significant scene where Belfort gets punished for having cheated on Naomi. As he is punished she is ultimately holding sex against his will, saying things like “Mommy is just so sick and tired of wearing panties”. This shows the audience how
Moreover, the concept of reinforce gender stereotypes portray through this film are abstracted through all the feminine characters who are all primarily all hookers and strippers, who are naturally ranked by Jordan by status and quality. After Jorand starts becoming more successful we see how money can instantly change people’s point of living drastically. Before Belfort’s riches, the audience can see how much love he had for his fiancee, Terressa and how he always denied any drug of any kind offered to him. However, as his wealth started increasing with his penny stock market business he ultimately continued to sell and manipulate his clients, which landed him in a pile of millions of dollars. Throughout this process, we can see how Belfort becomes unrecognizable and energized by the power of the wealth he has acquired. He starts to abuse his power and starts consuming a large amount of drugs daily as the money piles up and starts hosting huge parties at his house filled with drugs, alcohol, and females. This is where we see how wealth can successfully lead people to lose control and start to embrace the addiction of drugs and alcohol.
Above all of Jordan and his stockbrokers show no sign of guilt for selling their consumers’ awful stocks in which they can potentially lose everything. All they seek to value is their hunger for wealth and prove throughout the film that they will do anything just to overcome their fortunes. He lets his hunger and drive for money get in the way of his morals and even lies to legal authorities who are investigating Jordan for his illegal transactions in the stock market. Above all, I can relate many aspects of this film to today’s world and how in society there are expectations on how males are supposed to act. In a way where males are constantly being driven by masculinity and how they always have to be stronger than the other male. This is why this film is a perfect example of how gender portrayals depict a patriarchal society since females in the movie are associated with femininity. Even though Jordan’s company, the audience can see that the ratio of male employees is significantly way higher than the ratio of females that are employed at Stratton Oakmont. This is because society puts a stigma on women because they are seen as weak and are treated as less than male. It is seen that men hold all the power in our society and is why Naomi can live such a luxurious lifestyle throughout the film. If it weren’t for Jordan’s financial earnings Naomi would have been seen differently and is why she is dependent on Jordan. These gender stereotypes of masculinity and femininity have become naturalized to society.
Nevertheless, many scenes portray and reinforce gender stereotypes along with the human desire for wealth and it is clear how money can influence a person into direct evil. The audience has seen the result of Jordan’s hunger to obtain wealth and how it directs him into the addiction of drugs and alcohol. This is the case in many incidents, but traditionally seen in men since they have a lot more opportunities available rather than women. However, Jordan’s success allows him to give into pleasurable activities like blowing all his money on drugs and alcohol. This film succeeds in portraying Jordan’s masculinity impulses as still feels the need to search for sexual interactions from other women even though he is happily married with a family of his own. Also as stated, Naomi is treated as an object throughout the whole film and is why she had denied Jordan to sexual activities to represent how females are presented as nothing more than sexual objects in today’s society. However, she does succeed to break away from these stereotypes and decides to divorce Jordan and take full custody of their child. Additionally, he is sentenced thirty-six months in security prison, due to his illegal frauding resulting in the downfall of Jordan Belfort’s life. In conclusion, Jordan Belfort demonstrates what a life with money and power can lead to if you let yourself be driven by it. The Wolf of Wall Street shows how history continues to repeat itself and shows how gender stereotypes are reinforced through our society.
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