Movies in Hollywood’s Golden Age (c. 1939) tended to be aimed primarily at female audiences: e.g., Gone With the Wind. For example, my mother and Aunt Kay took the streetcar to the movies several times per week in St. Paul, MN back then. The right of young women to go where they wanted to was a high priority in America.
As street crime rose in the 1960s and 1970s, however, the female audience tended to stay home and watch television instead. In the 1970s, movies became increasingly aimed at male audiences, such as Jaws and Star Wars. There are a lot of reasons for this trend, but a big one was the decline in female freedom to leave the house in safety at night during the Warren Court liberal era.
Commenter Anonas notes that Tocqueville observed the traditional American concern for female freedom of movement:
Some thoughts from Tocqueville about the historic American view of severity in criminal punishment as tied to women’s freedom and respect:
The legislators of the United States, who have mitigated almost all the penalties of criminal law, still make rape a capital offense, and no crime is visited with more inexorable severity by public opinion. This may be accounted for; as the Americans can conceive nothing more precious than a woman’s honor and nothing which ought so much to be respected as her independence, they hold that no punishment is too severe for the man who deprives her of them against her will. In France, where the same offense is visited with far milder penalties, it is frequently difficult to get a verdict from a jury against the prisoner. Is this a consequence of contempt of decency or contempt of women? I cannot but believe that it is a contempt of both…..
He also remarks about how women are able to travel alone safely in the US, a striking example of how women’s rights are enforced on every level of society. This was 1830.
Now it is widely proclaimed by respectable voices such as Hillary and Jeb that the hard fought gains against street crime of recent decades were the manifestation of irrational bigotry.
Also, besides letting criminals out of jail, let’s import a lot Muslims. What could possibly go wrong?