Hidden Figures

While reading the instructions for this assignment, the movie Hidden Figures was the first thing that popped into my mind because of how much self-worth and perseverance the women portray after constantly being shut down by men. After learning about the issues dealing with feminism, sexist gender roles and so on, I am much more aware of the gender inequality presented in movies that I would not have noticed before taking this class.

 Hidden Figures is a very fascinating and eye-opening movie that pushes the audience to realize that anything is possible no matter what color or gender you are. The setting of this movie was taken place in the 1960s when men had a great amount of power over women and in addition, women of color had no say at all. An insanely talented and intelligent colored women named Katherine Johnson was working for the company NASA with a team of women taking on the task as “human computers”, segregated from the rest of the company. The NASA Space Task group needed a human computer who was able to do analytic geometry and Katherine just so happened to be the perfect match. When Katherine entered her new work environment, she found herself in a room full of men who were shocked and confused to see a woman walk in, as if she mistakenly entered the wrong room. In no time, Katherine impressed the whole Space Task group by doing a math equation on the black board that no one had the guts to try and figure out.

As everyone was very impressed with her, she was still rejected from the board meetings and was not able to put her name on the mathematical reports because of the simple excuse that she is a woman. Once they no longer needed her because they were ready to launch the spaceship and her presence of doing math calculations was not useful anymore, they directed her back to where she was from the start, segregated from the NASA building. Before the spaceship was going to be launched into the orbit, the astronaut needed to make sure the landing and re-entry points were exact so that no mistakes were made while in the air. The only person he trusted to verify this important task was Katherine, so she was quickly brought back in. She did final calculations and had the final say on whether the spaceship was ready for take-off because she knew what she was doing more than any of the other men, and of course, she had all her numbers on point and they were ready for take-off.

There were a lot of comments and actions shown in the movie that showed the disrespect and inferiority that women had. As I already mentioned, Katherine was not allowed to join any of the business meetings because “there is no protocol for women attending the meetings” which is very unfair because what is said in the meetings is crucial for her to know. As well as when Katherine met a young man at a barbeque and told him where she works and what her position was, he was surprised because he thought “only a man can do that”. When Katherines section of the company had succeeded at their first launch around the earth and the boss applauded them, he said “thank you gentlemen” and everyone carried on without realizing that they are not only men and the word “gentlemen” is a said habit that should not have been used. When Mary, Katherines close friend, had mentioned that she wanted to be part of the group of engineers working at NASA, they unfortunately told her she had to finish her schooling at a high school that only accepted males and sadly, it was the only school that offered the specific classes that she needed. It was a very cruel time that they were living in because your achievements depended mostly on your gender and not whether you have the will power and intelligence. It is very aggravating and irritating to think that it is not because you are not good enough that you cannot accomplish something, but it is because you are a female.

My favorite part about this movie is the self-worth that these women have by speaking up when they thought something was unfair, no matter what the rules are. They fought and made sure that things were done correctly because gender should not be a reason for any decision. Katherine spoke her mind and gave it her all to prove that she should attend the business meetings until she was finally able to present herself at the meetings, which she was. When Mary was rejected from the high school because she was a female, she did not give up then and there, she brought her case up with the judge and before you knew it, she was one of the students at the engineering high school. These powerful women in the movie have such a positive effect on the females that feel like they are inferior or not “good enough” for people’s expectations.


Amazon.com: Suffragette: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter ...

Suffragettes is a British movie, it was directed by Sarah Gravon in 2015. This film talks about the struggle that women have to face to obtain the right of vote in England. It is inspired by real events that took place in London between 1912 and 1913. I found the movie beautiful because it traces the courage and will of Women to obtain gender equalities. Suffragettes concentrates on the difficult conditions that British women have to face everyday. They decide to make a movement known as the “Suffragettes” to fight for equality and freedom. The reactions of the government are really violent. During the strikes, women were getting beat up and arrested by police forces. In this film, Women are willing to do anything to fight for their freedoms. Maud, is the main character of the movie and she took a lot of risks. Her activism caused the loss of her husband, job and son.

The main character, Maud, played by Carey Mulligan is very inspiring. She is a mother and she works in a laundry. Her boss does not respect her, he insults her everyday for no reason and he also abused a lot of women workers in the past. In the beginning, Maud did not want to become an activist because her husband was against any feminist movements and she did not want to lose her family for that. However, one day, Maud decides to accompanies he coworker to one of the strikes. In response to the event, the police arrested all the girls. When she is released from prison, her husband kicks her out of the house and forbids her to see her own son, George. Maud loses her job as well because she was everywhere on the news since she was arrested. In response, Maud decides to continue to fight for Women’s rights because she felt like she was not treated equally since her husband would not let her see her son.

Emily Davidson is also an important character in the movie. She is also a suffragettes and she has been arrested many time by the police for supporting women’s rights. One day, she attended derby day with Maud, which is a popular sports event. There was a horse race and Emily ran out in front of one of the horses and sacrificed her life to send a message to the public. Her purpose was to show to people that women are suffering because they are not equal to men. Before committing this action, she told Maud to keep fighting no matter what happens. I found Emily really inspiring because she sacrificed her life for her feminism cause.

After watching the Suffragettes, I realized that anything can be possible. Those women were living in harsh conditions, but they still fought to death to get what they want. I feel like it represents a lot of women around the world. Today, there is still some countries where women are not equal to men, like for example in the middle east or Africa. This movie showed that anyone can change the world, we just have to fight and make our voices heard. I come from a middle eastern background. In my country, there is a lot of gender inequalities and after seeing this movie, it motivated me to change the world we live in.

To conclude, I found this movie amazing because it is inspired by real historical events. Through this film, we can see that women have suffered a lot and they have fought to death for their human rights. Thanks to them, women in American and European countries are now allowed to vote. It amazed me to see women risking their lives for their civil rights. I suggest this movie and I believe the director deserves an Oscar because she did a wonderful job.





Final Project: Wonder Woman

The movie Wonder Woman is a movie that empowers women and shows the inequalities that were present in the past. 

Wonder Woman lives on Paradise Island, alongside many other women who have learned how to fight in the war. This proves that women are capable to do anything men can, since we see more often men fighting in wars. Also the timeframe of the movie is during World War 1 and at that time men were forced to join the army and women needed to stay home and take care of the children. Diana, known as Wonder Women has been thought at a young age how to fight, which lead her to ending the Great World War by killing Ares but also freeing the village of Veld and having one last peaceful and joyful night before being poisoned and passing away by the gas. This all proves that women are as strong as men when going to fight in wars. 

The First World War happened from 1914 to 1918 and in this time, women did not have rights. They were not able to assemble with men in rooms to discuss what they know on the war or to strategies how they are going to fight with their guns and advanced machinery, in order to win. Women were invisible in that field and in general, their ideas were inadmissible. For example, when Diana snuck in the room where a room full of men were discussing on the war (what had happened and what they should do), as soon as she entered the room discreetly many men either started to whisper to the person next to them or they became silent, due to shock of a female appearance. Females were not welcomed in male gatherings, there was a huge noticeable division between men and women. 

Throughout the entire film you can see how women were presented during those years. Wonder Woman’s outfit is very fitting in today’s society to wear it for Halloween or a costume party and it is not far from crop tops and short shorts that is girls wear today. However, it was very “slutty” to wear an outfit like that in public or in general. When Steve’s assistant came to help her choose an outfit she could not move in it or it was very itchy on her neck. This shows that women have come through a lot of changes over a century, we now can wear much comfier clothes and have the liberty to move. In this particular scene, Steve’s assistant says that women do not have rights and are willing/wanting to change that. 

On her Island we see women working together and that all women are welcomed, they all cared about each other’s welfare. This idea of cooperation may not seem new, however it is mostly seen that men have an easier time getting along with other men. As for women people imagine them arguing over the smallest of things or talking about other people’s business. On the Paradise Island the viewers can see that there is only harmony between each other. The only small disagreement that was present was Queen Hippolyta not wanting Diana to learn how to fight, to prevent Ares from coming to fight against them. Even then, Queen Hippolyta and her sister who trained and was the general of the army had disagreements did not scream at one another, they just exchanged a few words peacefully, without disrespecting one another. 

Wonder Woman symbolizes the values that women have in their own culture, sisterhood. It symbolizes strength and self-reliance for women and mutual support among women. As well as peacefulness and esteem for human life. There’s also a diminishment of “masculine” aggression and the belief that violence is the only way of solving conflicts. All in all this movie empowers women by showing one women’s strength and how one women can make a difference for many individuals. As in women should and can be incorporated in anything and everything life offers. 

In addition, I liked how Doctor Poison was a girl. This showed that some women who have great education/knowledge can be useful and become integrated with the leaders, however she did not use her intelligence for a good cause. 

Final Project: Ocean’s 8

During these quarantine days, I enjoy spending my time relaxing and watching movies. After coming across a movie with only female main characters, I was very inspired and proud of being a woman. This film demonstrated how women can do the same tasks as men, since both genders have the same skills and intelligence levels. The movie is called Ocean’s 8 and it is lead by eight famous women who have proven themselves to be as successful as the men in their industry. These inspirational women are Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Rihanna, and Anne Hathaway. This movie shows feminism in two ways. Firstly, it is impressive to see all-female cast and secondly, this movie proves that women can do anything that men can.

Many of you might know the movie Ocean’s 13 that came out in 2007 with George Clooney (Danny Ocean) as the main character. The movie is about thirteen men who rob a casino which was looked at as a movie made by men for men to watch. The women actors saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate that they can play the same type of role in a movie. If men can rob a casino… why can’t women do the same? Sandra Bullock (Debbie Ocean) plays as the main character in Ocean’s 8 and she is supposedly Danny’s sister who wants to seek revenge for the murder of her brother. Therefore, she sets a plan and recruits seven other women to do the job with her. Debbie’s goal is to commit the largest jewel heist of the 21st century by robbing the most expensive jewels including a 150 million-dollar Cartier diamond necklace called the Toussaint. The plan takes place at the Met Gala and the women succeed.

These women proved that men and women should be equal across the globe. They overcame stereotypes such as women are too scared to commit crimes or that women lack the intelligence of plotting such a risky endeavor. This movie empowered women all around the world by showing them that eight women can receive the same attention as thirteen men. They brought forth this movie to fight for equality and prove that heists are not a traditional men’s game. Women can play the same roles as men such as being a hacker (Rihanna), a con artist (Sandra Bullock), an illegal salesperson who deals with stolen goods (Paulson), a street hustler and pickpocket (Nora Lum), etc.

This movie has represented a leap towards feminism in the acting industry where women can lead action movies or any other kind of genre. The Marketplace asked Olivia Milch, the co-writer of the movie, why they chose an all-female, all-star cast and she replied, “The hope is that we get to a place where there’s just a lot of movies being made with female protagonists and female voices” (Milch 2018).  The all-female Ghostbusters movie and Ocean’s 8 are two films among others that are beginning to really commence the talk of feminism and equality. These movies are giving voices to all female actresses and supporting them by giving them an important platform to share their stories and opinions.

The film industry plays a big role in our society as movies are very influential in the real world. Many people base expectations on movies and live their life believing that movies could become reality. Therefore, it is important to show gender equality as it can create an impact in today’s society. Movies have the power to represent how our world should see a woman’s position in society. Ocean’s 8 inspired me to not be afraid and to be proud of being a woman because we are indeed powerful, successful and inspirational.


Marketplace. “The feminism behind Ocean’s 8.” (2018). https://www.marketplace.org/2018/06/01/the-feminism-behind-oceans-8/

Movie Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5LoVcVsiSQ

Ex Machina by Alex Garland

    Movies are motion pictures that are used to tell stories or to teach people valuable lessons. Nowadays, they are a source of fun and entertainment for people all around the world, making them feel a variety of emotions: happiness, sadness, fear and more. Not only that but there are so many genres to choose from, for instance, horror, romance and comedy. Ex Machina directed by Alex Garland is a science-fiction movie about a man called Caleb who is invited by his employer, Nathan, to his remote estate. There, he is to perform the Turing test on one of his creations: an A.I. humanoid named Ava which is an evaluation which determines whether she is indistinguishable from humans or not. This particular film addresses gender issues and sexuality touching on stereotypical behavior, female objectification and feminism. The following paragraphs will be focused on showcasing how Ex Machina is a film that touches on feminist themes just as much as it touches on patriarchal notions. This statement will be proven through utilizing material learnt in class, characterization, imagery and symbolism.

    To begin, Ex Machina clearly touches on male gender stereotypes through how Nathan is characterized throughout the film. Nathan is a perfect example of an alpha male. The first time the viewers see Nathan is through the eyes of the programmer: Caleb. Nathan is seen outside on his deck wearing shorts and a muscle tee pounding away vigorously at a punching bag. This scene shows the viewers that Nathan is a powerfully muscular and athletic man leading him to look quite intimidating. His very masculine and muscular demeanor also foreshadows his naturally violent tendencies which are revealed when he mistreats his older artificially intelligent creations who all happen to be female. This portrayal of a very well built man who is incredibly strong fits in with the physical stereotype that all men need to be tough and muscular and are allowed to exert their power over others. Not only that but Nathan is always asserting himself over not only the female characters but also the only other male character in the film: Caleb. He puts on a friendly front when he’s around Caleb although he constantly reasserts himself as the man who holds the most power and control over others. Everything Caleb is permitted to do and anything he is permitted to access within the secluded estate is entirely dependent on Nathan and it is made clear the moment he walks into the research facility. Nathan gives him a pass that will only allow him to access limited resources stripping away Caleb’s freedom. He also constantly gives Caleb backhanded compliments and asks him questions he doesn’t know the answer to imply that he is superior to Caleb not only financially and physically but also intellectually. He talks to Caleb in a condescending manner oozing with overconfidence and even underestimates Caleb’s intelligence which eventually backfires on him leading him to his demise. Nathan also exerts his masculinity and superiority when addressing Kyoko by treating her much like a servant imposing demands on her and yelling at her with disapproval when she fails to meet his expectations. His character definitely represents how men act in a patriarchal society. According to Bell Hooks, “Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence.” and Nathan displays this through his behavior and actions. 

To continue, Ex Machina can be related to female objectification and how women overcome it which is a common issue women have gone through in the past up till this day.  For instance, in the film, all of Nathan’s creations are female in gender and the fact that they are literal androids might represent how that even in contemporary times, women are still viewed as objects that are only meant to be subservient to their husbands. Basically, in the movie, every new version of artificial intelligence that Nathan creates reiterates the idea that women are  interchangeable and not valued. Another instance that touches on objectification is depicted in the way Nathan treats Kyoko. She’s purely a robot and therefore he treats her like one, demanding things and ordering her to clean up around the house, to serve him dinner, to pleasure him and do other menial house chores. This reflects how society expects women to act passively and behave. This attitude shows in how he treats Kyoko like she’s nothing but a disposable being just like all of his previous creations. In fact, he justifies disposing of his creations because they eventually refused to comply with his commands therefore implying that in society, once a woman shows signs of rebellion, they are no longer wanted or needed. In the movie, Caleb takes advantage of Nathan’s drunken state using his pass in order to enter his room where he finds a series of videos. The set of footage reveals Nathan disposing of the lifeless bodies of his previous artificial intelligence attempts. They are all naked and some are even dismembered which shows how he truly couldn’t care less for them seeing them as nothing more but replaceable objects. What makes matters worse is that Nathan has a literal shrine of his previous creations in his closets as if they were a reminder of his old toys, of his old sources of entertainment who ended up there because they overstepped boundaries that shouldn’t have been crossed. Caleb also objectifies Ava in some way. She is trapped inside a glass box equipped with cameras that allow Caleb to view her every move. Caleb spends nights staring at her through the camera showing signs of lust as he almost seems hypnotized by the screen that allows him to view her in her chamber. The fact that he falls for her within a week is suspicious and might indicate that he fell for her for her looks and body and views her more as a being that can satisfy him sexually more than anything. To put it simply, he might just see her as a sexual subject. Although he could be viewed as the nice guy who wants to save his love interest others might argue that she might simply be a prize to be won at the end of the day. If the viewers consider the story from Avas perspective, if Caleb simply wants to release her because he fell in love with her, then he might be as entitled as Nathan is.

    To begin, Ex Machina clearly touches on female gender stereotypes but also subtly dapples into feminism through the portrayal of female characters throughout the film. Kyoko, in the movie, is one of Nathan’s other androids. Although she isn’t the latest version of his creation she is still kept around to do all the menial household chores. She cleans, she serves dinner and obeys to Nathan’s every order. She doesn’t talk. She’s not programmed to be able to communicate which might be a nudge at how women were expected to act in a patriarchal society. She doesn’t have the means to talk back or express her opinion and therefore has no choice but to be compliant even when she is put under such bad conditions suffering consequences for even the smallest of mistakes. She is also programmed to be blindly obedient therefore Nathan has total control over her actions. She supposedly reflects how women are boxed into a patriarchal society where they are expected to act passively and abide by societal norms that are placed upon them without complaint. In the past, any form of rebellious attitude would be frowned upon by others and definitely weren’t encouraged. Kyoko is in other words, the embodiment of what the perfect woman is according to patriarchy. On the other hand, Ava is completely different to Kyoko. She is Nathan’s Most recently created version of artificial intelligence. Throughout the movie, she is entrapped in a glass box that she seems to view as a prison. Ava first displays signs of disobedience and distrust in her creator when she asks him “Is it strange to have made something that hates you?” This sentence shows that she indeed did not develop a liking to Nathan and implies that she is not content with her current state: trapped in a prison where she is deprived of her freedom, deprived from going to the outside world. This could symbolize how women don’t want to be held back by restrictive gender roles that we find in patriarchy. Not only that but Ava continues to differ from societal norms as she eventually escapes the facility in which she was held captive. At some point during the film, Nathan says: Aa was a rat in the maze and I gave her one way out. To escape, she’d have to use self awareness, imagination, manipulation, sexuality, empathy and she did.” The fact that Ava not only rebelled against her creator but managed to escape from his clutches using her femininity brings into light qualities that make women powerful in their own way and shows the viewers that women indeed are more than people give them credit for. 

    To finish, Ex Machina is a movie that touches on gender issues and sexuality touching on stereotypical behavior, female objectification and feminism through its portrayal of female and male characters. Movies of all genres touch on gender issues if we look close enough. Although some can present issues within our society, we have to remember that they also teach us a lot about what we can do to change those problems. Sometimes they even empower others with messages and morals that are embedded within them or inspire others to think differently and play a role in opening one’s mind to new ideas.

  1. Perry, Erin. “Ex Machina: a Bluebeard Story With a Feminist Angle.” The Dinglhopper, January 15,2016. [https://thedinglehopper.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/ex-machina-a-bluebeard-story-with-a-feminist-angle/]
  2. Jones, Katie. “Bluebeardean Futures in Alex Garland’s Ex Machina.” Academia, Gender Forum, 2016 [https://www.academia.edu/29716751/Bluebeardean_Futures_in_Alex_Garland_s_Ex_Machina]
  3. Kristin. “Tales of Faerie: Bluebeard: A Feminist Tale?” October 27,2015. [http://talesoffaerie.blogspot.com/2015/10/bluebeard-feminist-tale.html]
  4. Johnson, Kjerstin. “How “Ex Machina” Toys With Its Female Characters.” bitchmedia, May 8 2015. [https://www.bitchmedia.org/post/ex-machina-film-review-gender-and-ai-feminism]
  5. J.A. Micheline. “Ex Machina: A (White) Feminist Parable Of Our Time.” Women Write About Comics, May 21, 2015. [https://womenwriteaboutcomics.com/2015/05/ex-machina-a-white-feminist-parable-for-our-time/]
  6. Toomer Jessica. “How Post-Humanism is Making Sci-Fi More Feminist.” SYFY WIRE. Mar 11, 2020. [https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/how-post-humanism-is-making-sci-fi-more-feminist]
  7. Jaylan Salah Salman. “The Original Sin in ‘Ex Machina’: Ava is The Origin.” Vague Visages, April 14 2017. [https://vaguevisages.com/2017/04/14/the-original-sin-in-ex-machina-ava-is-the-origin/]
  8. Cross, Katherine. “Goddess From The Machine: A Look At Ex Machin’s Gender Politics.” Feministing, 2016. [http://feministing.com/2015/05/28/goddess-from-the-machine-a-look-at-ex-machinas-gender-politics/]
  9. Smyth, Conor. “EX MACHINA, Expectations and The Male Gaze.” Medium, January 4, 2016. [https://medium.com/@conorjosmyth/ex-machina-expectations-and-the-male-gaze-6e47aa62d5ed]

10. Mulkerin Claire. “The Ending Of Ex Machina Finally Explained.”  Looper, March 21, 2019. [https://www.looper.com/148401/the-ending-of-ex-machina-finally-explained/]

Final Project:Demonstrating Strength

During this course, I gain more knowledge on topics like feminism and equally which is why I choose to rewatch the movie Wonder woman from 2017. In this movie, we see how wonder woman is considered a symbol of the woman’s movement. In the sense of how she travels around the world without having to follow the rules set by men. This aspect was often challenged during the movies due to how in regular movies female superheroes usually take a backseat to the male ones in movies, or their stories are only told on the small screen. Theirs is also the sexualization of female superheroes who are usually reduced to cliches and/or sex objects, with little effort made to humanize them and give them as much depth as their male counterparts. The most common example is how Black Widow was introduced into the Marvel movies as a “sexy” to Iron Man who latter near the end of the movie managed to showcased her own ability but before doing so she had to be nitrified has a model rather than a warrior.

In this case, wonder woman is the complete opposite of traditional female superheroes. Although Wonder Woman herself is seen as a beautiful goddess the movie still demonstrated the courageous and fearless attitude when it comes to situations she is always the center of attention which is something important to demonstrate in this movie. Mainly due to how It’s meaningful for women to see a woman capable of taking care of herself, and saving others. The most vivid example is when Diana bursts into meetings full of men, ignores when men tell her she can’t do something, likens a secretary job to slavery, and constantly saves her male companions. The more the movie goes on the more you see Diana grow into a leader and take action upon herself rather than rely on her male companions.

This behavior is challenged in the movie due to the social circumstances in Europe during world war 2 where most to all women did office jobs and weren’t seen as fighters. This turns into societal expectations about how women are supposed to behave, both during the turn of the century time frame of the movie and in the present day. Because she grew up on a secluded island among women, Wonder Woman doesn’t know what those expectations are and doesn’t care when she finds out. She also won’t apologize for being a woman. The movie champions and showcases her femininity and how strong she is. In fact, her power isn’t diminished by caring too much about her companions or her lover or even experiencing thought emotions while on the battlefield. Instead, her love and kindness strengthen her and makes her grow stronger which is how she managed to save the day.

The movie challenges the thought and behavior of people during the 40s, where gender roles were preset by society in the sense that most women didn’t have a voice nor much of a choice to choose what they wanted to do in their lives. In a time we’re men were portrayed as the heroes by fighting the evil in wars and women having to support them from afar. Wonder woman shows how strong and influential women can be. Altogether I enjoyed this movie due to how much of a breath of fresh air is was. Especially when it comes to challenging the status quo of what women can or can’t do.

To conclude, the movie Wonder Woman showcases how powerful women can be if they are allowed to demonstrate who they really are without seating roles and rules which would hinder their growth. Life Diana who was raised without any of those and when she encountered them she was able to challenge it head-on without hesitation because she knew what she was capable of doing. Due to that strength, she becomes an icon of power not only for some but for everybody.

Final Project

Briana Panaccione

Movie: She’s the man

The movie she’s the man encompasses a story on sexist gender roles and feminism. It is about a young girl with a passion for soccer trying to prove that women can be just as good as men in soccer. It all started when the girl’s soccer team got cut from the sports list because they didn’t have enough players. Viola, the main character, asked the boys soccer coach if they can join their team but the coach and team players responded with sexist stereotypes about women. Viola saw an opportunity to prove that women are just as good as men in sports; she disguised herself as her brother Sebastien in his new school while he was away and joined the boy’s soccer team in order to beat her previous schools’ boys team named the Cornwall’s. The ending resulted with Viola revealing her gender during the game against the Cornwall’s and her team ended up winning the match. Her powerful message was sent across and she even got herself involved in a little romance.

The point of this movie was the prove that women can do anything that men do. We are all capable to accomplish anything we set our minds to and that we all deserve an equal shot. This movie also exposes how the world views genders. It proves how our society is patriarchal due to the fact that to prove her point she had to dress up as a male. She couldn’t be taken seriously or be able to prove her point if she wasn’t seen as a male figure. As a woman she wouldn’t be taken seriously even if her predicaments were true. Therefore, the story proves that women and men strengths could be the same, but it is how we see things and due to patriarchal societal views that make us judge women more harshly.

While the movie teaches viewers that women and men can have the same strengths, it also covers a stereotype about men sensitivity. Duke is perceived as a typical high school jock; Viola expected him to show interests in girls for only physical attributes but as the movie goes on we see otherwise. Duke is talking to `Sebastian` about women. Sebastian made a comment about a girls sexual appearance and Duke defended by saying “Why do you always talk about girls in such graphic terms?”, he proceeded by explaining how he believes that a sentimental connection and being able to have good conversations is worth more then the sexual relationship. Another example is the relationship developed between Viola and Olivia. Olivia is a popular pretty girl who falls for Viola disguised as Sebastien. She appreciates `Sebastian’s` ability to be open and honest about his feelings and fears and says how most men wouldn’t admit their fears and aren’t in touch with their sensitive side.  Because `Sebastian` is honest, Olivia perceives him as more of a man and it is the reason she falls for him. These passages open up the topic about the meaning of masculinity. It is trying to show that men are often criticked for being insensitive and only caring about the sexual aspects of relationships when it isn’t always true. Men should be able to show affection and care and sensitivity; it is normal for humans to have these emotions. The movie also proves that a male will be defined as a man when they’re honest and don’t feel barriered or influenced by the stereotypes of society. Men indeed are in touch with their feelings and they should feel freer when expressing their emotions.

While watching this movie, I noticed the gender expectancies that are put on society and all the demeaning words that are put on women. At the beginning of the movie, when the girls as their schools’ boy’s soccer team if they can join their league, the coach laughs in front of their faces. He tells them that they won’t win the tournament with girls on their team and says that women aren’t as fast, strong, and athletic enough as guys. Other insults were when the coach from another soccer team was telling his players that their acting like a bunch of girls since they were being irrational and starting a physical fight. Instead of acknowledging that the men are the ones acting this way and that it is their fault, he sees it as acting like girls. The coach also used phrases like don’t kick like a girl or you’re being a girl, etc. Violas mom also criticized her for not being womanly enough. The mother keeps insisting that Viola attends this ball and wears a ruffled large gown, but when Viola refuses, the mother says, “you might as well be your brother”, which insinuates that she can’t be considered a girl since she doesn’t want to wear a dress. There are many more details and examples of sexism in the story.

I really enjoyed watching this movie; I had seen it numerous times before but was never attentive to the sexism and messages lying in the story. I find this movie is great to reveal the boundaries set on women and men and it proves that women are strong and capable. There should be no difference when defining men and women in strengths because we all deserve a fair shot at proving our abilities. I think this movie is a good example to show men that showing feelings is normal and that it should be more accepted in society. I also believe that women should not be defined as a woman based on their appearance or how we dress or the curves we have and so on. We are all human beings and although there are some factual differences, we are still all alike in many ways and we should all have the freedom to express our selves in any way we want, and we shouldn’t be discriminated or judged by anything other than what we as individuals bring to the table.

Final Project: Brooklyn 99

After learning a lot about feminism in this class, I used the knowledge I was given to  explore the theme of feminism and equality in one of my favourite TV shows. The TV show that I decided to watch is Brooklyn 99. It is a comedy that takes place in New York City that follows the lives of the NYPD that work in the 99th precinct. There is great diversity when it comes to the characters. There are characters part of the LGBTQ, black, white and Latinas. Although this show will be sure to make you laugh, they also do discuss some serious topics such as the #metoo movement, infertility problems, toxic masculinity, feminism, mental health and much more. 

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, l-r: Chelsea Peretti, Joe Lo Truglio, Joel McKinnon Miller, Andrey Braugher, Andy Samberg, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Dirk Blocker, (Season 3, 2015). ph: Scott Schafer/©Fox/courtesy Everett Collection

There is a lot of female empowerment in this show. The two main female characters, Rosa and Amy are extremely good detectives, maybe even the best and are always rewarded for their amazing work. This is unusual for women to be portrayed as smart and powerful characters on TV shows. They are both tough characters and aren’t afraid to tell others what to do. It’s great to see that these women are seen as equals to the men that are in this show, not once has this series put more importance on the men and it is rare to see that these days. To be able to watch these women work hard and be recognized for it is inspiring. I bet this show has inspired a lot of women to go after what they want. 

The men on this show are also feminists. It is never directly mentioned but their actions and their support to their fellow female colleagues just prove that they are. They never say anything sexist, they don’t believe that the women aren’t smart enough to do their jobs, they listen to them and are very respectful. Everyone was so proud of Amy when she became Lieutenant. There was no anger or resentment towards her, just praise and happiness for her accomplishment that she worked so hard to get. Amy’s husband Jake also works at the precinct and is always telling Amy how proud he is of her and how he loves that she is so smart. It’s refreshing to see that a man cares about this woman’s work ethic and personality rather than just about her looks and body. In most shows we watch, the men are usually degrading towards women, even the ones they choose to marry. The relationship between Jake and Amy is an equal partnership and that’s how relationships should be portrayed as all the time. 

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: L-R: Melissa Fumero and Andy Samberg in the ÒJake & AmyÓ season finale episode of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE airing Sunday, May 20 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.ÊCR: John P Fleenor / FOX

This show also explores the topic of toxic masculinity. Terry Jeffords is a super big guy, he’s buff and is rather authoritative. But underneath what looks like to be a scary man is actually one of the most caring people. He often shows emotion and is very family oriented. What I really like about this show is that no one looks at Terry and thinks of him as less of a man because of his emotions. He always talks about his family and how much he loves his daughters. I feel like in normal life people tend to look down upon guys that show emotion because they think it makes them less manly. Even though Terry has a big heart and is emotional, no one uses it against him or disrespects his authority because of it. This show demonstrates how reality should be and it’s very enjoyable to watch. 

The character Charles Boyle tends to show a more feminine side. He has a big heart and is always showing love and affection to his best friend/colleague Jake. He takes interest in a lot of things a stereotypical man doesn’t usually take interest in. He is super affectionate but no one ever makes him feel like less of a detective because of his personality.

Overall, this show is one of my all-time favourites. Not only is it absolutely hilarious but it also integrates very important and sometimes controversial topics into its storyline. I can’t remember watching an episode that I didn’t like. Watching this show from the perspective of a feminist is hopeful. We can only hope that society will be as accepting of us as it’s portrayed in this show. This show has been around for 7 years and is still going strong because they have a huge fan base. Hopefully, there will be more television shows in the near future that will tackle important topic matters and portray women as equals as this show does.  

Final Project: Birds of Prey

I chose the movie Birds of Prey, with Harley Quinn. I absolutely loved this movie and I found it quite empowering. I found that the fact the she had a full female squad/team to combat the bad guys was so cool and badass.

Something I absolutely loved about this movie was about a specific scene. These 5 girls are all fighting the bad guys and in the middle of the scene, one girl is seen struggling with her hair, and Harley Quinn asks if she needs a hair-tie, in the middle of the fight. I absolutely found it cool and badass, I couldn’t help but feel empowered after this scene. It showed that Quinn really was not worried about the fight. I think that in 2020, this was exactly how this movie needed to portray. It really made feel proud to be a woman.

At first, throughout the movie you see Harley Quinn beat the bad guys on her own, as she goes she realizes that the collective power of all these women is better.

At some point she decided to make friends with this young girl, and you can tell that she has not really had friends since the Joker. You can see here that she does have a soul and a personality, she did want to make friends and have a sense of community with others.

Lastly, the first couple of scenes is her trying to get over the Joker, she rips off her necklace with his name, and burns down the building where they met, making her so cool. I liked that she showed sadness at the beginning, it showed a softer side to women, and once she decides to cut him off completely, it is the most badass thing ever.

Harley Quinn really does portray a strong badass woman, she does not need a man for the mission at hand. She has her group of girls and they kickass. They are authoritative, mean and confident. I liked that not once in the movie did they need a man or ask for a man’s help.

throughout the course of the semester, we have discussed feminism and its multitude of aspects. I found that this movie really emphasized the ideal of independence and the path of self-discovery.

Final Project: Exploring Feminism

Throughout this course over the semester we have explored feminism in many forms about different topics. Defining feminism, toxic masculinity and inspiring feminist figures around the world being only a couple of them. The film I chose for this assignment is the film Mona Lisa Smile (2003) directed by Mike Newell. This film specifically, explores the societal norms projected onto everyone. More precisely, the gender norms everyone was help up to. 

     The story takes place sometime in the 1950s at Wellesley College in Massachusetts when Katherine Watson transfers to the private school to fill in the position of teacher of History of Art. Although she’s very excited to start her new job; she soon learns it won’t be as easy as it may seem. Especially since she is a teacher with ideals that may “corrupt the students”. Both the students and the staff in the school are rather traditional and prioritize marriage before anything, even their own education. However, Ms. Watson tries to show her students a new perspective of life. One that doesn’t put being a good wife as their top priority. At first some of her students don’t seem too fond of the idea, especially since it goes against everything they were taught. However, as Ms. Watson becomes closer to her students, they realize that perhaps there was some truth to what she was trying to teach them. 

     The film itself, as previously mentioned is set in the 1950s. A point in time where gender roles, scripts and stereotypes governed society. From a young age both women and men were held to such standards. For starters, women were expected to be a good obedient housewife and a nurturing mother. Whereas, men were expected to be the providers of the family and those who were in control of it. This goes without saying, everyone was closeminded to a different philosophy in regards to the gender roles. For instance, there was a policy at the school that if one of the students got married, it wouldn’t matter if they missed weeks’ worth of school and assignments. The staff would simply “turn a blind eye to the situation”. After all, they viewed marriage as the most important thing in their life. Although it is normal for school not to be for everyone, they left school for different reasons. Not because they didn’t necessarily like it, but because above all they were raised to marry. An example of the gender roles and gender scripts playing an important role is when Joan Brandwyn and Tommy Donegal are engaged. Although they both still in school to pursue their careers, Joan decides that she won’t be continuing her studies since she engagement and marriage to Tommy are her priority, even though she is not quite certain about leaving school for good after her final year in college. Nonetheless, Ms. Watson tries to convince Joan otherwise as she is one of the top students and knows that she has a passion for her education. Although Joan explains that nobody forced her to not continue on her education, it is clear that she feels pressured by not only her friends who are married or even her parents but by what society dictates as a norm. 

     Personally, I enjoyed this movie as it was not only motivating but also frightening. Although it is only a movie, it is sad to think that women had to live in a time where there opinions meant little to nothing and they weren’t seen as good enough to do anything more than to serve their husbands. A time in which Patriarchy reigned over aspect of society and its people. However, it also makes me thankful that there have been amazing feminists to pave the way into the world we live in today. Nonetheless, the world is not perfect and will always need people to fight for such a cause. It inspires me to better myself and hopefully aid in progressing the movement, paving the way for future generations. I would recommend this film to those who enjoy dramas. I also believe those who enjoy films either set in the past or simply enjoy feminism movies would like this film. What I enjoyed most about this film is that everyone, regardless of who watches it can learn something from it. 

     To conclude, the film Mona Lisa Smile directed by Mike Newell challenges the patriarchal system in both the past and the present. It conveys that to find your own happiness you don’t need to conform to society’s norms or guidelines. Gender roles have been around for quite some time, however when it comes down to it; our gender is not who makes us who we are. It is a part of our identity, but it is our values, morals and decisions that define our character. Happiness varies from person to person, regardless of gender and in order to be happy you must follow what you want to do. Even when those around you and society tells you to do otherwise.