Study Guide

Chicago Sexuality and Sexual Identity

Sexuality and Sexual Identity

BANDLEADER: Ladies and gentleman, the Onyx club is proud to present Chicago's hottest dancing duo: two jazz babes moving as one.

This is one of the first lines in the movie, introducing Velma and Veronica Kelly. Even without them being murderers, the crowd is drawn to them because they're hot women. Two jazz dudes wouldn't draw the same crowd as two women capitalizing on their sex appeal.

VELMA: Oh, she's gonna shimmy till her garters break.

This lyric from "All That Jazz" is juxtaposed with a visual of Fred Casely removing Roxie's garters in a fit of lust. It illustrates how Roxie is using her sexuality in the hopes of achieving fame.

COP: From what I hear, he's been burgling you three times a week for the last month.

We just included this line because it's so funny.

PHOTOGRAPHER: It's a shame to hide such a beautiful face!

As Roxie is led into the paddy wagon, this is her first clue that she can use her beauty as an asset… even in prison.

TANGO: He took a flower in its prime, and then he used it, and he abused it. It was a murder but not a crime!

This lyric from the "Cell Block Tango" can be seen as a little "lady doth protest too much." If a woman wants to use her sexuality and be an independent sexual being, can she then claim to be an innocent "flower"? Can she have it both ways? Is that what is happening here, objectively?

VELMA: Flash 'em a bit of thigh, huh? Whatta ya think?

Roxie isn't the only one using sex appeal. This is Velma's strategy to seduce the jury, a 1920s version of Sharon Stone crossing her legs in Basic Instinct. And Roxie steals the idea and uses it with great success.

ROXIE: He liked to take me out and show me off. Ugly guys like to do that.

This is a timeless quote about how men love to show off women as trophies. That might never change.

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