Gender Roles in the movie Showgirls Showgirls is a definite backlash to the typical woman’s role in society. It is very interesting to me that a movie with this message is set in a normally deviant setting, when it is trying to portray the strength of a woman. I feel this is the reason that many woman did not see the film. They are offended, disgusted, and maybe even a little jealous of strippers. Strippers are able to be in control of the customers at all times.
They have the power to switch the standard gender roles. For a moment, I thought differently when Nomi was forced to give a lap dance, but she turned the situation around when she gained part control over Crystal’s man. I admire the character Nomi for her strong will, but I am also disgusted by her. She uses every single woman stereotype to get her way. She flirts constantly, wears skimpy or no clothing, she sleeps with Crystal’s man as a retaliation toward a woman who has more prestige than herself, and many times during the movie she showed a definite fake lack of intelligence around the opposite sex. I was also offended that every single scene with two woman in it was filled with so many lesbian connotations.
During scenes with Nomi and Molly, Nomi was batting her eyelashes constantly at Molly. She even came on to Crystal at times to try and gain power in the dance world. It was not relatable to anyone at all, except for perhaps the Las Vegas dancers who have experienced this type of life. The men in Showgirls definitely had control over the women. There was no reversal in standard gender roles in these clubs.
The men even acted stereotypically in revelling in their overpowerment of the norm. Also, besides the instance when Nomi beats up the rock star, men use and abuse their status over these scantily clad women throughout the movie. Nomi tried to gain control in certain situations by seducing the people she wanted to have power over, but they always turned around and Knocked her back down to her stereotypical deviant status. Also, when the rock star was part of a gang rape with Molly as the vicim, no one even thought of calling the police. The men patted Nomi on the head and told her they would get Molly enough money to start a shop instead of acknowledging Molly’s feelings in this life shattering event.
Yet, when Nomi did seek revenge for Molly’s rape, she had to leave and give up her career. The gender roles in Showgirls are all very stereotypical. The women are beautiful, young and barely dressed. The men are suave and handsome with controll over everything. It was a powerful film about a woman’s fight against society, but view viewers are going to notice the message because of the context it was filmed in.
Many teenage boys watched Showgirls over and over again. They saw only the sexy dancers and the sex scenes, they didn’t even look for a deeper message. In that sense, I feel the writers failed in portraying a woman’s struggle in society in a relatable fashion. They put too much concentration into the naked dancers and the sexual tension. Therefore, if the writers were trying to portray the women’s plight so that men can understand it, they failed miserably.
Give men a movie with exotic dancers and they will say, “What plot?” Women can appreciate Nomi’s struggle and even sympathize with her at times if they ever get bored enough to demean themselves and rent the movie with the naked woman on the cover. Neely Vacura Sociology 101 University of South Dakota. USA.