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March 10, 2008

T&L

Thelma and Louise was such a great film. Although their behavior was extreme, the undertones and the points they made throughout the film are accurate feminist ideas. Wanting respect should be expected, and teaching the men throughout the movie how to treat/talk to women was done really well. The scene that really stood out to me was the event that began their road journey. It does not surprise me that a rapist would use such language toward Louise after she rescues Thelma. What he says to her is so utterly disrespectful as well as trying to do quite possibly the biggest violation toward someone, I was glad when she shot him. Obviously, this was the extreme case of teaching someone a lesson, but the message was still the same. Without the violence, viewers can still understand what is to be taken from that scene. Disrespect in such a way should not be tolerated. My definition of feminism, is basically just being treated with as equal respect and fairness as anyone else. Women are put back so often by double standards (For example being called emotional or a bitch if you try to speak your mind against something) and it just seems ridiculous to me that things are still issues in this time period. Thelma and Louise has been my favorite movie we have watched so far this semester. It really in empowering to at the very least (non-violently) stand up for yourself if you feel you are being treating poorly.

You go, girls.

"Something's crossed over in me, and I can't go back. I feel wide awake."


As far as feminist films go (and, more specifically, feminist road films), Thelma & Louise is where it’s at, the one that started it all. This film offers a very clear and very rousing critique of patriarchal society and women’s place, or lack thereof, in it; the initial ways in which these two strong, charismatic female characters are oppressed by men (dead-end or even abusive relationships, housewivery, rape, subjection to sexually scrutinizing gazes) and the ways in which they soon learn to fight back (even if they are, for example, the most polite robbers ever) establish a unwavering pro-feministic theme throughout the film’s portrait of oft-oppressive American culture. Thelma and Louise are women shown in a whole new way: capable, independent, trail-blazing, name-taking true-blues. It is their infallibility towards one another, an insistence that we all must stick together, that I find especially compelling. Furthermore, they are women on a male-dominated road for a very specific reason—to find themselves amid the mess. And because, as Thelma puts it, “no one would believe us? if they women claimed they shot that bastard at the bar out of self-defense. They and we know that Thelma would have been seen as “asking for it? because she was dancing with him, and that her victimizer would have gotten off clean. They are reborn on the road, free from restraint, free to (literally) give their lives to stand up for what they believe in. They “keep going? at the end because they wanted to be the only ones out of an entire misunderstanding world to choose their fate. To me, feminism is a demand for respect and equality, and a question of why so many institutions insist otherwise. It’s about women being proud of who they are, and it’s about creating your own path instead of trudging through the one already laid out for you.

Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise is very much a feminist critique. Both women are portrayed as strong, free thinking women (as soon as they leave their men, that is), and their actions in the film reflect those attitudes. My definition of feminism is that women are independent, strong, and unreliant upon anyone. Feminism rejects normal ideas of societal roles and puts women in roles of power and/or independence. A scene from the film that demonstrates this is the scene towards the end, when they see the sexist trucker for the final time. Thelma and Louise coax him off the road, and when he gets to where they are parked, they begin to chastize him for his chauvinistic actions. He refuses to believe he is wrong, prompting the women to shoot out his tires, and finally, blow up the truck, leaving him stranded in the desert. Thelma and Louise drive off through the dust, to continue their journey towards freedom. That scene is one of the most powerfully feminist scenes I have ever watched, as it gives off an incredible feeling of control and freedom for the women.

Feminism in Thelma and Louise

The film Thelma and Louise is definitely a great representation of a feminist road film. It does a great job in outlining the true meaning of feminism, which in my mind means that women are seen as being equal to men in all aspects of life. The film starts off with Thelma and Louise heading out on a road trip on their own, free from the constraints of men. The scene leading up to this point really demonstrates how this film is an effective feminist critique because it demonstrated Thelma’s ability to break free of her husband’s constraint upon her so that she can live a life that she enjoys. When Thelma decides to leave with Louise without getting her husband Darryl’s permission first she demonstrates her ability to break out of the constraint placed on women. This scene, which is very early in the movie, sets the view of the positive feminist road film for the rest of the adventurous scenes. As time progresses throughout the film, Thelma and Louise seem to become closer and closer to each other. They no longer need the men in their lives to make them feel happy or safe. They learn to do things on their own to defend who they are and not be walked over by men. Thelma shows this when she robs the convenience store and Louise shows it when she stands up for the two of them by blowing up semi truck that belonged to the man that was harassing them on the road. They both demonstrate their ability to do what any man can do, which is why this film is a great representation of a successful feminist road film.

Thelma and Louise

So much of Thelma and Louise is a feminist critique. How can it not be? It was the first film that really step beyond female gender roles. I glad I got an opportunity to view the film. I have talked about it a lot in many of GWSS classes and with people in my life. After viewing the film I had a strange solidarity type feeling. I was very proud to be a woman. The one scene for me that really showed a strong critique for feminism was towards the end when Thelma was saying that it was all her fault, the whole thing ( for being raped) and Louise looks over and says something like, “You haven’t figured it out yet… you are not blamed… it isn’t your fault? . It was the first time that rape got “called out? meaning, that women were not to be blamed for rape, that it is always the man. It was a powerful seen and I can only imagine empowering for women who were watching it.

Feminism for me is defined as: A part of the larger human rights struggle to have equality for all. To critique and discuss issues of gender equality and to challenge the social norms that confine people to certain roles in society.

Thema and Louise

Thema and Louise provides the viewer with a very effective feminist critique. I believe that this critique is best presented in one of the last scenes of the film, the scene in which Thema and Louise are pulled over by the highway patrolman. The officer comes to Louise's window and at first she assumes a typical submissive female persona, she plays cute and dumb hoping that he will go easy on her. This doesn't work and she is taken back to his car, Thema follows, pistol in hand. This scene is an effective feminist critique because the women get when they want only when they act as their intelligent, tough, masculine selves. A complete role reversal occurs when the officer begins to weep and beg for mercy, he is now the submissive character. The scene ends when Thema and Louise strip him of parts of his masculinity, Thema trades her feminine sunglasses for his and they take his gun. To me, this scene is the definition of feminism, intelligence and independence versus submissiveness.

Thelma and Louise

"Thelma and Louise" can definitely be seen as an effective feminist critique because the two protagonists are outside the normal realm of women's roles in movies. Their defiance against the law stems from the two women's realization of what is important to them in life. When they first hit the road after killing the scumbag at the bar, Thelma was scared and confused, while Louise was trying to keep the situation under control. After they had been on the run for a while, Thelma realized that her relationship with Louise was more important that that with her husband or anyone else in her life. The scene that really proves to me that this was a feminist critique is when Thelma and Louise decide to end their lives by driving off a cliff before getting caught. They were both reborn on the road, freed from the restraints of their jobs and husband/boyfriend, and decided to make sure they died free as well. The fact that these women gave their lives to stand up for what they believed in represents a definition of feminism.

Thelma and Louise

I definitely think that Thelma and Louise is an effective feminist critique. I believe feminism is for a woman to break away from the stereotypical roles that society places women under. It is finding your own path instead of always following the one that is already made. Throughout the film, Thelma and Louise provide excellent examples of feminism. In the beginning of the movie when they leave the men behind, this shows how they are not dependent upon men or anyone else for that matter. They are completely capable of venturing out on their own; they even enjoy it!
When Lousise kills the man that almost rapes Thelma, despite the violence this shows that she is willing to take a stand for what she believes in. Later on in the movie Thelma comes to a realization.

I'm not sorry that son of a bitch is dead. I'm just sorry it was you and not me.

Despite the violence of the film, Thelma and Louise show a new side to feminism through their journey on the road. It gave hope to America that power could finally be places in the hands of a woman.

Feminism/Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise is a movie that portrays women in a new way. The two are seen as strong and capable women in the movie, instead of meek and marginalized as in previous films. There are two scenes in the movie where I think it is shown that these women are empowered individuals. The first is when Thelma tells her husband she is leaving, and doesn't give in when he threatens her, or puts her down. That displays real courage and self-acceptance to be able to confront someone who has so much influence in your life. The second scene is when Thelma and Louise confront the truck driver. The scene shows that they believe in themselves enough to know that they do not deserve to be treated that way, and they won't accept/ tolerate it any longer.
To me, feminism is simply women being proud of their gender, and believing that they deserve respect and equality.

Feminism and "Thelma and Louise"

The film Thelma and Louise provides a very clear feminist critique of society and women's place in it. The ways in which the two women are oppressed by men throughout the film, and the ways in which they fight back, both speak to a feminist critique of American culture. One of the most patriarchal forces in our society is the law and in the film, all of the police officers are male-- most importantly the head investigators. Looking at the scene where Thelma and Louise are pulled over by the cop (not taking into consideration the weirdly sort of racist and stereotypical depiction of a Rastifarian biker), we can see one of the ways in which Thelma and Louise fight against a patriarchal force. The cop himself walks up to the car, exuding a certain "manliness" in his demeanor and way of speech. When he asks Louise to come back to his car, Thelma sneaks up on the two and holds the cop at gunpoint until he gets into his own trunk. They trap him inside one of his sources of power, his car, and leave him. They even take his "gun" from him (castration anxiety.....?)
My definition of feminism is a discourse in which striving towards equal opportunities, rights, etc. for all sexes is the end goal. This end goal is achieved through a critique of the ways in which a traditionally patriarchal society has systematically oppressed non-male sexes throughout history. Thelma and Louise attempts at this throughout its storyline. The scene described above is one of many that locate a source of power men have in society, and uses women to take that power away.

Thelma and Louise.... 'Girl Power'

I believe that Thelma and Louise was more than just a film portraying feminist. It showed the importance of women standing up for themselves and eachother. Staying with the theme of standing up for all women, I think that the scene in the movie that best portrays feminism is when Thelma was getting raped by the jerk at the bar, and Louise came in and stood up for her friend. Though violence was shown which of course is not the answer, who can really blame her. After what the guy said and how he treated them, I think we can sympathize and understand why she did it. This scene displays very well how I would describe feminism. Though it may not be the usual definition that we hear, I would define it as women sticking up for themselves and eachother. To be able to have the ability to do that is so empowering and I think we as women should use that power more often. A lot could/can be accomplished if we all learn to stand up for ourselves and other women around us.

Thelma and Louise...

‘For many female critics, the film’s depiction of sexism and the marginalization women experienced in their everyday life represented an affirmation of women’s strength and a justification of their anger? (PAGE/AUTHOR???). The film “Thelma and Louise? positively displayed a feminist critique where although there were chauvinistic men constantly appearing the two main characters, especially Louise, stood her ground and wouldn’t stand up for their patriarchal bull crap. Both Thelma and Louise were feminists who lived very different lifestyles but throughout the film each of them discovered more and more how men were a constant disservice to their lives and how much they were affected and even dependent upon them. My definition of feminism is the belief and goal that everyone was created equal no matter gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, etc; and everyone should be treated as so. Those who do not follow this BASIC standard of living should be punished accordingly (whether through methods of teaching, training, etc). In one of the scenes when Louise and Thelma are in a diner Louise says to Thelma, “If you weren’t trying to have so much fun we wouldn’t be here in the first place.? This moment is very key because for once we hear the affects that patriarchy and society in general has had Louise. This is also the moment when Thelma really stands her ground and finally gets angry and points out Louise’s ridiculous comment questioning her, “you think this is all my fault?? The victim (survivor) is constantly being blamed and repeatedly questioned about what she/he has done wrong rather than the perpetrator as though the perpetrator was tricked or led on. Thelma makes a clear statement here that is followed by Louise’s own silence and realization in what she had just said.

Thelma and Louise kick ass

Thelma and Louise is definitely the most feminist film we have seen so far. The spectator sees Thelma's transformation from the innocent/ignorant housewife to the almost conscious female being when she says that she wished she "would have shot him".

In my opinion, the movie offers a new "road" for women. When Thelma and Louise trick the truck driver, they make a fool of him and after he refuses to apologize. Yet, at the same time as the women pull out the guns he is not fearful for his life showing how he feels that a woman would never actually kill anyone. In this sense, the film is an incredible feminist critque, and one we have never seen before. But we still have far to go for it to become effective.

Feminism to me means getting away from the "male-dependent" characteristic and individualism. For many years, women were defined by their husbands status and not by their own. In this way, Thelma and Louise are not depended on men (except for Jimmy and the money), and they are in no way defined by the actions of a man. They are "wild women" and they create their own story. In fact, they both actually drive. :-)

Thelma and Louise: A Feminist Film Critique

After viewing the well known film Thelma and Louise, I found that it was much more than a female version of the classic road film. The film really takes on a feminist perspective as these two women leave behind the contraints of their daily lives in order to find adventure and freedom. The road in this film along with their convertable represents their ticket to freedom. As long as they are driving on the road they are getting away from and escaping all that ties them down back home, namey the men in their lives. Both women are in unhappy relationships and depend on eachother for the only good and solid relationship that they have in life.
I think this film takes on a feminist perspective as the women gain authority throughout the film, unfortunately through the use of guns and violence, but nevertheless these women take charge and enter what normally on the screen is viewed only as male characteristics. They become confident, assertive, and fearless. This sharply contrats the other road films we have viewed in which men are telling the story and women are visual stimuli, or sexual objects the men merely meet along the way. I think the term feminism describes the utopian view of the equality between men and women in terms of what both genders are able/expected to do, in terms of personal characteristics, actions, and lifestyles. Feminism allows women to step outside their culturally created gender roles and perhaps take on a job or activity or lifestyle that is not traditionally "female", and thus allows for the freedom of choice, which is what I think feminism is at the core, the power of choice and individuality free from gender norms and cultural expectations.
Thelma and Louise certainly go against cultural norms as they become violent and assertive women as the film progresses. However, much like the film "Woman on a Motorcycle" thier freedom is put to a halt when at the end of the film they die (or we assume that they die). The film recognizes them as outlaws who must be punished, which is customary in American films, however it also indicates that they must be punished in someway for their deviant behaviior and expressed the idea that the "wild" woman" will not go unpunished, and in some ways counteracts the freedom and feminist ideals that the film was promoting all along. Had they survived, which perhaps they did, I think that it would have indicated that these women, though non-traditional escaped the binds of their daily lives and societal norms and remained truely free.

Thelma and Louise: A Feminist Film Critique

After viewing the well known film Thelma and Louise, I found that it was much more than a female version of the classic road film. The film really takes on a feminist perspective as these two women leave behind the contraints of their daily lives in order to find adventure and freedom. The road in this film along with their convertable represents their ticket to freedom. As long as they are driving on the road they are getting away from and escaping all that ties them down back home, namey the men in their lives. Both women are in unhappy relationships and depend on eachother for the only good and solid relationship that they have in life.
I think this film takes on a feminist perspective as the women gain authority throughout the film, unfortunately through the use of guns and violence, but nevertheless these women take charge and enter what normally on the screen is viewed only as male characteristics. They become confident, assertive, and fearless. This sharply contrats the other road films we have viewed in which men are telling the story and women are visual stimuli, or sexual objects the men merely meet along the way. I think the term feminism describes the utopian view of the equality between men and women in terms of what both genders are able/expected to do, in terms of personal characteristics, actions, and lifestyles. Feminism allows women to step outside their culturally created gender roles and perhaps take on a job or activity or lifestyle that is not traditionally "female", and thus allows for the freedom of choice, which is what I think feminism is at the core, the power of choice and individuality free from gender norms and cultural expectations.
Thelma and Louise certainly go against cultural norms as they become violent and assertive women as the film progresses. However, much like the film "Woman on a Motorcycle" thier freedom is put to a halt when at the end of the film they die (or we assume that they die). The film recognizes them as outlaws who must be punished, which is customary in American films, however it also indicates that they must be punished in someway for their deviant behaviior and expressed the idea that the "wild" woman" will not go unpunished, and in some ways counteracts the freedom and feminist ideals that the film was promoting all along. Had they survived, which perhaps they did, I think that it would have indicated that these women, though non-traditional escaped the binds of their daily lives and societal norms and remained truely free.

Thelma and Louise

The term “feminism,? to me, has a meaning of trying to make females equal to men and women standing up for their rights, also being self-respected. I also think in some ways the word “feminism? could stand for independence and freedom for women. The film Thelma and Louise is a good feminist film because it really shows two women, by themselves (no men tagging along), on the road and doing what they want to do without worrying what any guy is going to think of their decisions (minus the part about shooting someone). In one of the first scenes of the movie when Thelma was getting ready to leave with Louise, the masculinity control of her husband really struck me when he was yelling at her and she was afraid to tell/ask him she was leaving/ if it was okay to leave. Ultimately, she left without caring what her husband thought about the situation. A popular line used by Louise was, “ He’s your husband, not your father.? I think that motivated Thelma to be more independent about the situation and realize that her husband was an asshole. I think this film showed a very good example of feminism in that Thelma and Louise proved that women really could be treated equally to men by showing many examples throughout the film.

March 9, 2008

Thelma and Louise

Feminism can take on many different definitions, in fact I truly think that we all may have a different idea of what it means. To me it's equality, between both genders no matter the situations and/or circumstances and a feminist is someone who encourages and believes whole-heartedly in this practice.
Thelma and Louise has always been on of my favorite movies. I remember watching it with my mom and my friends through out highschool many many times. Feminism was obvious to me when I originally watched it years ago, however, this class has made a few more issues and situations where a feminist critique has become even more obvious. The scene that sticks out in my mind is Thelma's attempt to get away from her husband. She is using this trip to become "free" yet still needs that approval from her husband to go. When she just leaves him, it does embody the power a woman can have to do what she wants yet she still conformed to things that her husband wanted her to do in the home before she left, ie leaving microwavable food for him. It conforms to the idea that a wife or a woman needs to take care of her husbands every need - the cliche of the "dinner on the table when he gets home" idea.
Feminism is very apparent throughout this entire movie and both Thelma and Louise use this road to escape situations that were holding them back from being free, creating that freedom and equality that so many men are shown to have then and in society today.

I'll be Thelma if you be Louise...

Feminism is people trying to make women equal to men, because they feel that women are repressed.

I think that Thelma and Louise embodies a feminist film, and its purpose is to empower women to do what they want. However, the scene that stuck out to me was not a good feminist critique. When Louise is convincing Thelma that she needs to join her on this road trip, Thelma is scared to ask her husband. She decides to join Louise as a kind of statement to her husband that she does what she wants, however when she jumps into the car and drives away she tells Louise she didn’t ask her husband if she could come. At this point she feels free and as though she took a stand, but she then mentions that she made him food to warm up while she is gone. So even though she was trying to make a feminist statement with this trip, she makes sure to take care of her husband before she leaves. To her, it was bad enough she didn’t tell her husband that she was leaving, but she couldn’t leave him without food! Heaven forbid the man bowl his own water!
At this scene, I laughed to myself because Thelma felt as though she was freeing herself when in reality her husband’s interest was still high on her mind. Overall, Thelma and Louise is made to be a feminist film taken to the next level. It is an extreme of what feminism is, but it sure is entertaining to watch!

Feminist Critique?

Thelma and Louise was an effective feminist critique as shown through many scenes in the movie. A feminist is someone who believes that women and men should be treated equally and thinks about every situation as its significance and how women fit into it. Feminists speak out if something is unfair because women are able to do way more than they have been in the past so they aren't like the stereotype of the homemaker, to me. Their main incentive is to find justice for women.
In the movie, Thelma was seen as the woman that wanted to be free because her husband controlled her. Louise was the one who came in and made Thelma realize that the way they were living wasn't alright. This was when they were driving in the car and Thelma said that her husband doesn't let her go anywhere, and that just expected her to stay in the house and do housework. These two women were represented as strong, opinionated and determined to be free and that was their motivation throughout the movie. Their attitudes towards the end of the movie were that they didn't need anyone but each other and their actions became justified when Thelma was taken advantage of.
Another example that showed that Thelma and Louise was seen as an example of feminism based on my own definition was that Louise drove a Thunderbird. The thunderbird is seen as a manly, flashy, and rebelliious car which foreshadows that trouble is bound to happen. It sends the message that women are equal to men therefore they can drive whatever car they want to. Louise had that type of car for a reason whether it was to make a point or that she just liked that it was flashy and a convertible. The thunderbird has been shown in many movies in specific, Grease, in which the most popular, smooth guys in school were called the Thunderbirds.
With the evidence that I have presented, it is proven that Thelma and Louise is an effective feminist critique. Louise fits more of the characteristics if a feminist and since her views are obvious, she influences Thelma to feel the same. Louise starts to hate the life that she used to live especially she didn't have any control over because what she did, where she went or anything else. Together they feel a sense of security that they couldn't feel with any man. They went on their journey with the incentive of justice for women and that ended with them driving over the edge of a cliff together.

Feminism in Thelma and Louise

While there are many views on what exactly feminism means, for me, feminism is the idea of women living in a world where they are treated the same as men. Feminism stands for equality, equal rights, and empowerment for women in a male dominated world.
There are lots of scenes in this film that do a good job of portraying feminism, but the one that stands out to me is the scene where the two women pull off the road to confront the obnoxious truck driver. The man pulls over, continuing to make sexual gestures and comments to the women, such as, "Are you ready for a big dick?" When he stops his truck, he quickly grabs for condoms, assuming that his sexist actions are somehow going to get him sex. When he gets out of the truck and comes over to Thelma and Louise, Louise begins talking to the truck driver and telling him that he should appologize for his behavior. The driver seems befuddled by this idea of a man having to appologize to a woman or that he should treat women with any sense of respect. In his mind, women are nothing more than objects for men's use. When he refuses to comply with Louise request of an appology, the women open fire on his truck, shooting out its tires, and finally blowing up the entire thing. The destruction of the man's truck is in a way the destruction of his power, showing him that women aren't defenseless objects that he can treat any way he pleases.

Embodiment of Thelma and Louise

Within the road film genre, as a part of the modern cinematic culture, phallocentrism and masculinist narratives have dominated, however, in recent years, the feminist road film has been emerging to subvert traditional elements of the classical road film. One of these films is Ridley Scott’s 1991 road film thriller, Thelma and Louise. Thelma and Louise proves as an effective feminist critique in whole with its counter cinema techniques of filmmaking, but one thematic specifically that the film works against is the viewpoint of the camera centering around the male gaze. One scene in particular that not only works against the male gaze, but also formulates a female gaze, is the encountering of the character J.D, played by Brad Pitt. Within the scenes involving J.D., not only do the women of the film take back the gaze normally put upon women within traditional road films, such as Easy Rider, where women are objects for sexual objectification, but the women, specifically Thelma (Gena Davis) create a female gaze of their own. Having the viewpoint of the camera center on J.D., and take the perspective of the women of the film, J.D. becomes eroticized instead of the women; a female gaze emerges, which proves as an effective feminist element of the film.
Although there are various definitions of ‘feminism,’ for myself feminism, in whole, means the collaboration of theories and beliefs that center around the equality of men and women, and Thelma and Louise proves as an affirmative embodiment of that within the road film genre.

Thelma and Louise

My definition of feminism is finding equality between women and men. Feminism is also a word for women empowerment and to campaign for women's rights. More generally, for me, it's also being proud of being a woman.

In Thelma and Louise I think the sequence in which showed feminism and women empowerment is at the very end when they have the grand car chase and inevitably they decide to drive off of the cliff. When they begin the car chase Thelma and Louise definitely break out of the meek housewife role and show true power as Louise is able to out- manuever the men at driving which can traditionally been thought of as a man's domain. Not only do they show driving prowess but their decision to run in the first place and continue running even when it seems rather hopeless with so many police on their tail shows that they have taken their lives into their own hands and no one but them can dictate it. This idea definitely comes into play when in the end, Thelma and Louise decide to drive off the cliff. Both characters have been cornered all their life playing the role of housewife and waitress, but when they are cornered at the end in front of the cliff they find a way to free themselves from the male dominated world they were trapped in. With this powerful and dramatic ending I would definitely have to say that Thelma and Louise embodies themes of feminism where they find empowerment and equality in their decision to run and then keep going when you would expect most to give in.

an effective feminist critique

I consider feminism to be the ideal that women are equal to men. This allows of course for the fact that women have their own strengths and weaknesses just as men do. It means that women should be treated no worse than men are treated, they should not be treated as if they are less intelligent or less hard-working or as if they are below men. Women should be believed when they say something happened just as men would be believed and they should be treated as human beings who have feelings and cares just like any other person, man or woman. Women should also be treated with the same respect given to any man.

"Thelma and Louise" is an effective feminist critique because it upholds feminist ideals and points out the flaws in society that have caused feminist ideals to form. It points out the fact that women are not respected by the way Daryl treats Thelma and shows that women have feelings as Thelma and Louise get angrier about the way they are being treated and scared about the police catching them. A very good job is done of pointing out the fact that women are not believed when they say something happened like men are by the fact that Louise is afraid to go to the police after shooting Thelma's would-be rapist. Even later in the movie Thelma comments that they would have just assumed she was asking for it because she was dancing with the man all night, something that never would have been assumed were a man in her position. Thelma and Louise fight for respect for women when they lure the trucker who has been following them and making innuendos off the road. Then when they tell him to apologize for disrespecting them so much and he refuses they blow up his truck, a very clear declaration that women deserve respect just as much as men.

Lelma and Thouise

Being an indoctrinated youth of the postmodern generation, it may seem quaint that my definition of feminism is pretty akin to the standards set forth by the suffragette movements, that being the necessity for social, political, and economic equality for men and women. While I can see the importance of mid 60's movement for sisterhood among all women, I think ultimately that is too impractical, insomuch as that it often offers openings for critics to deride feminism as male-bashing. Plus, I'm kind of a nihilist at heart.
Speaking of nihilism, Thelma & Louise eh?

Continue reading "Lelma and Thouise" »

Feminism in Thelma and Louise

Feminism consists of acts that equate women with males. In the case of the movie "Thelma and Louise" feminism can be compared to similar acts done by the males in "Easy Rider" and the way that the movie was filmed to not only include the male gaze, but some show for the women enjoying Brad Pitt. Maybe not all women want to have the camera pan up and down on Brad Pitt right before he's about to get into bed with Thelma, but who am I to say know. At least we're getting even. People like to look at one another and men like to look at women. Now, thanks to "Thelma and Louise" women can now look at good looking men and have a reason for it. Another way this movie is feminist is by the drinking of "Wild Turkey" primarily by Thelma. Whiskey is general is known as a mans drink and women who drink it are tough and masculine. Thelma was tough and masculine by standing up for herself, drinking whiskey, and yelling at the dirty trucker, stealing, and running from the law, but she was also feminine in that she was pretty, attracted men, and did (at one time) conform to the housewife status. In this film women are told it is okay to stand up for yourself in sexual situations that you don't want to be involved in and it's okay to desire a male just for sex. We are now told it's okay to desire males just like males have desired women for years without all the attachements...that's a pretty forward moving, feminist freedom film

Feminism apparent in Thelma and Louise

"Feminism" is a term that I actually used to avoid using. Even though I am a proud female, I used to think that the term just further seperated women from reaching the goal of equality. It took me a while to realize that a term does not change or affect the accepted norms of society, people do. So while I was wary of a highly critized term, I should have been embracing what it stood for. I now believe feminism to be a term that envokes action to help bring equality and pride to the female gender. I think it basically sets out to ensure that each female is given the same opportunity as each male, but also sets out to make sure that each female embraces her gender as well.

In the film Thelma and Louise, the two main characters set out to debunk the phallocentric world. Thelma and Louise go against the typical actions of women for the time, by doing things such as baring guns and living the outlaw lifestyle, something that was only seen as acceptable for the male gender. One particular scene where this is apparent is the scene where Thelma and Louise wave down the rude trucker they've encountered throughout the movie. The trucker initially pulls over because he thinks he is going to have sex with these women, but in reality, he is pulled over so Thelma and Louise can expose his disgusting acts and force him to appologise. When he refuses, they blow his truck up using their guns. Basically, Thelma and Louise are using an object that represents phallocentricism (the guns) to honor their gender. I felt this was an affective use of feminism in the film.

Feminist Critique

"Feminism" for me is the ideology of women who believe that men and women should be treated equally and that women are just as valuable and important to society as men. In addition, I believe that feminist thought and theory works to reveal and promote the women's experiences, ideas and beliefs to empower the women. Women are often marginalized in society, but "feminism" is a way to give a voice back to those women who are often supressed by phallocentric societies. As far as "Thelma and Louise" is concerned, I believe it is a decent start to a feminist critique. For example, when the two women trick a semi-truck driver into pulling over and then proceed to "teach him a lesson" on how to treat women properly. This is an empowering scene, which portrays women as active bodies, rather than submissive subjects. This scene allowed women to be heard. The women say "how would you feel if someone acted like that towards your mother, or sister...." The man refuses to take them seriously and so they blow up his truck. Although they resorted to violent techniques, it still empowers women in that it shows that women are human beings with feelings and that they want to be treated with respect and deserve so. It was difficult to feel remorse for the driver. Overall, the film did a fantastic job of showing anti-phallacentrism and it released the male-gaze. The women were the action figures, finally for once in a big box office hit.

Thelma and Louise

"Feminism" is when women strive to make themselves equal to men. They take pride in being women, different from men but equal in humankind. This film is effective in displaying feminine power and pride. The scene in which Thelma and Louise pull to the side of the road and confront in the inappropriate truck driver displays how both women begin to take on masculine characteristics and more power in speaking their minds. When Thelma and Louise tell off the truck driver, it's one of the first times in the film, that I thought to myself they are really taking on masculine traits of power and authority, things that feminists strive to achieve to reach equality with men.
Thelma and Louise definitely show feminist characteristics in this film and I would characterize this film as an effective feminist movie.

positive feminist view

The term feminism is one of which much controversy has risen in the recent decades. Since the 1920's, women have been trying to gain equality in living with that of men. To me it's the idea of everyone sharing a common belief of "laissez faire"; the freedom of being able to do what one choses, the opportunity. I believe that feminism is about empowerment and equality. Anyone can be a feminist and I also think that it can relate to people other than women.
In the film "Thelma and Louise", both women were in situations that were a bit stifling and once they got on the road and were able to leave their hum-dum lives behind, their feminist sides were revealed. After the women discovered that they were wanted for murder, the film really took a feminist turn. It started with the incident of blowing up the truck driver's 18-wheeler, then overtaking the police officer and locking him in his own trunk then finally escalating to the car chase that led to climax of the film. That last car chase scene is, for me, the culminating point of feminism in the film because Thelma and Louise refuse to be taken in by the man and they make the decision of what's best for them rather than let the man. They refuse to go back to their suffocating lives and instead are able to just breathe in their last minutes of life, knowing that together, they took charge of their lives. Thelma and Louise were finally liberated by finding the opportunities in life and letting them experience the excitement of their idea of equality with the men they encountered on their adventure.

Castration as a way of showing feminism

The scene in Thelma and Louise that I though was the most effective at creating a feminist critique was when the two women finally pull off the road to confront the truck driver. The truck driver seemed to represent an exaggerated male stereotype. This stereotype (“macho man?) could be derived from his mud flats containing the outline of a woman’s body, his obscene hand and tongue gestures, and his inappropriate comments to the women (“ready for a big dick? or “ready to get serious?). As the truck driver gets ready to go meet Thelma and Louise for what he thinks will be a sexual rendezvous he grabs some condoms and removes his wedding ring. Louise begins talking to the driver and commenting that he has some very poor manners and owes them an apology. To this the driver seems confused and dumbfounded and tries to laugh them off. When the two decide that this man will never apologize and probably continue to behave in the same way they shoot out his tires and explode the truck. The “death? of the truck, a phallic symbol, is the symbolic castration of this man. Then, as if adding insult to injury, Thelma steals his hat and the two drive off.

When I think of what feminism means I think of the women’s rights movement. However, I don’t always associate a positive feeling with the word “feminism.? Thinking deeper about this I think it is a learned reaction because I note that when speaking to others about “feminism? many share the same reaction. It’s almost a fear to the word or what it represents. Like a fear to the unknown. If it doesn’t conjure up fear it seems to effectively close someone off. They no longer care to listen and tend to write off whatever is said as extremist. Society has always given men more power and right then women and having grown up in this society it is not surprising that we are taught to fear or ignore this movement.

Janus Head of Gender

My understanding of Feminism does not lie in being blind to gender and gender differences, rather feminism seeks to fully understand and embrace the fundamental differences between the sexes, while also accepting the full spectrum of capability of both sides and creating an equal playing field in an environment of love and acceptance.

Thelma and Louise embodies some of these ideas. Throughout the progression of the narrative, the women accumulate more and more seemingly "masculine" qualities (gun-toting, loud mouth-ish-ness, high sex drive, aggressive driving, etc.) while still maintaining their identification as women.

This can be observed in the intense, while somewhat humorous, scene involving the accosting of a police officer, in which Thelma and Louise combine masculine traits with feminine ones to illustrate the equality of men and women, without ignoring their obvious differences. By this point in the story, Thelma and Louise have already lost much of their overtly feminine 'uniforms'. They no longer don skirts and head wraps, and their perfectly applied make-up has long been smeared. In this way, they have rid themselves of the 'faux-feminism' that revolves solely around appearances, and begun to embrace a truer feminism that understands the equality of men and women. The duo has discovered the potency of their own agency, using 'masculine' means such as a gun, a fast car, and more utilitarian clothing. These 'tools' aid Thelma and Louise in their takeover of the situation with the police officer.

The officer approaches the car with an air of authority and masculinity. The camera showcases his militant and masculine uniform, and his gaze is hidden underneath dark glasses. He holds the power, and he knows it. As he approaches the car, Thelma and Louise gain their composure and also attempt to use their assumed role (meek and subservient) to gain leverage. The officer removes Louise from the vehicle in an attempt to remove her from, what he believes, is her main source of power. However, the two women have come to embrace both the masculine and feminine sides of their psyches, and utilize both the gain control. Because the officer let his assumptions guide his actions, he was unprepared for the women to use force to gain the upper hand. The women use both their voices and material tools to manipulate the situation. They are not overly aggressive or brutal, but instead simply speak with new found authority. This demonstrates the way this film is truly feminist. Thelma and Louise do not find it necessary to pervert their new power, instead they simply use it to achieve freedom. The women are courteous in their speech to the officer, yet speak with unwavering authority. The possibility of consequences is presented, however, the women do not unnecessarily use them.

This is how Thelma and Louise presents and effective feminist critique. While the women have come to understand the true equality of their gender, they do not use this newfound power to become outrageously aggressive or violent. Instead, force is used simply as a means of liberation or retaliation, and it is recognized as a new 'tool', not the dominating quality of the women's narrative. Their identity is a 'Janus Head' of male and female qualities, which they use to aide their journey.

Outrunning Phallocentricism

The term "feminism" has many different meanings to many different people. To me, feminism is basically pride in being female, and working to make femaleness equal to masculinity in a phallocentric world. Generally, I see feminism as a way in which to break stereotypes of what it is to be a woman, balancing each woman's individuality with a sense of solidarity. The film, "Thelma and Louise" is a successful feminist critique in that it presents individual women on the road together, trying to break free of an oppressive male society. One scene in which this is extremely clear is when the two women are pulled over on the road by a police officer. He represents the masculine world that they can't seem to outrun as he pauses their journey. When he asks Louise to get into his squad car with him, Thelma comes over and points a gun at his head. This is a perfect example of the solidarity of women in a man's world that my definition of feminism supplies. When her friend is sucked into their masculine society through the act of being told to sit in his car, Thelma takes action to rescue her friend. The individuality of both women is also portrayed here in how both respecitvely handle the situation. Thelma is headstrong and in control of the situation. She is calm, collected, and doing what she needs to do to keep going. Louise, on the other hand, is more confused about what is happening. She takes her cues from Thelma and let's her do the talking until she gets into the swing of things. Through this act, the two women show power in the female body, and prove themselves to be, at the very least, equal in this masculinly dominated society. As they leave the police officer locked in their trunk, they leave behind a distinct sense of female power and pride, which embodies my personal definition of "feminism" and therefore makes this film a compelling feminist critique.