To what extent are women the outsiders in the film 'North Country'?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Caro's film depicts women as definite outsiders both socially and economically.  The women who work in the mines are outsiders socially because they are challenging the traditional roles of  women in the mine town.  The belief is that women should not be in the mines along with the men and the harassment they endure is necessary to maitain this Status Quo.  More interesting is that the women are seen as economic outsiders.  The film's setting is rooted in challenging economic times.  Men and women are searching for work and the male miners in the film resent the women coming in and taking jobs that could be occupied by men who have families for which they must care.  Enhancing this is that Josey's legal action against the mine will threaten to shut it down, causing more unemploment and even more anxiety on the part of the men who work there.  In this, women are shown to be economic outsiders in a system that is believed or perceived to be limited and finite.  What the women miners have, other men covet.  In this, women are the outcasts or outsiders in the film.