Rewind to fifteen years ago and I didn’t even really understand the meaning of the word Feminist, but I knew I didn’t want to be one after I asked a friend “What exactly is a Feminist?” and I got the response “basically a frigid hippie who doesn’t wear a bra”
(Face palm, Shakes Head)
Fortunately, I’ve grown up and I’ve learnt what it really means to be a feminist and proudly realised I am one. I’ve become much more aware of who I am and who I want to be, BUT, in turn, I have also become even more aware of what society expects me to be. We may be fighting stronger than ever, but the battle for equal rights still has a long way to go. So to both remind us and empower us, I thought I would start posting some light-hearted, positive, Feminist Friday action on the blog.
#FeministFridays was created by an old work friend of mine began who began the Feminist Fridays Facebook group as a place for people to discuss feminist issues & news on a weekly basis, and create a positive online feminist community. Feminist Fridays has since become a popular hashtag and theme across Twitter and made an appearance at Brisbane’s very own TedxWomen.
To kick off my first ever #FeministFriday, I’ve selected my favourite movies that have totally fierce female leads. Got a free weekend coming up? Why not have yourself a Fierce Female marathon?
Trainwreck is the story of a female magazine writer who doesn’t believe in commitment, but then meets a man she actually would like to commit to. Amy Schumer plays the lead, a journo who likes getting drunk several nights a week, having sex, smoking pot and fantasising about hot celeb actors. Sound like a ‘skank’ to you? Not to me. But the movie caused a lot of controversy when it was released after Amy revealed parts of the movie were inspired by own her life, and one interviewer labelled the movie and the character as ‘Skanky’ directly to Amy’s face (at which point of course she shut him down). With a great cast, hilarious script and my fave director, Judd Apatow, this is definitely a film for a Friday night in.
An incredible story based on the real life two month trek that Cheryl Strayed adventured on in 1995. Based on her Memoir, Wild shares the story of how Cheryl lost her Mother to Cancer, went through a heart breaking divorce, followed by a drug fuelled relationship, all before she was 25 years old. Sad, heart broken, and completely lost, she decided to embark on a 1100 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, solo! Carrying a backpack half her weight, with no real trekking experience, Cheryl tried to deal with the problems of her past, whilst managing problems in the present on the PCT, such as wild snakes, stranger danger and losing one of her walking boots off the side of a cliff.
Thelma & Louise
It’s 1991, two very different women, one misunderstood murder and a 1966 Ford Thunderbird on the open road, makes for one of the best films ever! The story follows Thelma, an under appreciated housewife, and her best friend Louise, a feisty no-nonsense waitress, on the run from the police after an encounter with a stranger at a bar goes horribly wrong. Emotional, Hilarious, Nail-biting, and with one hell of a script, this is one of my favourite films of all time about two women, fighting for freedom and taking taking control of their lives before America snatches it away from them.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
No matter if you’re not a star wars fan, the story of the The Force Awakens tells like a brand new tale, and with an incredible brand new female lead. An orphan scavenger named Rey is living on the dessert-like planet of Jakku (not to be confused with Tatooine), when she encounters a robot called BB-8 and Finn, an escaped stormtrooper. Stuck on the planet and in desperate need of of her help, Rey puts a plan into action to help Finn and BB-8 escape, but she soon finds herself on the adventure with them, quickly becoming their rescuer, protector and realising she holds powers only known to Jedi (and one point she mind tricks the f*** out of Daniel Craig). Seriously awesome movie!
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games series follows the story of Katniss Everdeen, a District 13 nobody who, after taking her sisters place in a cruel national big brother style death match, becomes a female warrior leading the troops (aka all Districts) into battle against the wealthy city of Panem. More than just a set of movies about Hunger Games, the story is about loss, love and fighting for your rights.
Based on the true story of a small law firm who sued the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California for millions after it was found they were poisoning the local water. But the real story is of course about Erin Brockovich, who despite having no legal education, not only lead the case, but worked tirelessly to help the families involved, all whilst being a single mum to her three kids and trying to pay the rent & bills. This film is all about having determination, working hard, being a fighter and not letting the word No stop you. And Julia Roberts 100% deserved the oscar for this role *Applauds*
A film about spoilt rich kids who all look 25 but are apparently 15, spending their days failing at school and shopping at the mall. Well, kind of. Clueless actually takes you through the high school year of a 15/16 year old girl who is transitioning from spoilt brat, to, well slightly-less spoilt brat who actually cares about people other than herself. With a 90’s vocab to die for, this movie is a real feel-good film about friendship, doing the right thing and NOT judging a book by its cover. Cos that would be like totally buggin’.
It’s easy to see how this film can be portrayed as a fairytale type movie; a knight in shining armour (aka billionaire business man) rescues a woman in need. But look closely and you’ll see that this film is actually about a woman rescuing a man. Edward (Richard Gere) may shower Vivian (Julia Roberts) with expensive clothes, gifts and jewellery – which she actually walks away from in the end – but in the one week they spend together, she does more good in his life than hers, helping him to re-evaluate what’s really important in life, which ultimately isn’t money. Plus we get to see Julia Roberts shut down some prissy women on Rodeo Drive who shamed her the day before – best scene ever!
Had my work colleagues, friends and ex boyfriend all tried to assassinate me, steal my daughter from my womb, and left me for dead, then yup, I’d be pretty pissed off too. Would I seek revenge in the form of killing them off one by one? Yup, for sure. Would I be able to do it as elegantly yet as bad ass as Uma Thurman in Kill Bill. No of course not, but after watching her kick some serious ass in this movie, I’d be up for trying *Logs onto eBay to order a Samurai*
Who is your favourite Fierce Female Lead/s? I’d love to know in the comments below!
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