Women Depicted as Dependent on Men

Table Of Contents

Explanation of Conservative Trope

Women are much more likely to be depicted as dependent on men on screen than the other way around when it comes to money, avoiding danger or other scenarios.

Conservative Trope Examples

  • The Way Way Back (2013)
    Pam (Toni Collette) is depicted as very dependent on her boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) who also treats her and her son poorly throughout the entire movie. She also still stays with him despite finding out he cheated on her. Pam's only act to stand up for herself is she moved to sit next to her son rather than Trent in their station wagon in the closing scene.
  • The Way Way Back (2013)
    The girls are depicted as vapid and superficial, and there is a scene on the beach where Steph tells her boyfriend Chad that she wants to go in the water, and he responds angrily to then go because, apparently, she is very dependent on him.
  • The entire movie is just scene after scene of Cameron Diaz being a damsel in distress who Tom Cruise saves from nefarious gun dealers and government forces.
  • The Hangover (2009)
    Jade (Heather Graham) says about her spontaneous Las Vegas marriage to Stu (who was out of his mind at the time), "I'm a stripper. Well, technically I'm an escort, but stripping's a great way to meet the clients. But that's all in the past, now that I married a doctor."
  • When Kale (Shia LaBeouf) and his neighbor Ashley are in danger, he leads her by her hand to guide her to safety by jumping in a pool.
  • Lord of War (2005)
    Model Ava Fontaine is depicted as dependent on her husband Yuri and unsuccessful beyond her modeling career. She doesn't get an acting part because, "They're going in another direction: with someone who can act." And her later success as an artist was faked by Yuri who bought her paintings and stored them in a secret cargo container.
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
    Frank Sr. (Christopher Walken) mockingly asks Frank Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) "what's she gonna be, a shoe salesman at a centipede farm?" after Jr. told his dad his mom was out looking for a job since the family fell on hard times financially.
  • Catch Me If You Can (2002)
    The movie propagates stereotypical sexist culture at the time with Brenda depicted as naive and dependent on Frank.
  • Serving Sara (2002) | Women Marry Men for their Money
    Kate (Amy Adams) has a plan to marry Gordon for his money but meets with Joe (Matthew Perry) to help him in exchange for a piece of ex-wife Sara's divorce settlement instead.
  • She's All That (1999)
    Popular jock and class president Zack (Freddie Prinze Jr.) recruits his sister to give Laney (Rachael Leigh Cook) a makeover before they go to a party. His sister tells Laney she has an idea how to make her look gorgeous, but cautions "you'll really have to trust me." After working her magic behind the scenes his sister comes downstairs to present Laney, who looks utterly transformed after letting her hair down, taking off her glasses, putting on a form-fitting red dress, and donning red heels. Zack is momentarily speechless before having to spring into action to save Laney from falling after she slips on the final stair.
  • Varsity Blues (1999) | Women Need Men to Save Them
    Head cheerleader Darcy Sears (Ali Larter) tries to seduce lead actor star quarterback Mox (James Van Der Beek) by posing in a whipped cream "bikini" to try to use him as a way to escape their small town.
  • Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
    Debbie (Minnie Driver) is hiding in the bathtub with her father while her hitman love interest played by John Cusack defends them from assassins, and when he checks in on her she hands him the gun he gave her and tells him to "make this work" and he releases the safety and gives the gun back to her.
  • Airplane! (1980)
    A crying passenger named Randy says to Rumack (Leslie Nielsen), "I'm scared. I've never been so scared. And besides, I'm 26 and I'm not married." Rumack reassures her and then another woman expresses similar concern, but follows with "but at least I have a husband."
    Staff Aside
    It's satire but still propagating a certain mindset that's easier to do through humor. Some people will laugh because they feel it's absurd but that gives cover to others who will also laugh but because they (secretly maybe) agree.