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Consider the White Woman

Gena Rowlands, portrait for the film, ”A Woman Under the Influence” (Credit Image: © Jt Vintage / Glasshouse via ZUMA Press Wire)

Two years ago I wrote, “What is Wrong With White Women?” This still true:

Women are more ethnomasochist than men. Protesters who complain about “white silence” — the most idiotic slogan at Black Lives Matter protests — are almost always white women. White women — young and old, fair and homely, around the world — especially lack a racial consciousness.

Making their behavior even stranger, the Left doesn’t even reward white women for being renegades. Instead, Leftists constantly complain that they are insufficiently woke, hopelessly white, and draw too much attention from black rappers — all at the expense of black women. Maybe that’s why there is  a mental health crisis among white women — especially young liberal ones.

I grew up in a fairly white and very liberal city before attending an almost all white and very liberal college. The data above do not surprise me. They should be talked about widely and with the same seriousness as porn or opioid addiction. To date, the best examinations of this problem have been in film. These five movies explore female angst, tinged with madness, in very moving ways.

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Generally considered John Cassavetes’ masterpiece, A Woman Under the Influence perfectly captures the frustrations and uncertainties of caring for someone in constant psychological distress.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Fresh out of inpatient treatment for bipolar disorder, Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) falls for the recently widowed Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), who suffers from her own, more vague, mental problems. The movie manages to be fun and funny without trivializing the travails of its characters. The scene in which the two bond over the nightmare of finding effective prescription medicine without serious side effects is hilarious because it’s honest. Mrs. Lawrence’s role in this film her the 2012 Academy Award for Best Actress, and rightly so.

Fourteen (2019)

The best depiction of millennial ennui I’ve ever seen.

Swallow (2020)

Hunter Conrad (Haley Bennett) is young, recently married, and isolated as a homemaker in upstate New York. One day, she develops pica, a disorder the compels people to eat things other than food. The film gets stranger from there. It’s an interesting movie, and has gorgeous cinematography, but cultural conservatives may want to skip it.

Four Good Days (2020)

This movie is tied with Ben is Back (2018) for best film about the opioid crisis. Four Good Days follows a mother’s last attempt to get a daughter clean and sober, and reminds viewers that drug abuse is linked to mental health and family disintegration. It’s a meticulous and brutal drama.

Dishonorable Mentions

There are plenty of duds in this genre. Be sure to avoid these: Sybil (1976); Frances (1982); Girl, Interrupted (1999); The Piano Teacher (2001); Secretary (2002); and Nymphomaniac (2013). However, the short story Secretary is based on is quite good, along with all the others in Mary Gaitskill’s excellent book, Bad Behavior.