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17 Movies to Watch When the Patriarchy’s Bringing You Down

In 2016, we want to say that we live in a more progressive world devoid of sexism, racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination; however, there are always those moments that remind us we are far from the just world we so often dream of. They usually happen just when we are trying to have our Beyonce moment of fully embracing our feminism, only to have it interrupted some idiot mentioning that women are not at equal to men. These debates, though necessary, can get tiring and annoying, so here are a list of the best movies to watch when the patriarchy’s weighing on your feminism.

1. The Cheetah Girls

This film series was all about girl (or should we say “growl”) power, and being able to overcome anything with the help of your squad.

2. Pariah

This film was all about intersectionality, with reflection on being LGBTQ+ within the black community, all told from the focal point of a teenage girl.

3. Pretty in Pink

One of the 1980s classics, Molly Ringwald dismantles high school politics and the old theory that the popular girl always wins.

4. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

This film’s premise is literally in the title, but it shows how sisterhood is how you bring down the patriarchy instead of letting it bring you down instead.

5. The Color Purple

Though this film takes place decades ago, it shows how a black woman in the South finds the courage to overcome male dominated society and fend for herself and family.

6. Mean Girls

Though this film may seem to bring up more female stereotypes than it breaks, it does so in a comedic way that females have the ability to transform from a “mean girl” to “actual human being.”

7. Steel Magnolias

The film represents sisterhood in all forms, and shows that women can be both strong (steel) and sensitive (magnolia).

8. Waiting to Exhale

Another film displaying sisterhood, starring the ever-amazing Whitney Houston. This film showed how four black women all at different places in their lives can come out resilient with the help of each other.

9. Mulan

Just one of the Disney princesses on this list, Mulan defies the princess stereotypes, as she levels herself as a warrior among men.

10. Frozen

Another film that has continued to halt stereotypes, Frozen is more the tale of two sisters than it is a romance. Definite girl power. 

11. Just Another Girl on the IRT

This is a coming-of-age film centered around a young girl growing up in New York who learns about the world as she continues to make education her priority.

12. The Heat

Starring the power team of Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, this film brings down the patriarchy for you by establishing these two as “getting the job done” women, ~much~ better than their male counterparts.

13. Mi Vida Loca

This film embodies the coming together of young women as they overcome boy problems and gang trouble to provide for their children and families.

14. A Cinderella Story

Though based on Cinderella, this isn’t your typical Cinderella story. Sam (Hillary Duff) standing up for herself is definitely the best moment of the film (even better than the final kiss at the end!).

15. Charlie’s Angels

Need we say more?

16. Real Women Have Curves

This body positive film follows a young girl’s quest of self-discovery and her desire to attain a college education despite her naysayers.

17. Brave

This movie’s title describes not only about the protagonist in this film, but Merida totally triumphs by outwitting the belief that she needs to be married to succeed. She decides to fight for her own hand in marriage.

Which movie(s) have you seen? Tell us in the comments!

Keana Bloomfield

Bryn Mawr '18

Keana is a News Blogger/Viral Content Writer for Her Campus, as well as a two-year High School Ambassador Advisor.  With HC since her freshman year, she often winds down by singing, reading, watching TV, admiring Beyoncé and eating, whilst also regretting not taking advantage of the precious nap times one is afforded in pre-school.