Women and Western Films in the Cold War

TitleWomen and Western Films in the Cold War
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWildermuth, Mark E.
Book TitleFeminism and the Western in Film and Television
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
CityCham, Switzerland

This book works to complicate and push against common arguments that the Western from its inception is an anti-feminist genre. By focusing on representations of women professionals in Westerns, it shows that women in cinematic and televisual Westerns sometimes do acquire agency and empowerment in the private and public realms, despite our culture's tendency to gender the former as feminine and the latter as solely masculine. This chapter describes how pro-feminist Westerns of the Cold War react to reactivation of gendered hierarchies by the security state by insisting women have the right to agency in private and domestic realms.

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