How are women and the people of color placed in the film? How did these groups shape the counter-culture masculinities of Wyatt and Billy?
Despite the lack of presence in the film, women and the people of color play important roles in the film when it comes to address one of the themes of the file which is counter-culture in 1960s. Counter-culture represents the behaviors that do not conform to social norms. Wyatt and Billy are rejected at the motel door by the owner; they are considered rebellions and trouble makers. On the other hand, the farmer with a Catholic wife and many children actually got interested in them and wishes he is as free as them. Automatically, this scene addresses that the wife and children are burden to him, and due to them he cannot wander or move as he wishes. The lack of mobility and power is the main characteristic women possess in this film and it was a reality in the 1960s and 70s. The woman they met at the commune of the hitchhiker needed Wyatt's help to get out of the commune and it demonstrates her lack of power and mobility. Most of the women in the commune too are dependent on men and their presence means a lot to women. The teenage girls in the diner also admire and desire Wyatt and Billy's absolute mobility, but more importantly they cannot be welcomed to the absolute mobility. Women's depressing stability contrasts to Wyatt and Billy's mobility and it subsequently emphasizes their masculinities. Most importantly, women and the people of color represent simple joy and pleasure. They do not have meaningful voice in the film but only were shown as company for pleasure and fun. The people of color barely appear throughout the entire film except for the scenes at Mardi Gras. All the women in the commune of the hitchhiker were mingled with the children and they only focus on simple life matters. The prostitutes, last female figures in the film, were just for ephemeral joy and desire not friendship or serious relationship. In short, even though their presence as a whole was short, the role of women and the people of color in the film explicitly address the counter-culture masculinities of Wyatt and Billy.