How are you darlings? It’s 2017, but sexism is still in the air. Men still get paid more than women in the exact same job roles and men can do whatever they want (if you know what I mean) and be glorified for it, whereas women get called names. Plus people still run in the other direction when you say you are a Feminist. Who’s fed up of all the stereo types? I came across Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Beyoncé’s flawless song and the words really touched me. She writes “We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man”.
What do you think about Chimamanda’s words? Can you relate? I am inspired and I can’t wait to read more of her work! I am extremely ambitious and I have always been encouraged to think about my future. I want to chase my dreams and why should anything hold me back, especially being female? It is unfair but I know I have to work harder because I’m female and that motivates me to work even harder. Plus no one is going to chase my dreams for me!
The Girlguides website reports ‘All around them, girls see and experience sexism and gender stereotypes. The good news is that half of girls say they challenge sexism when they see it’. I’m really excited to write this post as it includes two new films I watched this week and felt empowered by. I’m normally more of a TV series than a movie person.. unless it’s a Disney film. This list includes five amazing films, recent films and fairly old ones. However, they will give you all the girl power vibes you need. I think we need more films that empower and inspire women. On my list, there are two films featuring the amazing Meryl Streep and I had to slide at least one animation in! After all, staying in is the new going out right?
Put your phone down, get your friends round and enjoy!
(There may be spoiler alerts)
1) Hidden Figures (2016)
This is a beautiful biographical drama film. The film is about African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and space Administration (Nasa) during the space race. I wasn’t too sure about this film at first because I don’t know anything about space and I am not really that fussed about it, is that bad? Anyway.. the film is amazing. There wasn’t many women working for Nasa, let alone black women so it is great to see three amazing stories unfold. Unfortunately at the time, the segregation and racism was real..I’m talking separate bathrooms and extreme abuse.
In the film and one of my favourite scenes, one of the main characters (Katherine) becomes the first African-American woman in the team and in the building, which has no bathrooms for non-white people. As you can imagine, this makes Katherine’s life extremely hard. Every single time, I watch a movie that involves segregation or racism, I am shocked. However I believe films similar to Hidden Figures make a huge difference and educate people as well! Therefore, we shouldn’t shy away from watching them because they are “awkward” or “sad”. The ladies face many difficulties but triumph in the end and make history in three very special ways! Plus I’m a little more interested in space now..
2) Mulan (1998)
It’s likely you have already watched this classic Disney film but did you know Mulan is inspired by an actual historic Chinese figure? Mulan is based on the legendary Chinese warrior Hua Mulan from the poem the Ballad of Mulan. The ‘real’ Mulan fought for 12 years and gained high merit but she refused any reward and retired to her hometown instead.
The film tells the story of young Mulan. She is the only child of an aging war veteran. She disregards both tradition and the law by disguising herself as a man in order to join the army and fight for her country. Mulan is a great Disney Heroine. She is strong, fierce and independent. Mulan is the hero of her own story. She gets her prince charming but that isn’t what the film is all about like most Disney films. The transformation scene slays my life! Currently Mulan is the only official member of the Disney Princess franchise who is not a legitimate princess. Rumour has it, there will be a Disney live action version of Mulan in 2019 and I cannot wait!
3) Wonder Woman (2017)
I was really surprised I liked this film as I am not a Marvel fan at all. My Marvel knowledge, stretches as far as the first Spiderman film. However I watched the Wonder Woman trailer and I thought it looked quite exciting. I watched the film and I really enjoyed it. The film tells the story of Princess Diana who grows up on the Amazon Island of Themyscira. When she finds out about the ongoing World War, she leaves her country and heads to London (which she finds hideous btw) in an attempt to end the conflict. Diana becomes Wonder Woman in the process.
Before Diana leaves, her mother says “if you chose to leave, you may never return’ and Diana replies ‘who will I be if I stay”. This was probably one of my favourite scenes in the film. There was also lots of ass kicking! Diana is determined even as a young girl. She is head strong, confident and fierce. Nothing can stop her and she is also extremely curious about almost everything. Remind you of anyone? We all have our special talents and ‘powers’. I think there is a superhero in all of us!
4) Suffragette (2015)
This movie is great. I adore History, it was my favourite lesson in school. As well as English. We studied the suffragette movement and if you don’t know much about it, Google is your best friend. After I watched the film, I did some extra research on the movement. The film shows the iconic protests as well as the very sad and heroic Emily Davison incident. I adore Meryl Streep who plays British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement Emmeline Pankhurst in the film. It is the first film in history to be shot in the Houses of Parliament with the permission of MPs.
This film tells you all about Women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom (my home) It’s a shocker that women were not allowed to vote in England. The women were so brave and determined to win the right to vote. The film’s message is loud and clear, if you feel strongly about something, use your voice and fight for it, try to make a change.
5) The Devil wears Prada (2006)
Another Meryl Streep film! I did just say I love Meryl Streep right? This film is amazing. Meryl plays Miranda Priestly (probably the scariest boss to ever exist) a powerful fashion magazine editor and Andrea, a college graduate who goes to New York City and lands a job as Priestly’s co-assistant. Rumour has it, Vogue editor Anna Wintour was the inspiration behind Miranda Priestly. When I came across this film, it fascinated me as I really wanted to be a journalist at the time and I have always wanted to move to New York City. Infact it’s still a dream of mine. I love how humble and innocent Andrea is. I really like how determined she is as well. She never gives up! If you are a budding journalist or you have an icy bitchy boss, this one is for you! Movie night anyone?
“Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie