Directed by Leonard Nimoy (after his success directing two installments of the Star Trek film franchise at Paramount) The Good Mother (1988) focuses on Anna Dunlap (Diane Keaton), a single mother with progressive socio-political ideas who is attempting to incorporate sex education into her daughter’s up bringing from an early age. A conflict will arise when Dunlap’s ex-husband sues for custody of the child when he learns that Anna’s boyfriend Leo (Liam Neeson) let the child touch his penis.
In addition to the objectification of Keaton’s naked body in her many sex scenes with Neeson, The Good Mother instills in its audience a political message detrimental to feminist ideology; that if a woman institutes a progressive education of sexuality with her child, she runs the risk of losing that child. This is shaming, pure and simple. The film works only to inhibit feminist progress by shaming, and to a lesser extent, vilainizing those ideologies by implementing a style of narrative that pushes the social parameters of a patriarchal society onto the feminist protagonist.