The Different Worlds of Men and Women in The Godfather

Shortly after Michael becomes head of the Corleone family, his father gives him this advice: “Women and children can be careless. Not men.” In the world of the Mafia, Vito tells his son, men and women live in vastly different realms. Men should never discuss “business” with women, and women should never question the judgment of the men. Women can be careless, Vito says, they can make mistakes, because if a woman makes a mistake, “no one dies”. In other words, women can be not only careless but also carefree. They can live a relaxed life that the men, who must constantly watch their backs, cannot. In The Godfather Part III, the barrier between men and women is breached by Connie, who becomes involved in the family business: however, never does any woman achieve status in the family hierarchy equal to that of Vito or Michael, nor does any woman ever have to bear such a tremendous burden of responsibility.

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