Friday, December 5, 2008

Top 10 Must See Movies for Any Young Feminist

Here are my pics for the Top 10 Must See Movies for Any Young Feminist:

10 - "The Stepford Wives" (2004)
This movie is a remake of a 70s sci-fi horror movie, but has been turned into a comedy. I recommend it not as a great movie, but as a thought piece because when you realize what they do to the women in this movie and then realize that this movie is supposed to be funny, it somehow loses its humor.

9 - "Memoirs of a Geisha" (2005)
Feminism in the world of Japanese geisha was nonexistant. These women were taught that they had no right to speak out, no right to have opinions, and especially no right to love. For Sayuri, the main character, the life of a geisha, which she so desparately wanted, proves to be less glamorous and more subservient to men than she expected.

8 - "Ever After" (1998)
This movie is somewhat of a feminist approach to the classic Cinderella tale. "Cinderella" (Drew Barrymore's character, Danielle) frees herself from her "wicked stepmother and stepsisters" and saves the prince.

7 - "Jurassic Park" (1993)
Another one that I recommend as a thought piece. It's interesting how all of the dinosaurs in this movie are created to be females because they are supposed to be easier to control. When things go awry and the "women" fight back, the men demonize them and do everything in their power to stop the classic monstrous women.

6 - "Mean Girls" (2004)
Not your obvious feminism movie, I think it actually has quite a bit of feminist principles in it. Tina Fey's character Ms. Norbury sums it up best when she says "if you girls are calling each other sluts it just makes it okay for the boys to keep do it."

5 - "Clueless" (1995)
Clueless is a modern take on Jane Austin's novel Emma in which Cher (the 90s Emma) plays matchmaker and winds up getting herself into a great deal of trouble. Jane Austin's novel from the early 1800s shines an interesting light on womens' roles in society and Clueless carries that into the 1990s by showing just how little things have really changed.

4 - "Elizabeth" (1998)
Queen Elizabeth I of England is one of the most independently powerful women in history and this movie is a great depiction of her ascension to the thrown and the early years of her reign. Her decision to never marry was extraordinarily controversial, but she refused to have any man control her life or her throne.

3 - "Whale Rider" (2002)
Whale Rider is the story of Pai, a young girl from New Zealand who makes a name for herself as a leader of her generation among her people. Pai's grandfather, however, refuses to allow a girl to learn the ways of the chief of their people and discourages her from pursuing the leadership. Pai has a vision for bettering her community that is filled with crime and poverty and must overcome many obstacles to prover her right to be chief.

2 - "Akeelah and the Bee" (2006)
This is probably the most inspirational movie I've ever seen. Akeelah is a young, black, inner-city girl who has one dream: to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Along the way she learns to love herself for being the fabulous person she is and unites her community.

1 - "Mona Lisa Smile" (2003)
Julia Roberts (one of my all-time favorite actresses) stars in this movie set at Wellesley College in the 1950s about an art teacher who comes to the women-only college and shakes things up in a big way. This movie is like a feminism explosion, touching on topics including birth control, marriage and families, domestic abuse, women in the workplace, sexuality, and so many others.

Now that you've seen my picks, what are your thoughts? Did I leave something off that you can't believe I missed? Did I include something that you disagree with? Tell me what you think.


Jagyularr said...

I may be really lame for thinking this, but I think the Legally Blonde movies might go under this category. I mean, not only is Elle blowing apart some blonde stereotypes even as she fulfills others, but she shows us that you don't have to be a bitch - or even a certain "type" - to be a powerful woman!

Katie Colip said...

Having only seen parts of Jurassic Park I was surprised when it made this list. We should watch it sometime and you can continue my education.

NBeteck said...

Akeelah and the bee, and tina fey's quote from mean girls is great =]