Female Empowerment

Suturing Selfhood: ‘American Mary’ and the Unconventional Feminine Repossession of Self

American Mary

This violence through language establishes a paradigm that persists throughout the film in which female expression, female control over their anatomy/body and others’ is aggressively and oppressively impugned upon and violated by male domination. Mary’s passion and talent — and thus selfhood — exists imperiled and impeached by the overtures of men.

The Threat of Feminine Power in ‘The Witch’

The Witch

Recognizing the witch hunts dotted throughout the U.S.’s early history as a feminist issue, Robert Eggers smartly constructs his film to be a power struggle between the two main female characters, each representing a different conception of femininity. … By rejecting motherhood, the witches reject their feminine role in the patriarchal Puritan society.

‘Colossal’ and ‘Lady Macbeth’ Tell Similar Stories of Violence and Empowerment at TIFF


Both Nacho Vigalondo’s monster movie, ‘Colossal,’ and William Oldroyd’s period piece, ‘Lady Macbeth,’ are solid, carefully-made films built around a stunning performance from their lead actors – Anne Hathaway and Florence Pugh, respectively – and both tell the story of a woman surrounded by men who try to control her. Rightly or wrongly, both films also seem to presume that the best way for women to be strong and empowered is through physical violence.

‘Jem and the Holograms’: Diversity and Female Empowerment

Jem and the Holograms

What I didn’t remember, and was pleasantly surprised by, was all of the diversity present in the show and the incredibly positive female role models that it presented to its young viewers. … It offered a positive statement on cultural acceptance and feminine strength at a time when children’s programming was lacking in both areas (and often still is today).

“You Have No Power Over Me”: Female Agency and Empowerment in ‘Labyrinth’


So what distinguishes ‘Labyrinth’ from the Hero’s Journey tropes it so closely follows? Its protagonist. Sarah is the hero of the story. She doesn’t need to be saved because she’s the rescuer, and she carries the plot forward with her resourcefulness, tenacity, and self-actualization. …She navigates a tricky tightrope between fantasy and reality, dreams and goals, past and future, and discovers the kind of woman she wants to be.

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks


Check out what we’ve been reading this week – and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!

Yas Queen!: In Praise of Female Friendship and Sex Positivity on ‘Broad City’


As emerging adults, Abbi and Ilana are free to explore their sexuality as they choose. Choosing to be sexually active means the women have the possibilities of exploring love and sex, casual or within a relationship, in a way that best serves them as 20-something single women. Although Abbi and Ilana each explore their sexuality differently, the women share a common mentality- that they will embrace the many sexual adventures they embark on and support and empower each other every step of the way.

Being the Sun – Women and Power in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 11

Grey’s Anatomy

Is this Rhimes saying to all us die-hard female ‘Grey’s fans that we as women need to take the focus off of other people and put it back on ourselves in order to be the best version of, well, us? It certainly seems that way.

The Feminism of ‘Red Eye’


“In the game of patriarchy,” says media critic Anita Sarkeesian, “women are not the opposing team. They are the ball.” This quote not only rings all too true with regard to the real world, but also to the world of Wes Craven’s 2005 thriller ‘Red Eye.’

A Role of Her Own: A Celebration of Satyajit Ray’s ‘The Big City’


Arati is, in fact, a great screen heroine. She is elegant, giving, gritty and spirited. Committed to supporting others, she has a strong personal and public moral code. She cares for both her loved ones and her fellow female co-workers. She buys presents for every member of the family when she gets her first salary and, although he has hurt her, she does not hesitate to praise her failing husband when she is with others. At work, Arati is not frightened of asking her boss for a raise and she learns to bargain with her colleagues for extra commission pay. When Edith’s virtue is slighted at work (the boss believes Anglo-Indians to be inherently promiscuous), she speaks out against the injustice and makes an extraordinarily risky yet heroic move. It is important to note that Arati is not regressively presented as a maternal martyr but as a dynamic, engaged worker and citizen.

The Butler, the Billions, and ‘Bernard and Doris’s Broken Hearts

Movie poster for Bernard and Doris This is a guest post by Margaret Howie. But the question, again, is do you ever really want to ever be intimate? If you do, then it might as well be this person. It’s not about gender. It’s not about race, or age, or anything. The hurdle is intimacy. […]

Guest Writer Wednesday: ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ Rekindles the Notion that Women Are Wicked

Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) Guest post written by Natalie Wilson. Originally published at Ms. Magazine blog . Cross-posted with permission. Dorothy Gale—the girl who went to Oz—has been called the first true feminist hero in American children’s literature. Indeed, she was condemned by many readers, including children’s librarians, for daring to have opinions […]