SL09151 A Price Far Above Rubies vs. Eight Cows: What’s a Virtuous Woman Worth?

Produced by BYU in 1969, the short film Johnny Lingo is often cited as a wise, compassionate story of male sensitivity to female identity, a positive demonstration of how to foster female self-worth. But the story hinges on the idea that a woman’s self-esteem is based on the price she commands in a financial transaction between men, not on any internal sense of who she is. This paper will present a close reading of the film, examine some implications of this financial transaction, and consider more realistic and modern ways than the barter system of encouraging female self-respect.

Holly Welker