Over the years, the definition of feminism has been simplified through various interpretations, in movies, in books, and even in regular discussions over dinner. Feminism is basically demanding equal rights and opportunities for women in life, including education, work, choices, safety, and much more, to empower them from all aspects. To celebrate this concept of feminism, there have been several films that approach with a particular agenda on the notions of femininity, sexuality, and the social status of women which were capable of creating ripples in the overall thought process of society.
Movies, just as a medium of information and communication, are extremely influential in society at large in that they try to challenge the age-old conventions, orthodox dogmas, and several topical and debate-worthy issues, and most certainly issues of feminism that manifest in a patriarchy-driven environment only to represent women or femininity as more than a passive recipient of everything that is passed on to them.
The origin of feminist movies can be traced back to the feminist film theory, which explains how the criticism revolving the feminist politics got portrayed on television or cinema screens. That is when the public could develop their opinions and form grounds for criticism based on the theories and perspectives presented in the depictions of the male and female roles. While talking about feminist movies, some remarkable names in this genre must top the list.
Take a look at them below –
Alien (1979) – This movie presented the female character of Ellen Ripley as not a damsel in distress who needs saving but a ferocious girl who can slay and vanquish opponents, including monsters!
Hidden Figures (2016) – This movie is one of the greatest examples of how there is a successful woman behind every successful man, and in this case, it was three brilliant women, who did all the brainstorming to devise a strategy to put a man in space on the behalf of NASA before the Russians could.
The First Wives Club (1996) – This movie came to be popularised as a pop film that’s an ode to feminism, where three women decide to put the pen down and claim their independence from their manipulative ex-husbands.
Clueless (1995) – It redefines female friendship and sexuality and explains how the idea of fulfillment for women is more than finding a man.
Wild (2014) – This film is another feather in Reese Witherspoon’s filmography where she plays Cheryl Strayed who gets down her hiking boots in spite of being a real-life novice and sets on an 1100-mile solo trek to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Who should watch them?
How often have you experienced the compartmentalization of women in every aspect of life? How often have you ignored the sexist comments a colleague makes? How often have you been labeled as a brazen and outspoken lady when all you are trying to express is your opinion as an equal human? If the answer to these questions is ‘everyday’ or ‘very often’ then you should watch feminist movies, at least the ones mentioned above.
On several occasions, women are accused of hiding behind feminist theories or justifying their opinions and claim for liberation from the stereotypes and misconceptions of society when all they want is to claim their place in the world and equality in everything in life. This situation and demand for equality by women have been misinterpreted as a war waged against men all these years and the main reason behind that is feminism and acceptance of its principles can put an end to male dominance and subjugation of women, which, to some extent is still too difficult to swallow for the patriarchal society. If you have always wondered about the various forms of emancipation that women could enjoy and the different sectors of life where they should raise their voices against the injustices meted out to them, then you should definitely watch these feminist movies.
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Feminism has often been miscomprehended as a staunch movement of women because of the word ‘feminine’ in it. However, it’s high time that people try to realize that feminism is not just a woman’s movement anymore, in fact, it’s the idea of liberation of mankind in general. Here, people might feel confused about why human beings need liberation and in what form. Well, the answer is patriarchy and toxic masculinity. It is not just the curtailing of women’s freedom by the age-old, irrational, and most certainly, patriarchally narrow-minded societal statutes, which need to be stopped but also the conventional notion of dominance exercised by the males and subjugation accepted by the females that need to be eradicated. To embed this idea into society at large, everyone should watch feminist movies because these movies show very clearly that women can take a stand for themselves and do not need rescuing every now and then, for they too are self-sufficient and confident. In fact, all those individuals who have believed all these years that women need to be protected, cherished, and also restrained, should definitely watch feminist movies because it is high time, they too understand the need for equal participation of both genders to change the face of the world.
Another thought that needs to be contemplated upon is that a man does not always have to do everything and has the woman beside him as just a recipient of the outcome of his actions. In fact, women can participate in each of the actions in the male-dominated society and contribute equally. So, next time when you have someone lecturing you on the do’s and don’ts for a woman, or worse, mansplaining you, just ask him or her to watch a feminist movie and keep enlightening everyone with its ideologies!