Womens and Gender Module 12 Studies Thelma & Louise Film Discussion



  • Thelma &  Louise

Module Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will analyze representations of gender, violence, and power in the film Thelma and Louise
  2. Students will identify and analyze the representation of the ”gun in the handbag” in film.
  3. Students will identify themes of the female outlaw.

To complete this module:

  1. Explore all Module 12 content (read lecture notes and articles, explore all linked content, watch videos, etc.)
  2. Compete Module 12 Quiz (based on readings)
  3. Watch film.
  4. Post your original response on the Module 12 discussion board. 
  5. Respond to one classmate.


Answer these four discussion questions (In your own words) based on the lecture notes and reading links attached.


The 1991 film Thelma and Louise received much criticism and acclaim, and it continues to be used as a tool to critique society.

What do you feel is the “message” of this film in regard to gender, violence, and power? What are the broader social implications of the film and why has it endured? Use scene examples and/or outside sources to support your argument.

In your response, you may wish to explore some of the following issues:  oppression, liberation, sexual violence, physical violence, abuse, suicide, patriarchy, feminisms, road films, power, gender roles/expectations, justice systems, etc.


How does this film Thelma & Louise illustrate the “gun in handbag” film genre?


What actions/themes/scenarios/etc.  establish and legitimize Thelma & Louise’s outlaw status? (Think of transition from domestic sphere to outlaw & what makes them ‘outlaws’)?


How “violent” is the film?  What constitutes as violence?  Does this film illustrate female empowerment?  Why?  Why not? (Side note: societal outcry of violence in the film was Thelma & Louise shooting up a truck and NOT the attempted rape scene- unpack that!)




Answer these seven (true or false) Quiz questions:


Although it starred two women, most of the dialogue in “Thelma and Louise” belongs to men.


The female lead is considered an innocent feminine stereotype who loves deadly weapons such as guns, and has unsophisticated knowledge of sex




The narratives of the Gun in the Handbag Genre are based on actual case histories of violent women.


The female lead in the Gun in Handbag Genre leaves the domestic sphere and then always returns to the domestic sphere.


According to the article, The Gun in the Handbag Genre had a short Hollywood life span which lasted from 1991-1992.


Within the Gun in the Handbag Genre, female empowerment occurs in the domestic sphere.


Within the Gun in the Handbag Genre, female empowerment occurs at the outskirts of town (considered the ‘other’ side of the law).


these are the instruction for the discussion questions and the response ( You should respond to My classmate Discussion, see the attached doc file)

Original Discussion Board Posts: You may use media or a link to information, such as website attachments, YouTube clips, etc., in your own discussion board. Also, you may post a link to a video or some other form of media (podcast, blog, etc.), in which you answer the questions/prompts verbally. The Original Discussion Board Post makes up 25/40 points.

Remember your discussion post should be representative of how you would speak in class. It should be academic, but does not need to be as highly refined as a formal essay or speech. Responses should be respectful of other peoples’ opinions and not disparaging in any way. It is especially important to keep in mind the classroom contract during these activities. To adequately address the discussion board questions, typical Original Discussion Board Posts are at minimum 500 words (approximately two pages).

Response Discussion Board Posts: You must post a response to one of your classmate’s discussion board posts. Your response provides you with the opportunity to engage critically with your classmate’s discussion board posts. The response post is makes up 15/40 points. To adequately respond to a classmate, typical Response Discussion Board Pose are at minimum 250 words (approximately one page). There are three steps required for each post.

  1. Add on to the argument, push back against the argument, state questions that the post raised for you academically, socially, politically, etc.
  2. Make connections among the previous readings, films, lecture notes, and other classmate’s posts.
  3. This is an extension of step two. Apply your classmate’s post and your response to a real-world text. The world text is defined broadly (film, news stories, websites, events, social movements, memes, images, and other types of cultural, social, and political discourse or data). You must link the text in your response. You must also provide context connecting the text to your response.


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