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Of the three types of noir women, the femme fatale represents the most direct attack on traditional womanhood and the nuclear family. She refuses to play the role of devoted wife and loving mother that mainstream society prescribes for women. She finds marriage to be confining, loveless, sexless, and dull, and she uses all of her cunning and sexual attractiveness to gain her independence.
The classic femme fatale resorts to murder to free herself from an unbearable relationship with a man who would try to possess and control her, as if she were a piece of property or a pet.