Today I watched the film Coco Before Chanel. The film was beautifully shot and had class that is so hard to find in recent television. Having watched too much cheesy Hollywood and corny Asian dramas, I had almost forgotten what a real quality movie was like.
For those that haven't heard of this movie, it surrounds the life of Coco Chanel (Audrey Tautou) before she became the brand - when she was just Gabrielle. The whole movie is very inspiring and moving, but what I found interesting, and will be today's topic of interest, is the matter of sleeping your way to success.
The movie is very straightforward about how Coco sleeps with Balsan in order to provide a living for herself. She dislikes him, but entertains him because of his connections and wealth. It is important to note however, that she never disillusions him as to why they're together; he even calls her his "geisha" at one point.
Then, perchance because of karma, when Coco falls in love with a man named Arthur, he marries another woman because of the connections and wealth the other woman can provide him with. These seem like very antiquated practices (or perhaps just hush hush office happenstances) but are they? Has society changed - become less acceptant of such practices? Are marriages no longer for societal convenience?
No? Well, it's more common than you may think. Take for example Wendi Deng.
She managed to perfect the art of seduction for power. Proof: she is now the chief of strategy for MySpace's China operation, a position for which she left her job as Vice President of News Corporation's Star TV in Hong Kong. Clearly this is a modern woman who is extremely successful by most people's standards. Check out her background:
There's no clear guide on the logistics, but if you play your cards right, it sure is a convenient shortcut to success. But is it right? I suppose it all depends on the woman and what her aspirations are. If her definition of success is found in the home with a loving husband and well-raised children, then she should focus on finding a loyal, dependent, caring man. But, if her idea of success is defined by material wealth, then maybe it is permissible to break some hearts and play the femme fatal. As to whether or not she could do that and retain her personal dignity, that's up to the individual woman. I've been saying this in terms of "she", but this applies to men as well. Don't forget, Arthur also used the bed as a method of rising in the ranks. Then and now, these are only a few of many who are
Sleeping their way up the ladder...
Food for thought:
Do you think this is ethical?
Or does a woman/man just have to do what a woman/man has to do?
If neither party is confused about the nature of their relationship, is it okay for one to take advantage of the other?
Would you begrudge someone who slept their way to success?