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Girl on a Motorcycle

Rebellion is the only thing that keeps you alive!
said Rebecca

At first glance, Girl on a Motorcycle seems to be a liberating film for all women. A woman finally takes control of the wheel. Rebecca could be an inspiration to women everywhere. However, her character and the male figures in her life allow her to do the exact opposite of that. Throughout the entire movie Rebecca is completely controlled by men: her father, her husband, and finally her lover. Even though she does have a motorcycle and considers herself so alive and rebellious for taking trips to see her lover, Rebecca is trapped by the motorcycle. It was a gift given to her from her lover and she cannot refuse to go and see him. The men in her life have her trapped because she simply cannot handle the independence her life would have without their security and control. Rebecca said,

He never give me an identity, he never even says I'm pretty.
This shows that Rebecca seeks approval from men and is not comfortable without them in her life. At the end of the film, the motorcycle is burning up in flames. This shows the failure and eventual death of Rebecca. She was never going to change her ways and her death was almost expected when she would drive so carelessly and life her life with no self-respect.

The male gaze throughout the film is very evident. In fact, that too Rebecca is comfortable with. She expects men to look at her. During the gas station scene, the bar scene, and when she is crossing the border men are constantly looking at her in a sexual way. It is expected and not seen as disrespectful through Rebecca's eyes. She finds in almost flattering. This again shows that Rebecca relies on men for their approval. She doesn't feel confident in herself without their 'gaze' of approval. For all these reasons, Girl on a Motorcycle is definitely not a liberating film for Rebecca or any other women.