Few could argue with the fact that we live in a society in which not all are treated equally. We’ve come a long way as far as women’s rights go, but we still have a long way to go (no matter who’s in the White House). Here, five films which will educate you on the history of the women’s movement, illuminate many of the problems women still face and motivate you into action.
Gloria: In Her Own Words
Whether she looked for it or not, Gloria Steinem became the unlikely face of the women's movement in the '70s, one which confused those who cast feminists as unattractive, bitter women who couldn't marry. This is her story, in her own words, and it's fascinating, at times horrifying and ultimately inspiring.
She's Beautiful When She's Angry
This film fascinated us, in large part because we had never heard of some of the women it features and we had almost no knowledge of some of the events that occurred as a part of the women's movement (or of its myriad accomplishments). If your history books omitted the women's movement as ours did, She's Beautiful When She's Angry is worth a watch ASAP.
Audrie & Daisy
Audrie & Daisy is hard to watch, in part because the stories it tells do not end well and in part because the feeling it tends to invoke is "this could have been me." Depending on your age, it might also make you fearful for what the future holds for your own children. Ultimately, however, this is a story of bravery, of women coming together to fight for one another, and of hope for sexual assault victims everywhere. Tori Amos recorded an original song, "Flicker," for the film.
The Hunting Ground
The Hunting Ground also deals with sexual assault, only this time the women victimized have made it through their high school years unscathed only to be assaulted on their college campuses. It reveals how little university administrations do to prevent rape or protect those who've experienced its trauma, and shines a light on the all-too-familiar phenomenon of victim-blaming. Lady Gaga recorded an original song, "'Til It Happens To You," for the film.
This 2011 film points out all the ways in which the media fails to portray women in images that go beyond their sexuality, youth and beauty. The motto of Miss Representation is "You can't be what you can't see," but we are hopeful that this is an issue which will get better with time, as more women assume positions of power within the media companies that create these images. Let this be a rallying cry for your own career (we know we are!).