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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

In Celebration of Women’s History Month

A list of women and movies to follow that embody feminism

“A Wrinkle in Time”

A Wrinkle in Time” follows Meg Murry, played by Storm Reid, whose father, played by Chris Pine, disappears in the midst of discovering a new planet. When Meg gets news that her father is alive and trapped in this planet, she goes on a journey with her little brother and a classmate to bring him back home.

Directed by Ava Duvernay and featuring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, this 2018 adaptation is a must-see for young girls as Meg realizes she can do amazing things and overcomes her self-doubt.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nigerian-born writer Adichie has written several novels, short stories and nonfiction pieces, including “We Should All Be Feminists.” The book-length essay seeks to define feminism for the 21st century. Her works of fiction emphasize complex women of color and are well-written examples of intersectional feminism from a multinational perspective.


“Spanglish” follows a hard-working immigrant mother Flor Moreno, played by Paz Vega. Flor works for an upper-class family as their live-in maid, and her and her daughter must navigate living in an English-speaking, upper class household.

This 2004 James L. Brooks-directed movie takes a comedic route to show the struggles of a Mexican maid as a single mother.

Laverne Cox

As a transgender woman, Cox is an advocate for LGBTQ rights. She rose to fame for her role in “Orange is the New Black” as Sophia Burset and critics praised her for her multifaceted, sympathetic portrayal of a trans woman of color. Cox is outspoken about redefining gender equality to include trans and non-binary individuals.

“Hidden Figures”

“Hidden Figures” tells the real-life story Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson, Dorothy Vaughan, played by Octavia Spencer and Mary Jackson, played by Janelle Monáe, who were the real brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Their struggles  of being black women in a white and male-dominated field play out on screen. These women are an inspiration, supporting each other and accomplishing the impossible.


Chrystos is a Menominee poet and activist whose work focuses on themes of Native rights, feminism and social justice. Chrystos is two-spirit, a third-gender role unique to indigenous culture, as well as lesbian, both of which are central to their identity and influence their writing. Chrystos is known for their uncensored and often biting social and political commentary.

“Crazy Rich Asians”

Rachel Chu, played by Constance Wu, goes on a trip with her unbelievably wealthy boyfriend Nick, played by Henry Golding, to his home in Singapore. With the classic mean girls at every corner and the disapproval of Nick’s mother, her trip turned from a vacation to a never-ending, unpleasant surprise.

This 2018 film based on the novel of the same name is a rom-com for the books. With characters like Rachel, Astrid, played by Gemma Chan, and Penik, played by Awkwafina, the movie focuses on multiple female characters with contrasting personalities and is the first major motion film to feature an Asian-majority cast since 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club.” The movie isn’t just about one woman pursuing a man, but rather it introduces different women from a variety of locations, generations and values.


Lizzo is an American hip-hop and rap artist known for her commitment to feel-good music. Her work, both catchy and fun-loving, advocates body-positivity, self-love and acceptance. Lizzo is open about being sex-positive and confident in her own body, and she is just as addicting to watch as her music is to listen to.

“Real Women Have Curves”

The movie is the story of Ana Garcia, played by America Ferrera, a first-generation Mexican-American navigating her way through womanhood. She lives in a Latino community in East L.A. and fights her traditional family’s prejudices about higher education.

This 2002 movie gives insight on the struggles that Mexican-American students face when they are stuck between two worlds. “Real Women Have Curves” is the Mexican version of the film “Ladybird,” with a similar plot of a teenager wanting to grow up and be something bigger than what their parents have in mind for them.

Cherríe Moraga

Moraga is a renowned poet, playwright, essayist and activist and is famous for her work as a co-editor of the feminist anthology, “This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color.” Moraga’s writing and work centers arounds intersections of race, gender and sexuality. Moraga has also helped found La Red Xicana Indigena, an organization that connects and provides a voice for Xicanas across different fields as well as promotes indigenous women’s rights.

“The Hunting Ground”

This documentary focuses on exposing the rape statistics on college campuses across the country. It features survivors telling their stories as well as the various extents that U.S. college campuses go through in order to cover up sexual assault. The film follows women pursuing their education as they call for an end to harassment and sexual abuse on every level.

“The Hunting Ground” was directed by Kirby Dick and brings to light the unfortunate reality that many women face as they try to gain a higher education. The women in the movie don’t just share their story. They call for action, and that is what’s most impactful about this documentary.

Jacqueline Woodson

Writer Jacqueline Woodson has produced over two dozen books for children and adolescents. Her bestselling memoir, “Brown Girl Dreaming,” recounts her experiences growing up in the 1960s and 1970s amid the growing Civil Rights Movement, presenting issues of race and gender to younger readers.

Amandla Stenberg

20-year-old actress and activist Amandla Stenberg is very outspoken on issues of race, gender and sexuality. Stenberg uses her fame as a platform to empower queer women of color as well as to address problematic racial ideologies. Stenberg stresses the importance of representation of minority groups and strives to serve as a role model for young people of color.

Brie Larson

Actress and filmmaker Brie Larson stars in “Captain Marvel” and has said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that a central theme in the movie is the power of female strength. Released on Mar. 8, the movie boasts a diverse cast and defies misogynist tendencies common in superhero franchises. Larson is an advocate of intersectional feminism and for survivors of sexual assault.  

Written By: Itzelth Gamboa and Cheyenne Wiseman arts@theaggie.org


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