Here, I talk about the troubling tendency to erase women’s stories from our collective consciousness and the history of the American West (as well as discuss Sharon Stone and The Quick and the Dead):
Women’s roles in Westerns settled, by the 1950s, into those of purity and beauty, defenselessness, hopelessly dependent on the hero — the cowboy — coming to save them. Any notion of identity and personality had been scrubbed clean. They were, like the mesas along the horizon near-blotting out the low-desert sun, the city of gold always over the next hill, the next hill, the next hill, there only to push the story forward.
Coming in Part 4: Ben Mendelsohn in Slow West, and the Western as immigrant experience.