What is it about?

The focus of this analysis is the SF series Westworld (Nolan and Joy, 2016, 2018, 2020), inspired by the film of the same name from 1973 (Crichton). Modern version of Westworld is a story dominated by Dolores and Maeve, female android characters, since narrative is centered on their awakening and emancipation. The feminist turn may positively indicates the transformations that occurred in the society of spectacle. Back in 1973, gender-based stereotyping of women was still a firm division point between acceptable female roles of a good and obedient daughter, a faithful wife, or a self-sacrificing mother and unacceptable roles of sexually promiscuous and “irrational” rebels and prostitutes. However, Dolores is both a good daughter and a rebel/killer, and Maeve is a prostitute and a self-sacrificing mother. These roles are not evaluated, which suggests that series overcome the traditional gender dualism. Unlike female androids, such a change is not visible in characterization of other female human characters or male characters. Analysis of the Westworld series is presented through feminist lenses and questions whether Westworld feminism is really for everybody or it is reserved for female androids.

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Why is it important?

Analysis of the series showed that Westworld further spreads propaganda aimed at maintaining the existing unjust social system, which implies gender and any other inequality. Namely, characters who transcend gender stereotyping are not humans; they are creations of male-created technology. The final message is that gender stereotyping is natural, while transcending these binary hierarchies is unnatural.


I hope that the article will stimulate critical thinking about the possible background interests of a very influential product of pop culture and thus contribute to the media awareness of the audience.

Dr. Mirela Holy
VERN' University

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This page is a summary of: Westworld and overcoming of traditional gender dualisms: Is feminism really for everybody or just for female androids?, Northern Lights Film and Media Studies Yearbook, June 2022, Intellect,
DOI: 10.1386/nl_00033_1.
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