Showgirl And Present Day Gender Role Construction

Essay, Research Paper

Subject: Showgirls and Present day Gender Role Construction

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


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.


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