The film Erin Brockovich is a moving, true story about a woman who overcomes hardships, including gender discrimination, to investigate a large corporate lawsuit. Her battle to present the case in the “man’s world” of a law firm is seen as an excellent step in the direction of feminism and empowered women. However, Erin Brockovich does not follow the guidelines of true feminism. In the film Brockovich displays an unfair advantage over her male counterparts that not only give her an upper-edge but also contradict the true meaning of feminism and gender equality.
The best example in the film is Brockovich’s admittance into the county water board. The scene begins with Brockovich getting out of her car and walking toward the building. The shot cuts to the clerk inside who is frantically fixing his hair and straightening his clothes. He has an immediate attraction to Brockovich and her suggestive clothing. Brockovich enters the building, flashes a dazzling smile and begins to flirt and chat with the beaming clerk. She also makes a few comments that suggest she’s just a dumb girl who does not know or care at all about public records. Her hidden agenda is to gain access to public water records that might contain information on contaminated water. Ed Masry warned her that these records can be easily “lost” if the wrong people start asking for them. Her plan is to charm the clerk into letting her search the records alone. Most people would not be permitted full, unassisted access to a public records office.