25 Years Ago, Thelma and Louise Popped Culture With Feminism

How Katniss, Rey, Buffy, and more are all daughters of the radical 1991 blockbuster.

On May 24, 1991, Thelma and Louise whipped out a long-loaded, never-before-fully-fired weapon of female outrage and blasted huge holes through pop culture’s old myths and notions regarding women who take charge, take aim, and take care of any situation at hand. A quarter century of liberation since then has poured through the positive wounds in those antiquated standards and, gloriously, it continues on with no sign of slowing down.

In the film, Southern best friends Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) hit the road in a 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible. Thelma needs to get away from her nastily manipulative husband, while Louise just needs a break from waitressing. After stopping at a roadhouse, a creep attempt to sexually assault Thelma. Louise stops the crime by shooting him dead. The pair then go on the lam, having an open-air adventure in which they change themselves, strike blow after blow against sexism (including blowing up the tank of a misogynist truck driver), and speed toward an unforgettable ending wherein Thelma and Louise go out on their own terms.

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