As I am sure many of you noticed in Dr. Strangelove, there was a distinct lack of any female characters of any merit. Granted, this film is quite dated being made in the 60s, however, I feel the need to point out what this movie and its apocalypse say about gender roles. Throughout the movie we see many overtly sexual references being made. The phallic symbols of cigars and the bombs, the fact that at all times someone has something in their mouth, and one of the characters being called “Turgidson.” It is clear that one of the messages of Dr. Strangelove is this sexual frustration that these men, and to a greater extent, the American nation, have. This is also shown in the fact that the only female character in the movie, Miss Scott, only ever appears in her underwear, whether that be in person or as the centerfold of a magazine. Miss ScottThis all goes back to what roles are expected of both men and women. The sexual frustration we see throughout nearly the entire movie truly shines near the conclusion. Once the bomb is dropped in Russia, Dr. Strangelove himself comes up the idea of hiding the remnants of the human race in underground shelters. Of course, in order to keep the population of humans alive, each man will need to have at least ten women as a sort of harem to impregnate. This is where these gender roles really come into play. While the men get to be war “heroes,” women are reduced to nothing better than brood mares. Even though Dr. Strangelove is a satire on the Cold War era, it still has some valuable social commentary. This trope comes down to the notion that because women have the capacity to make a baby that it is all they are good for. In an end-of-the-world scenario, a woman’s ability to have a baby is seen as “heroic.” In an apocalypse, Dr. Strangelove satirizes this in providing its male characters will the sexual release they need in the form of their very own concubines, ten of them to be exact. The fact that humanity would so quickly fall back to such a barbaric way of thinking is comical, or I suppose, I hope it is.


Jared. "Learning to Love the Bomb: Sex, Laughter, and the End of the World in Dr. Strangelove." Moviegoings. N.p., 31 Mar. 2009. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. .