Webster's College Dictionary defines feminism as "a doctrine advocating social, political, and economic rights for women equal to those of men; a movement for the attainment of suck rights- (Random House, 2000: 484). The act of doing whatever is necessary to attain equal treatment and the ability to live independently without a man in one's life are definitions that society has come to know feminism by (Humm, 1997). While many women wish to be equal, they also demand a certain degree of chivalry and politeness from the men that cross into their lives. Chivalry and feminism are not mutually exclusive. Friendship is defined as " a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard, a person who gives assistance, and a supporter- (Random House, 2000: 525). A friend has also become known as someone who is with another through "thick and thin,"" who would rather have pain caused to themselves than to their friend. Issues of both feminism and friendship are dealt with in the 1991 film Thelma and Louise. .
The film Thelma and Louise is meant to convey many messages to audience. Besides feminism and friendship (which will be dealt with later), the film also shows the "efforts of the two central characters to free themselves from the past- (Pratt, 2001: 29). Louise is running away from her past in Texas; Thelma is running away from her domineering husband. When Louise witnesses a man attempting to rape her friend, the past rushes back to her and she reacts unlike she normally would, shooting the man. When Thelma phones her estranged husband, he is extremely infuriated and demands that if she knows what is good for her she will return home immediately. While the two women try to run away from their pasts, the past continues to haunt them. Psychologist Carl Jung once said, "There is no way to escape one's past, one can only live with it. To do this, one must face it head one- (Harris, 2001: 44).