Feminism In Thelma And Louise

Topics: Gender, Feminism, Gender role Pages: 6 (1499 words) Published: April 14, 2017


During the 1990s, feminism was beginning to flourish, mainly becoming depicted through music and film. Film was an especially influential way to challenge the status quo and the societal stereotypes played upon women. It was significant that film brought to life feminist values because it held such strong influence during the feminist movement from the ‘90s up until present-day. One film in specific that integrates the theory of feminism in a very influential way was Thelma and Louise (1991), a film revolving around liberated women who snap free from societal stereotypes. While criticizing the patriarchy and gender issues, Thelma and Louise was able to stir up controversy as the film was able to make an impact on American society and establish...

Focusing on the two female characters of Thelma and Louise, the film was able to successfully challenge gender roles. Thelma and Louise were outlaws, with a rugged textured look; a look that was able to reject the idea that a woman must be wholly feminine in order to be female. Throughout a plethora of Hollywood blockbusters and television shows during the time, many of the leading feminine roles revolved around sexually submissive women with a skinny, preppy look to them; essentially forming the stereotype that female women must look this way in order to be deemed feminine or a female. Thelma and Louise completely rejects this stereotype though and was able to do so in a tasteful way. Thelma and Louise were able to radiate sexuality without being submissive, a rather taboo subject nature that remains taboo present-day. “This was revolutionary - because women weren't reacting to a storyline in which they played girlfriends or mothers or wives, they were violently moving the storyline along themselves” (Reilly). They weren’t portraying the typical submissive housewives or companions, but rather they played female characters that dominated the storyline, and did so in a liberating way. It was important that such a popular film was able to challenge an idea...

Most criticisms stemmed from the idea that Thelma and Louise was a film that was meant to bash men and depicts the women as being ‘too free’. The real reason this criticism had arisen though was more so because many could not handle the idea of women breaking free from society’s norms and standards; they viewed this rebellion as a threat to society rather than a helping factor. In an article titled “How Thelma and Louise Captured a Moment in the History of American Feminism” by Olivia Waxman, the author states that “…some of the negative reaction to the film may have reflected critics’ discomfort…namely the ways in which women were pushing back against traditional roles” (Waxman). The mass criticism the film had received is able to prove just how influential this film really was for the growing feminist movement in America. The challenging and changing of gender roles could afraid many, as during the 90s the idea that women had a role in the house and couldn’t sexually express themselves was still a belief and stereotype that many followed, and still a subject nature that remains argued about to this day. In another article titled “The Last Great Film About Women” by Raina Lipsitz, the author challenges the criticism as well by stating that “even smart, educated people are disturbed by female characters who assert control...
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