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Ellie Sattler Cropped

If you think that a movie about dinosaurs doesn't necessarily scream girl power, you're wrong. Steven Spielberg's hit Jurassic Park might be one of the most feminist movies of all time - and it (probably) wasn't even made with that intent.

Just think about it...

All the dinosaurs are female, but they find a way to reproduce regardless - "life will find a way". It might be the ultimate matriarchal society.

The primary female protagonist, Dr. Ellie Sattler, serves to drive the plot forward rather than as a love interest, mother, or symbolic female - she's a maker of meaning, not a signal or representation of it. She also wears practical clothes throughout (no running from raptors in high heels or a miniskirt for her!) and is a complete equal to her male counterpart in Dr. Alan Grant. And although he is her romantic interest, they have separate, stand-alone storylines. She's there for her expertise, not to look pretty.

Lex Murphy, the park founder's niece, is also no damsel in distress. Despite having a freak out moment or two (and really, who wouldn't when confronted with a t-Rex or velociraptor?), she gets it together and even manages to hack into and reboot the park's security system, saving the film's survivors from a pack of raptors. 

What's more, the male leads in Jurassic Park give the women with equal consideration almost universally - there's no special treatment just because they are female. Perhaps in a prehistoric world ruled by female dinosaurs, there's a natural respect for the power of the feminine spirit - or perhaps the male characters in Spielberg's Jurassic Park are especially enlightened?

And finally, for anyone who says that people don't want to see an action movie with a strong female lead, Jurassic Park was the top grossing movie worldwide at the time of its release - in 1993. And of course, it passes the all-important Bechdel test - but that's almost a gimme, because with ferocious female predators literally hunting you down, no one's got time to talk about the men.

 

 

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