To be it, you must see it — which is why it’s vital for young girls everywhere to see smart, nuanced portrayals of women in film. Not every woman needs to be Brie Larson-as-Captain Marvel level of tough to be considered a “strong woman character.” Sure, the superheroines of the world are breaking barriers (and occasionally box office records) but they’re not the only ladies on camera worth celebrating. What we should get excited about are all kinds of movies where women lead their stories, have agency, and, per the Bechdel test, talk about something other than a guy.
Women’s History Month celebrates achievements of women, while also reminding the world that gender parity is the ultimate goal. In the film industry, women are making incredible strides, both in front of and behind the camera. (Even though many women are still unfairly shut out of the Best Director category at the Oscars.) Women filmmakers are using their platform to tell women’s stories, through narrative work — some of which is based on real-life stories of extraordinary women — as well as in documentaries.
Just as every woman has a unique perspective on the world, so do the films that really celebrate women. Are rom coms your speed? How about thought-provoking documentaries, or horror films where the women run towards the danger rather than away from it? What about a documentary on the leading ladies in pop, or one about women running for office in the often male-dominated field of American politics?
Thanks to Netflix, these films are easily available — which means you can celebrate Women’s History Month without leaving your sofa.
Here are just some women-celebrating movies to throw on your queue.