Made in Dagenman is a movie based on the lives of women working for Ford Company during the sixties. Women were barley beginning to stand up for what they believed in. In the movie, Rita O’Grady, the main character strongly believed she was being treated unfairly. She saw that men were treated better, so why weren’t women, instead, they were facing sexual discrimination and unequal pay for their work?
Rita always spoke her mind, especially when she believed that she was being treated unfairly, in doing so, she convinced women to stand up for their rights and join her in her strike against Ford Company. She was very tired of just being listened to but not heard. After many ongoing complaints, Rita decided to take matters into her own hand. Although it was difficult at first to convince the other women to be on her side, but the woman didn’t want to lose their job, eventually, it all clicked and they understood that Ford was mistreating them.
Women should not have to deal with injustice, even in the work field, “We’re on the lowest rate of the entire bleeding factory despite the fact we got considerable skill.” Rita knows that they are basically being ripped off, only because the company says so. Braking down all aspects of being seen as lower is the hard truth, but we all have to face it, especially because it is an ongoing issue, “and there’s only one possible reason for that. It’s cause we’re women. And in the workplace, women get paid less than men, no matter what skill they got!” The women were hesitant at first, but understood what the real problem was, all their effort was worthless because they were seen and treated as a joke. This is why the women decided to stand up to the company and demand what they deserved.
The women were not just fighting for equal pay, they were also fighting for equal treatment. the strike was to demand respect and equality, in the company, as well as with society and in their household. Lisa Hopkins is character who seemed to understand where Rita was coming from, during her conversation with Rita, she confessed about her husband, “I’m Lisa Burnett, I’m 31 years old and I have a first class honors degree from one of the finest universities in the world, and my husband treats me like I’m a fool.” Even with a very prestige education, women do not seem to be as smart as men, men are considered the smartest individuals of mankind. No matter what, women would never be able to climb higher in the social status ladder because men have made it pretty clear that women do not belong there.
In the movie, management for the Ford Company emphasized that the women were being ridiculous and that there was nothing to be changed. Similar to the present time, many companies tend to ignore the social issue and to just hope it would all be forgotten. It is easier if they ignore the situation and deny the wrong doings. Unless of course the issue becomes out of hand, and the company is being exposed, that is when companies try to fix the given situation. When Rita said, “equal pay or nothing,” she was serious but not many people took her serious. She was not scared of losing money, especially since that money meant nothing compared to what she believed in.