The Western film genre as a whole has traditionally focused on the circumstances and actions directly related almost exclusively to White male protagonists. As a result, in this genre, women's actions are largely ignored by men and their voices are silenced or seemingly are without consequence. Drawing examples from two Alternative Westerns-The Hired Hand  and The Missing -and the classic Western, The Searchers , to support my argument, I suggest here that for a Western to be considered feminist the plot must constitute a subversion of and a challenge to a mainstream text; the actions of a female protagonist must drive the plot rather than simply provide a reason for actions of the male character or characters; the dialogue of one or more female protagonists must challenge and subvert masculine discourse, as well as convey agency; and meanings must be plural rather than singular.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies