I have to be upfront and admit that I am not a fan of Reese Witherspoon’s filmography. But, it wasn’t until recently that I realized why. She basically plays a mainstream white feminist in every single movie. No, that’s not a compliment.
And yes, I have receipts.
Let’s start with the obvious: Witherspoon has played in movies likeCruel Intentions (1999) where she was a blonde sex object for male consumption. In the film, she is a well-off, innocent girl (with a southern accent) who ends up being the subject of a sexual bet between two elite prep schoolers. The film is almost too unapologetic in its sexism and misogyny but there are other roles she has taken on which seem less clear in their problematic nature.
The Legally Blonde series was one of the first times Witherspoon played a character who, one their face, was actually complex. The protagonist, Elle Woods, is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend and, in an attempt to win him back, Woods applies (and gets in!) to an Ivy League Law School so she can show him she is a woman who can have it all.
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