TFS Essentials: Dirty Dancing, feminism and the female gaze – Toronto Film Scene.

It’s no wonder that Dirty Dancing inspires near-mythic allegiance among women of a certain age. It may be the only film we’ve ever seen in which the male love interest is the one placed squarely in the centre of the frame to be admired for his physical prowess. Ostensibly, films in the romance genre are always “for women” but it’s rare that the male lead is objectified in the way Swayze is here. […] Baby has a great experience with a caring lover, and then at the end of the summer she goes on with her awesomely ambitious life. She doesn’t change her plans to be with her man or cry bitter tears at having to leave him. It’s impossible to overstate how rare a role model like Baby is in films aimed at teenage girls and young women.