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

7 of 11

A distinct lack of intersectionality

One of the most memorable scenes in 10 Things I Hate About You is Kat’s clapback in English class where she destroys the patriarchal nature of only teaching students texts written by men. It’s epic, and you can bet that I tried to use it throughout university.

However, do you remember what comes next? Mr. Morgan, Kat’s long suffering English teaches comes straight back with this gem: “Kat, I want to thank you for your point of view. I know how difficult it must be for you to overcome all those years of upper-middle class suburban oppression.”

Which, of course, is absolutely on point. Kat doesn’t seem to recognize this, though. Her feminism is completely centered around gender, and intersectionality doesn’t seem to register at all. Mr. Morgan is completely correct in his assertion that Kat’s life experiences in terms of race and class have not led to her oppression, and she is unable to understand the privilege she has within a patriarchal system. Kat is solely focused on sexism and is blind to any other form of oppression.

The film itself is actually a good example of this. With the exception of Chastity and Mr. Morgan, there are no other named characters of color in the film at all. Chastity, for the most part, is solely resigned to the role of the sassy black friend and Mr. Morgan, while being an icon, is really only allowed dialogue when he is talking about oppression. On point he may be, but it’s still very regressive.