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Blame the rapist

Feminism is the term I use to name my entire ideological and political belief system. It is based on the simple idea that everyone should have a fair, and equal shot at having a good life. There are in society many hierarchies and norms that constrain different people's lives in different ways; and these should all be dismantled. So my feminism advocates for things like the equal treatment of men and women, but also encompasses ideas about the unfairness of the prison system, trade systems like NAFTA, issues around all aspects of religion, and so on.

Feminism was betrayed in various, perhaps minor, ways in the movie; though I am resistant to use the word betray. One importatn example occurs towards the beginning of the movie, after the rape and killing of the rapists. Thelma and Louise are at a diner trying to decide what they should do. Thelma suggests going to the cops and explaining the whole situation. Louise's response is that they can't do that because Thelma had been dancing seductively with that man.

Their conversation ends at that, with Louise sounding as if she were castigating Thelma for her actions. This conversation implies that Thelma was at fault, to some extent. She brought on herself, by cozying up to that man, dancing with him and being flirtatious. Later on in the movie, Thelma and Louise, while talking about the event, do express that it is the police and those around them that would condemn Thelma to being guilty for the assault by that man. It is the police and others that won't believe their word because Thelma was willingly interacting and flirting with that man.

The problem really lies in the first conversation about the rape. That the narrative would even imply that it was Thelma's fault is utterly insulting and quite preposterous. It is also very dangerous, considering that these views of a woman asking for it are still very common in our society and our discourse. The movie could have done a better job of pointing out and criticizing the view that women are to blame for assaults and rapes. Though, it is understandable that the story points out how the people in society might blame Thelma for her part in the assault. The movie could have made an obvious and clear statement about the horribleness of this type of thought, and its effect.