When asked to view a movie with colleagues and examine ethical issues, I was thrilled. My book club had read the book, The Help and it was recently turned into a movie. The match was perfect. I asked my team members if they would like to watch it and the rest was history.
There were so many ethical issues to explore in this Civil Rights era film. We discussed the conflict between and amongst classes, racial inequalities and the gender biases in the movie. The main character, Skeeter revealed herself as the moral leader of the movie. She joined forces with two domestics to turn a small Mississippi town on their heads. Through the powerful stories of the domestics, people got to see the other side of the racial divide. They got to read how mistreated the domestics were based solely on the color of their skin. I was appalled that people truly thought that people who were black carried diseases that could be passed along to their children through the use of the same toilet. It further disgusted me that white people could justify their prejudices as ‘helping’ others. When really this same white people were simply putting a mask over their true feelings of being superior. It’s outrageous to me.
What further blows my mind, is how forward people were back then. The pressure that was put on Skeeter to conform and become a small town housewife was tremendous. She was put down for wanting more. Skeeter opened the door for women behind her to be able to pursue a career. Her unapologetic attitude about who she was inspired me. She stood for what she believed in.
The reality of the book is that it takes small groups of people to be courageous and take a stand for what is right. It takes special people to change the attitudes of others. The trickle down effect is that one small ripple of conscience can turn into a tidal wave.
If you have not seen the movie I recommend it. You will find yourself cheering for the underdogs and laughing until you cry over “two slice Hilly” scene. Good versus evil, and this good wins.