10 Things I Hate About You: 10 things we love to hate about this film

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The Taming of the Shrew is not great for women

This is probably not news to many people – it’s widely known that 10 Things I Hate About You is loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The play has been studied in a new light recently, because it seems to celebrate female submissiveness, according to many academics. This plays into the story of 10 Things: Kat seems to be happier, friendlier and have a better quality of life (in general) after she submits to being open to the possibility of dating.

Though Kat and Bianca have their own narratives, these are book-ended by two men and specifically by their fathers rule, plus the entire plan to enable Bianca to be allowed to date. They are left with little agency for themselves.10 Things outlines Kat’s taming. In a very real sense, the film succeeds because Kat is tamed by the end of it. She becomes a nicer, calmer version of who she once was, and all fingers point to Patrick being the one to make this happen.

Some arguments claim that Katherina in Taming actually develops Stockholm Syndrome, which is why she gives in towards the end. Perhaps Kat is really suffering from something similar to this too? Or maybe it’s all pretend so that old Walter will allow her to go Sarah Lawrence without any fuss…

Either way, Taming doesn’t really treat its female characters with any agency, and sometimes it feels like 10 Things follows suit.