Let’s be honest: Netflix doesn’t have a great selection of movies if you’re looking to enjoy something without putting aside your feminist beliefs. Even the good ones don’t pass the Bechdel Test. However, there are some gems I discovered within the documentary department. If you want a film that informs and enlightens you, take a homework break and check them out.
1. The Hunting Ground
A documentary that addresses sexual assault and rape culture on college campuses. It discusses how colleges established a system that rarely holds perpetrators accountable for sexual assault as well as failing to provide support for victims. The Hunting Ground provides personal accounts of survivors and how they dealt with reporting their assault through their colleges. Rape isn’t the only issue; it’s the culture built on false assumptions of what rape is and how they’re ingrained into society.
2. The Mask We Live In
This documentary breaks down the assertion of toxic masculinity. Not only does it thoroughly explain what toxic masculinity is, but it demonstrates how and why it’s destructive. I also appreciate this documentary for including intersectionality. Toxic masculinity ties with many layers of oppression and while it does affect men, it overall affects our perception of gender and how we construct it.
3. Miss Representation
In case you couldn’t tell from the punny title, Miss Representation explores the ways in which women are represented in the media, or rather how they’re misrepresented. The media chooses how to (inaccurately) portray women, regardless of their positions or titles, and forcibly feeds us these harmful, stereotyped images. Miss Representation breaks down why these portrayals are misleading and problematic.
I’m sure there are more feminist-oriented documentaries out there and hopefully Netflix will add more. Whether you identify as a feminist or not and want to broaden your perspectives, do take the time to watch these films. They all provide interesting insights that you may not have considered before.