A Brief History of Hollywood’s Sexualization of Guns


Gun control has never been more of a hot-button issue in the United States. With the movement started by the survivors of the Parkland shooting and the recent March For Our Lives, it appears that we might finally be heading for a tipping point. And it’s about time, given our country’s unhealthy obsession with guns.

Although the argument that guns in movies and television leads to actual gun violence is a bit ’90s, it’s clear that Hollywood has a major boner for firearms. A “hot chick” with a gun is more or less gold in the blockbuster action genre. As long as straight white men run Hollywood, it’s doubtful this fetish will calm down any time soon.

Regardless of where you stand on the issues, here’s our look at the last 50 years of guns, girls and glamorization.


Barbarella (1968)

Who better to protect the galaxy than the original sex kitten (Jane Fonda)?




Foxy Brown (1974)

Blaxpoitation at its finest, she kept a gun in her afro until a honky got handsy.


Foxy Brown


Heathers (1988)

Teenage suicide? Don’t do it! Faking your teenage tormentor’s suicide? That’s a grey area.


Als Veronica (Winona Ryder) genug von den miesen Zicken ihrer Clique hat, fängt sie an finstere Mordpläne zu schmieden.


La Femme Nikita (1990)

Just another case of men trying to control women.


La Femme Nikita


Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

The ultimate mama bear with a gun.


Terminator 2


Thelma & Louise (1991)

Leave it to a man to ruin a perfectly good road trip.


Thelma & Louise


Léon: The Professional (1994)

“No women, no children” only applies to the victims. If you’re a 13-year-old Natalie Portman, you have every right to avenge your family’s death.




Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)

If Indiana Jones were a woman, she’d probably need to upgrade her whip to a gun too.


Tomb Raider 3


Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

Surely symbolic that Bruce Willis was her first victim in this movie.


Charlie's Angels 2


Planet Terror (2007)

When you lose your leg during the zombie apocalypse, this is really the only option. Sorry, Hershel.


Planet Terror


The Hitcher (2007)

Although Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character died a most gruesome death in the original, the remake has Sophia Bush getting revenge for her dead boyfriend.


The Hitcher


Smokin’ Aces (2007)

In this group of hired guns, our money is on Alicia Keys.



Kick-Ass (2010)

Another little girl with a gun. We would call child services, but are they really a match for Hit Girl?


Kick Ass


Colombiana (2011)

She’s always packing heat… and a good tube of lipstick.



The Bad Batch (2016)

If cannibals leave you with one arm, it helps to have some protection.



Atomic Blonde (2017)

Cold War Charlize had the best tunes, the best fashion, and knew how to use a gun.



Proud Mary (2018)

Taraji P Henson has always been our favorite hit-woman.



Revenge (2018)

This new feminist thriller turns the tables on the male-dominated genre.


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