01 October 2008

No Bra Girls?

Last night I finished watching the Bra Boys DVD I got from Netflix. It's not the usual surf porn since it has an actual plot, focusing on the Bra Boys surf club from the hardscrabble Sydney neighborhood of Maroubra, in particular on the lives of the Abberton brothers. The "club" is a tight connection of disadvantaged boys, some grown into men, who with limited success avoid falling into crime and drugs by surfing.

I hadn't watched for very long when I was struck by the absence of girls and women. As an engineer, I'm used to being one of a few or even the only woman in a room, but this was notable. The surf footage was only of guys (not surprising in itself), and long shots of the club members posed at the beach showed a sea of only male faces. Other than "Ma," the elderly matriarch whose home was the de facto club house, plus a brief scene with a couple of grommet mothers and two girls playing pattycake, there were no females in the film. (I'm not counting the few seconds of a stripper and the faceless girl in the car during the shooting.) Can the Bra Boys' lives really be so male-centered, so focused on the brotherhood? Are there no gidgets in Maroubra who also want to surf the break in their backyard? Or is this just filmmaker bias?

Coming on the heels of making hotel reservations for our trip next month and finding Ms. unavailable as a title choice, I am wondering if I'll find Australia a more chauvinistic place than the US. And curious about what that would translate to on the water.

Cyclops... Koby Abberton is crazy to surf this wave.

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