Female Stereotypes

“As for the historical understanding of Western women, the perspective of the old Western history could have been capsulated in three stereotypes: “Molly, Miss Kitty, and Ma.” Molly, the Eastern schoolmarm in The Virginian, comes West to find “a man who was a man.” Miss Kitty, the enterprising but fallen saloon keeper of television’s long-running western series Gunsmoke. And Ma, the supportive farm wife in The Little House books of Laura Ingles Wilder. These stereotypes shaped not only hundreds of Western stories, images, and movies, but also what passed for history.”