In The Ballad of Little Jo, High Noon, and Rooster Cogburn, there appear to be strong women who play important roles. Although they appear strong, they have moments where they are dependent and show weakness, which sets them apart of the alpha male cowboy and other males in general.
In The Ballad of Little Jo, women are disrespected. As an “other”, Jo will never truly fit into the west the way males did. Even though Jo helps a salesman when she is traveling out west, he then tries to pimp her to others they pass on their journey. When there is an actual prostitute in the movie, she disobeys the wishes of Percy and as a result gets her face slashed. When Percy discovers her secret, he feels disrespected and tries to win dominance over her by attempting to rape her. The person she connects with is Tinman, a Chinese railroad worker and another “other”. Although she connects with him since they are both outsiders who do not belong, the end reveals the truth about feelings towards women in the west. When Jo dies, her secret is revealed to the town. The men respond in disrespectful ways, destroying her home and tying her body to her horse to take pictures. Jo reveals her weaknesses when he saves Tinan from being hanged and when she has trouble killing another person.
In High Noon, Amy appears to be weak at first, telling Kane that she will leave even if he will not. Once the fighting starts, she cannot let Kane die and shoots one of the rebels. Even as a hostage she realizes she must help in order for her husband and herself to survive. She ends up attacking Miller, resulting in her escape and Kane shooting him. Although her actions are strong, her weakness is revealed in that she could not leave Kane and is dependent on him. As a woman, she let her feelings get in the way of her intended actions.
In Rooster Cogburn, Eula goodnight is a proper woman, having worked with her father at his missionary. She wants revenge on Hawk and his gang since they killed her father. She journeys with Cogburn, telling him he needs to change his ways and that he is not proper, drinking all the time and being so violent. She ends up becoming a little more like him while he becomes a little more like her; the two extremes move more towards the middle ground as a result of the feelings they develop for each other. Eula tries to hold back her feelings but gives them away at the end, although not quite confessing either. Her weakness is revealed in that she could not seek revenge on her own, but needs Marshal Cogburn’s help to hunt down Hawk.