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EST. May 2000 (AD)

 
 

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Leaving the House: The Jane Smith Story

An original film brought to you by The Domestication Network: Television to Scare Ambitious Women into Spinsterhood

By Meredith Litt

In perhaps its most chilling production yet, The Domestication Network has unveiled a

controversial new film starring Virginia McMaiden as the ambitious Jane Smith.

Jane Smith is a 30-year-old woman still living under her parents' roof. Because they have provided for her since infancy, she has not left the house since graduating from high school, reassured by her parents that there is nothing of value beyond their white picket fence. However, after spending an evening at home with her high school friends (who are all college alumnae), she decides that she wants to step outside the confines of her childhood home and experience adulthood.

What follows is a terrifying portrait of the risk a woman takes when she attempts to assert her independence. As Jane's hand reaches for the brass doorknob, we feel her sense of terror as the wind, the demonic respiration of the "outside" world, pushes the hair from her face. Within minutes, she is exposed to pathogens, carcinogens, evil men (one whom she marries that very night on a whim, and another who stalks her), and identity thieves lurking in the background every time she enters a store to purchase business attire.

These threats are only the prologue to a week-long story that includes an amoral stalker, an identity thief obsessed with her perfect body, a mugging, a virulent case of strep throat from a germ-ridden doorknob, negative self-esteem, pubic lice from a public toilet seat, and a husband whose abuse is so relentless that I found myself holding my breath until the film's shocking ending, during which Jane meets with policy makers to eradicate the entire women's lib movement and offers a compelling, heart-wrenching speech about how freedom has destroyed her life. When she finally returns to her parents' house in the last scene, a voice-over reassures us that Jane Smith went on to spend the rest of her life crocheting and making quilts for the rest of her life. The viewing audience breathes a collective sigh of relief at the good news after being taken for a 90-minute roller coaster ride.

Before viewing this film, I never realized just how inherently perilous it is for women to venture outside the domestic realm. Thank God for these riveting films on Domestication, which are played in rapid enough succession to keep a woman glued to her couch for entire weekends. We, as women, owe our lives and sense of safety to this network for protecting us from the countless predators in this cruel, vicious world. Kudos to a medium brave enough to explore the dastardly consequences of female independence and suffrage. Kudos to a medium strong enough to compel women everywhere to shun financial independence in favor of one more affirming story from a network acclaimed by some of today's most backward-thinking talk show hosts.

Next time any of you women viewers think of trying to get a job or college degree, watch Leaving the House, only on Domestication. If you are smart, you'll think again.

© 2005 Meredith Litt

OTHER HW ARTICLES BY MEREDITH LITT

I Finally Said "No"

Narcissa: Letters to the Editor


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Meredith Litt recently graduated from Quinnipiac University with a bachelor's degree in English and sociology minor. She works in retail management and freelances as a writer.