Things Change

I watched Raiders Of The Lost Ark yesterday. It’s still a great film if you ignore the glaring inconsistencies and “Indy” problem. I think it’s one of those things you should just enjoy rather than tear it apart. Having said that I have an issue with it, something that had never struck me before but bothers me now.

Indiana Jones is a university lecturer who has young women swooning over him in lectures. This is made clear by the number of women in the lecture theatre when he is lecturing, this is 1936 and women weren’t commonly at university then, and the young lady with “Love You” written on her eyelids.

Later in the movie Indiana travels to Nepal to meet with his ex-girlfriend Marion. After an initial greeting she hits him [wrong thing to do]. This is the exchange just after that:

MARION: You son-of-a-bitch! You know what you did to me, to my life? This is your handiwork.

INDY: I never meant to hurt you.

MARION: I was a child!

INDY: You knew what you were doing.

MARION: I was in love.

INDY: I guess that depends on your definition.

MARION: It was wrong. You knew it.

Quite clearly in this situation we have a college lecturer taking advantage of his position of influence over a younger female student. She has every right to be angry at him. He’s even quite dismissive of her feelings in this situation.

You can see that in the early 1980s when this was released this was an accepted form of abuse. We now recognise the problems with this behaviour and treat it accordingly. Let’s be clear, I am not asking for the film to be withdrawn, I’m not saying you shouldn’t watch it but I am saying that times have changed and we need to understand how society is generally self improving over time [or at least the last seventy years].

Given the way things are going in this country and the USA I am worried that society will regress in acceptance and understanding of moral codes over the next twenty years. I mean I’m optimistic about it, but I do worry.