Citation: LaSalle, Mick. Complicated Women : Sex and Power in Pre-Code Hollywood. Boston: Saint Martin's Griffin, 2001. 1-1.
This book talks about the negative impact that the production code had on the portrayal of women in cinema. The author describes a time before the code when women could enjoy being women without having to apologize for it. She describes that women were allowed to “have fun”, “take on lovers and have children out of wedlock”. The introduction explains that part of the reason the code was implemented was to stop women from enjoying these freedoms onscreen and put them back in their place, the kitchen.
This section relates heavily to the character of Rio, played by Jane Russell in The Outlaw. Before the code, there would have been little to no qualms about her showing as much skin and cleavage. However, due to the Hays code, which aimed at making movies more moral, her character was stifled. Some of the controversy over the questionable integrity of the film was partly due to the fact that Jane Russell was a female actress attempting to express her female sexuality in a time where it was not appreciated.