„Even in the greatest Westerns, the woman is imposed on the action, as a star, and is generally destined to be “had” by the male lead. But she does not exist as a woman. If you cut her out of the film, in a version which you can imagine, the film becomes much better. In the desert, the essential problem was to survive. Women were an obstacle to survival! Usually, the woman not only holds up the story, but she has no real character, no reality. She is a symbol. She is there without having any reason to be there, simply because one must have a woman, and because the hero must prove, in some way or another, that he has "sex-appeal."“
— Sergio Leone
Christopher Frayling, Spaghetti Westerns: Cowboys and Europeans from Karl May to Sergio Leone (1981), p. 129. Quoted in The Worlding Project: Doing Cultural Studies in the Era of Globalization (2007), ed. R. Wilson, C. L. Connery, Ch. 6: "'But I Did Not Shoot the Deputy': Dubbing the Yankee Frontier" by Louis Chude-Sokei, pp. 158–159, as well as in The A to Z of Westerns in Cinema (2009) by Paul Varner, p. 198, and in The Quick, the Dead and the Revived: The Many Lives of the Western Film (2016) by Joseph Maddrey, p. 104.