“Moxie” Is Everything Women Empowerment Needs Right Now

     With a classic high school scene where jocks rule the school, young Vivian slides on her mother’s old rebel-infused leather jacket and decides to change things. Based off of the novel written by Jennifer Mathieu and Amy Poehler as director, Netflix’s new move “Moxie” is everything feminism stands for today. Not only does the film tackle normal high school problems such as finding yourself before college, but also expresses the idea of women standing with other women at a young age. Spoiler alert, if you haven’t watched “Moxie,” there are some comments in the story that may surprise you. With a strong, diverse cast and multiple high points, “Moxie” should be added to the list of your favorite movies.

     While the story centers around blonde hair, blue-eyed white Vivian and her walk to understand feminism, “Moxie” also shares the story of Lucy, who is Afro-Latino, Kiera, a black female captain of the soccer team, and Claudia, who works through the pressure of Asian tradition. In the movie we see Lucy get dismissed by the principal after telling her that she’s being “harassed” by a fellow male classmate. We see Kiera get ranked on a school list for “Best Ass,” and her reaction underlines how black women have been judged for their bodies and hair for far too long. Claudia, who is Vivian’s best friend throughout the film, takes a punch for the group and ends up getting suspended from school and tells Vivian, “You don’t get what’s going on with me because you’re white.” These moments of dismissal and ignorance show how everyone has a story to tell about their life and must stand up in order to tell it and be heard. 

     Early on in the story, we’re introduced to Lucy, who is a new student, displaying all the attitudes that are typically seen as “overreacting.” For example, she calls out why the school is still reading “The Great Gatsby,” when it’s about a white male writing a story about another white male with a mansion rather than something more diverse. When Vivian tries to defend the lack of progression at the school to Lucy by advising her to keep her head down, Lucy responds with, “... but I’m gonna keep my head up high.” In the same scene when told to ignore male actions, Lucy also asks, “Why should I have to ignore him,” asking the question that fuels women empowerment. While standing as the person to propel the story of the main character, Lucy works throughout the film to stand up for women in every situation where the field isn’t even. 

     As the story focuses on this new group of young girls fighting the patriarchy in loud colorful ways, “Moxie” also shines a light to the quiet feminists. Claudia at first is uneasy about the group as she fears the chain reaction it will cause, but ultimately supports the meaning behind the movement. We see that Claudia’s mom immigrated to America, and Claudia is subsequently put under a lot of pressure to make that journey worthy of something like getting into a good college. And so when not immediately excited for the new ideas springing up all around her, and being scared to disappoint her family, Claudia is felt as though she doesn’t belong in the group and isn’t doing enough for feminism. She explains this to Vivian by saying, “You made me feel bad because I wasn’t doing enough.” This happens in real-life as women support feminism but in their own small and quiet ways and are told they aren’t doing enough, which is false. 

     Lastly, as Vivian takes a stand at the end of the movie to reveal herself as the founder of Moxie, she explains to the crowd around her that she doesn’t see herself as a leader in any way but had to take a stand to what was happening around her. As she also recognizes the incredible qualities of the women in the group, the film ends on a note that anyone and everyone should stand up for what they believe in. The movie begins with Vivian trying to find a cause that she believes in to write about for college applications, and so even though the film wraps up that idea in a nice bow, “Moxie” also touches on every aspect of feminism that isn’t talked about as much. Women are dismissed, judged, and interrupted while changing the world and so by banding together on common issues, progress can be made. 

     Shoutout to Seth for being the respectable, ideal boyfriend; to Meg for calling out the treatment of handicapped people; to Kaitlynn for standing up to the double standard of dress codes; and to Amaya for being the supportive girlfriend we all need in life. Also the women-driven playlist that goes along with the movie is iconic to say the least. 

     In my opinion, “Moxie” should be on everyone’s radar and be added to every favorites list out there because it tells the story everyone wants to hear in a cohesive way that makes women feel heard, seen, and recognized. Now while it takes place in high school, the message translates to women everywhere and inspires them to tackle the issues they see on a regular basis. Stirring up a little trouble can mean two things, either you’re making your voice heard or starting a revolution; zero bad options.