In my own life I had this conversation with another lesbian in a time where being married would have required slipping old documents into the hands officials. She was cis so she did not have that flexibility. Anyway, in lesbian relationships of only a few years back, before marriage equality, the accounting and keeping track was inversely proportional to the legal rights under marriage.
In case you did not see the original film, Lena works in Harold’s firm and he is paid 7–1/2 times what she is, yet they are dividing everything 50/50. In the next scene Lena’s mother, Jing-Jing played by France Nuyen, says to Lens, “All around I can see the signs. This is a house about to break into pieces.” It is one of the most moving scenes in the film, maybe because it spoke to me so loudly.
Lena wants tenderness and respect. Of the three daughters in the film who are in marriages--June is not in a relationship as far as we see — each of the daughters ends up better off. I “envy” Rose the most. Ted is so cool and because he is steady, the marriage survives the “rocks.” An-Mei reminds Rose, what every woman of transition must never forget, “You must know your own worth,” for An-Mei’s mother had been kicked out of the family for disgracing them, even though it was not that mother’s fault. Sound familiar, transitioners?
All the daughters blossom. I have watched this film at least 20 times, cover to cover, and read the book twice, but for me this is one of the best chick-flicks out there. Everyone one of those mothers was mine. Everyone of those daughters me. Powerful stories