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Bound

The sex scene in Bound could be considered feminist. It definitely challenges the typical notions of butch-femme lesbian couple. In the first sexual encounter between Corky and Violet, Violet (the overtly feminine character) is the initiator. She takes Corky’s hand and puts it on her breast and under her dress. In Hollywood films, this sexually aggressive role is typically embodied by male/masculine characters. In the second sex scene, Violet is shown pleasuring Corky. This inscribes a give and take relationship between the women, and a sense of equality. This is reinstated at the end when they refer to themselves as a team. Kassler mentions that these scenes are inclusive to audiences. They are fairly accurate and accepted by the lesbian community, while also arousing for heterosexual men. The butch and femme concepts are depicted in very physical ways. Corky is perpetually leather-clad, with dark tattoos and severely rugged boots. Violet is hyper-feminine: breathy voice, heels, cleavage, mini dresses. However, in the women’s behavior we see a different dynamic. Violet’s presence in the film as a femme fatale changes her demeanor. “Though Corky, the butch, is physically stronger and more masculine, Violet is the intellectual superior and sexual aggressor.? (Kessler, 18) Violet is smart, engaging and mysterious. In the end, she is the one who outsmarts Caesar and ends his life to protect Corky. She is successful because she was trusted and not seen as a threat. If the positions were reversed during these sex scenes, it would seem more hetero-normative: the masculine character initiating sex and the feminine character passively receiving sex. Bound definitely represents lesbian relationships in a more accurate manner.