Feminism in Ocean’s 8

WATCH: Ocean's 8 Trailer - KiSS 105.3 Ottawa

In the first three Ocean’s movies, there were always the top male actors such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. There was no real representation of women in the movie. The Ocean’s movies were usually about a group of ten men that perform a big heist in a casino or a bank. However, in Ocean’s 8 it is the same concept, but there are height women doing the robbing. This movie has taught that women can be clever, strong, and it debunks female stereotypes that society has imposed on them.

First of all, Ocean’s 8 represents feminist ideas because women are portrayed as being clever. In the original Ocean’s movies, all the men are intelligent, and the women are unfortunately not represented that way. However, in Ocean’s 8, all the women are clever. In the movie, the women have to perform a heist where they have to steal a very expensive diamond necklace. In order to do that, the main actress, Sandra Bullock, has to assemble a team where each person has to be intelligent and strong. The team that she assembled were all women. It shows that women can do a challenging task as well. In society, there is a lot of individuals who think that women are not qualified to do a certain difficult task. For instance, during the presidential vote in 2016, there were some citizens were interviewed and said that Hilary Clinton cannot be our president because she is a woman. This movie demonstrated that women can do be as clever as men.

Second of all, the Ocean’s 8 women go opposite of the patriarchal society which shows that they are strong individuals. In the earlier versions of the Ocean’s movies, the men did the work and the women stayed at home, it was a typical representation of a patriarchal society.  For example, the wife of George Clooney, Julia Roberts, became a housewife and George did all the work. Ocean 8 opposes that way of leaving and shows that women are strong individuals. Women and men are doing the work to support their families. For instance, one of the main actresses, Sarah Paulson, has two kids and her and his husband both work to provide for the family.

Finally, Ocean’s 8 uncovers female stereotypes that society has unfortunately created. In this movie, women are not represented as a typical feminine girl. In other words, they aren’t portrayed as being “girly”, they are in fact, more mature. Normally, in Hollywood films or tv series we often women as young, small, and don’t talk too much. They are only there to display their beauty and bodies. However, in Ocean’s 8, the women are beautiful, but not all of them are young and none of them are girly. The main characters are not just there to show their beauties to the audience, they are them to play a true role. Furthermore, the way that they talk is also a way they broke female stereotypes. In the film, the audience could one of the main characters, Cate Blanchett, has short hair and the way that she talks is often rough and though, her voice has power like most of the females in the movie.

In conclusion, Ocean 8’s was a great movie that portrayed feminist ideas. It portrayed the women as being bright and intelligent individuals, strong by showing an equal society rather than a patriarchal one and impartial by contradicting female social stereotypes. This film is a great step for Hollywood to show women as a true character in the film rather than a model of beauty only.

Blog 5: Feminism is for Everybody

Masculinity is something that most men don’t know about or that are not aware of. However, they commit acts and behavior that increases the idea of masculinity. Kimmel’s definition of masculinity “is about the drive for domination, the drive for power, for conquest” (Kimmel 149). Many men around the world have the concept to be powerful and dominate the weak. For example, in a household, the father is the one that takes the final decisions and has the veto to overrule anything that he deems not in his favor.   

Kimmel talked about how masculinity increases homophobia in men. For him, homophobia is far more than just being afraid of gay men. Is “is the fear that other men will unmask us, emasculate us, reveal to us and the world that we do not measure up, that we are not real men” (Kimmel 147). Masculinity increases homophobia because of that “fear” of how other men might judge them to be more masculine and less “sissy”. Furthermore, Kimmel says that men often don’t agree when feminist women say that men are powerful because men say things like “what do you mean… my wife bosses me around”. He that it is part of our psychology and society that has engraved into our heads that men are supposed to be powerful and dominant. It is not their fault is only what they learned in their childhoods that has brought this feeling and the expectation of being powerful.   

In hooks’ article, she talked about patriarchy which is very similar to masculinity. For hook, 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” (hook para 3). Like Kimmel, hook believes that masculinity is something that has been socially constructed. In hook personal life, the church was present and she learned that God had said that “created man to rule the world and everything in it and that it was the work of women to help men perform these tasks, to obey, and to always assume a subordinate role in relation to a powerful man”. The social and religious institution has a big role in defining was is masculinity. Furthermore, most people blindly follow the patriarchy system because they keep it in silence and deny that it exists. It should be said out loud that it is not good for nobody because it adds a burden on man to have more stereotypically masculine traits and that brings homophobia in that mind of men. In addition, it increases violence in the world and especially in the household. A lot can be learned by hook’s father. Her father believed in the idea of patriarchy and men should men dominate. Her father beat her with a bat because she was going against his system of dominance.   

If men must redefine the definition of masculinity, they would be no social pressure. For instance, men would not follow the stereotypical behaviors that society imposed them to follow. In addition, they would have a better household. Their family would better function because there would be a proper understanding between them and their partners. Decisions would be made together instead of one person deciding on everything. Furthermore, men could express their emotions more openly. Instead of keeping their feelings in they could let it out and feel more relief. Men often keep their soft emotions like crying privately by redefining the definition they could get their stress or anxiety decrease.  

Blog 4: International Women Week

Image result for rafiki movie

For Women International Week I went to see a movie called Rafiki. This movie talks about the life of two girls named Ziki and Kena who live in the country of Kenya. Both of their families are politicians and are fighting against each other. After meeting a couple of times, Ziki and Kena started loving each other despite their families being rivals. Kenya is a country that strictly prohibits homosexuality and now they both have to remain quiet about their feelings and make sure to not revealing to the public. In addition, it was nominated for the best foreign language film at 91st Academy Awards, however, it was later removed because the Kenyan authorities banned this film for promoting homosexuality, which is against the law.  Furthermore, the key message I got from this screening was that love does not depend on your gender. Love is non-binary which means that it is not restricted to femininity and masculinity. Moreover, the director and writer of Rafiki, Wanuri Kahiu is against any labels. In a Ted Talk, she said, “I am a filmmaker, not Black African filmmaker, I am only a filmmaker”. She is a feminist, so she wants equality between men and women and this film portrayed her views on what she believes is the right thing to do.

The screening of this movie did not make me think differently about LGBTQ+ rights. Before watching the film, I was already aware that we already need to have equal rights both politically and socially. However, when I watched the movie what made me think differently is that for some societies it is more difficult to have these rights be implemented. For instance, in the movie, there was a clear representation of the role of religion in Kenya. The church is important for the Kenyan population and the is the factor that prevents people to change their minds about the LGBTQ+ society. For western societies is difficult as well, but religious factors are no longer involved politically.

After watching the film, I interviewed some students about how they felt about the movie. All the students that I interviewed really liked the movie. They said that it had a great storyline and did not know that this film even existed and that they are more open to watching foreign movies. I asked the students “what do you think about the movie”? One student said that it really represented how the LGBTQ+ community feels in society.  She told me that at first, her parents were not supportive of her being lesbian and that she related to the character Ziki. The parents of the character were angry and disappointed at her when her relationship with Kena was revealed. They even slapped her in the face. In addition, another student said that we need to promote equal rights in other parts of the world and show them how it is beneficial for society. He told me that he does not know that Kenya was that strict on homosexuality.

In conclusion, I would recommend watching Rafiki to my friends. I feel that most people are used to watch commercial movies and do not give enough credit to international movies. This movie had a great love story and a message that could be applied to everyone around the world which will change the perspective of other individuals on the idea of the LGBTQ+ community. This screening enables people to have empathy for the characters. I could feel the emotions of Kena and Ziki even though I am not part of the LGBTQ+ community. Overall, this, in my opinion, this movie could have won the Acadamy Award for the Best Foreign Language Movie.

Blog 4: Jamie Margolin

Image result for jamie margolin

Jamie Margolin is a young climate activist born on December 10, 2001, in Seattle Washington. She is doing a lot to make people aware of the climate crisis. She is in fact a very inspirational women that inspired me to do the minimum that I can to fight for the future of the environment.

Margolin and I have some important similarities. For instance, she is almost the same age as me. She cares about climate change just like me. She is an organized teenager who knows about her goals and ambitions that would lead her to success in the fight for climate crisis awareness. Like me, she makes a list of her goals for the whole year and checks off when she accomplished them. She is perseverant and wants her goals to be accomplished. She will do the most that she can to achieve them like me who will never give up when I face a challenge. 

Jamie Margolin have similarities, but we are also have some important differences Before I mentioned that I care about the environment like her, but I don’t do as much as her to fight for it. Jamie Margolin does not only vision for a better climate but also, she is doing everything in her power to make awareness of the current situation of the world. Furthermore, despite going to high school she has done a lot of the things that many of us including me cannot achieve. For instance, she became the co-founder of Zero Hour at the age of 15. She even organized the Youth Climate March in Washington and 25 other cities in America. 

I chose this woman because I can relate to her. She is a teenager like myself and I can connect with her in many ways. In addition, she is only a young woman. She is not an authority figure or a scientist, she is just strong individual fighting for a good cause Climate change will affect our generations. We will see the disasters that it will bring unless we can do something about it. This is what Jamie is trying to say. Seeing a young activist inspires me to change some of my habits for a healthier future.

What I find inspirational about her is that she is encouraging people around the world to take action for the environment. As I said before, she has done many great things at a very young age. For instance, at the age of 15, she co-founded a non-profit international organization called “Zero Hour”. This organization was created to have the voices of a young activist around the globe be heard. People in this organization are concerned that leaders and politicians are not serious about the climate crisis. Zero Hour teaches the youth and people around the world how the climate crisis is important and immediate actions should be taken to solve this problem. In brief, she is inspiring others to the same as her and spread knowledge about the world’s environmental situation.

In my opinion, an inspirational person is an individual that can motivate others to do something that they care about. They are much more than role models because they can captivate others by explaining their journey, their challenges or the difficult challenges that they had faced. It often brings strong emotions which influence us to do the same as them. For instance, Jamie Margolin is inspirational because she influences me and made me want to follow her path. I respect her because she brought into me the hope for a change of our way of thinking about the climate crisis. Also, because of that I can talk about her to my friends and family and inspire them as well. 

Here are some links that have more information about her:



Blog 03: Gender diversity in the Early Contact Period

Indigenous culture there was no such thing as gender. It was an egalitarian society. In many Indigenous cultures the women had important powers. They were the one who made decisions in their household. In addition, gender was not divided because both men and women could become shamans in the culture of the Innu of Northern Quebec and Southern Labrador. Furthermore, when Europeans came in their land, they were surprised to see that women are high in the hierarchy because “gender relations vary from one culture vary to another”. Men and women roles were equally divided, and they were both essential to ensure their survival. In other words, their labour work was divided so that their family or tribe could survive and eat. Moreover, people who are two spirited (masculinity and femininity are in one body) could marry individual from the same sex.

The Indigenous cultures had many differences during colonialism, but now they are coming to be similar. In contemporary Western culture, the notion of gender is slowly being eliminated. In Canada, people are trying to eliminate it and bringing egalitarian ideas like the First Nations. However, there is still a long way to go because women are not totally equal to men. For example, in some jobs, women are not paid as same as men. In addition, another similarity is that Western culture legally accepts the LGBTQ+ community, however they are still some cases where they get discriminated. Furthermore, both Indigenous cultures and contemporary Western culture have sexual autonomy which means that they can have sexual relationships before marriage, chose their spouse and divorce which are all common now. One thing that is different is that women are less included are less included in politics. In the United States most of the ministers are men and the women are minority. In indigenous culture women are allowed to be shamans which is highly respected in their society. In brief, Western culture are becoming similar to Indigenous cultures as the years go by, however there is still some struggle trying to normalize it.

What struck me the most about the Indigenous culture is that they are matrilocal and matrilineal seen in Iroquoian culture. I did not know that it was common for them that a man has to live his house when he marries a woman. I am so used to seeing that the bride moves in with her husband when they get married. Today it happens, but it is not common even in Western culture. In conclusion, we can learn from the Indigenous culture is that in order to live together and peacefully equality must not be absent. Men are just as important in society and in the household as women. In their culture there is no discrimination against people based on their gender. Moreover, gender equality eliminates stereotypical ideologies that Western people have in their minds.

Blog 2: The Construction of Gender

Remember when we were in kindergarten having fun and playing with toys. The little girls would play with a baby doll or a kitchen set. On the other hand, the boys played together with their toy trucks and Lego. We can see that from a really small age we learned that men and women are separated. In other words, we learned it because gender is socially and culturally constructed. Everyone has their roles and different expectation according to their gender because of society. For instance, if a woman plays with a toy truck it would be seen as not right or she is “not girly enough”. The same thing goes for men. Why is it wrong for a boy to play with a toy doll? It was not our choice to assign different roles according to our gender. Our parents, family members, friends, religious beliefs and traditions are the ones who taught and constructed it in our minds (Macalo, 2019, para. 3).

In addition, there is a difference between gender and sex. Our sex is biological, it is what we are born with, but gender is what is the psychological, social or cultural (Adam, 2001, para. 5). This means a person can be whomever they want, but our gender is what is stopping us to do so. Many cultures around the world have their way of how they perceive gender. For example, the Mohave Natives of the United States of America have not only two genders, but four. They have male, female, alyha (male who lives as a woman) and hawme (female who lives as a man) (Blackwood, 1984, p. 28). In their culture, it is normal for a man to live as women and vice versa, but for the western culture is still a little hard to accept the peoples who are different from being men or woman. The idea of gender is passed down by generations and they become the norm. In our society, the LGBTQ people are struggling to settle or be seen as normal in society because we haven’t seen anything more than two basic genders.

Furthermore, social media has a big impact on our lives. Social media is a new tool to portray directly or indirectly those gendered ideas. In other words, with this tool, it has become easier to distribute and display views on gender, especially in western societies. For instance, in many of the superhero movies, we often see the men saving a hopeless and weak woman (2). Social media is in a way reinforcing the men and female qualities that are stereotypical (Wood, n.d, p. 232). The men are strong, providing, rational, active and protector. On the other hand, the women are weak, caring, emotional, passive and protected. Young children are highly influenced by social media and when they see these indirect, stereotypical and constructed characteristics they combine them into their reality. However, there has been a recent change in social media. More and more celebrities are coming out as part of being from the LGBTQ community. This is because we are breaking those socially constructed gendered ideas that are pass down to us from our childhood, but we still have a long way to go to fully socially deconstruct gender.


Adams, Alexia Jo. “The Social Construction of Gender.” The Social Construction of Gender – Applied Social Psychology, 3 Oct. 2001, www.personal.psu.edu/bfr3/blogs/applied_social_psychology/2011/10/the-social-construction-of-gender.html.  

Blackwood, Evelyn. “Sexuality and Gender in Certain Native American Tribes: The Case of Cross-Gender Females.” Signs, vol. 10, no. 1, 1984, pp. 27–42. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3174235. Accessed 7 Feb. 2020. 

Macolo, Micheal. “Time to Move Beyond ‘Gender Is Socially Constructed.’” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 31 July 2019, http://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/old-school-parenting-modern-day-families/201907/time-move-beyond-gender-is-socially-constructed. 

Wood, Julia T. “Gendered Media: The Influence of Media on Views of Gender.” Department of Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel, pp. 231–244. 

Written by Hassan Waheed

Blog 1: Defining Feminism

Jessica Valenti and bell hooks think it is necessary to promote their definition of feminism so that it would end all the stereotypes surrounding the goals and beliefs of feminism. For example, some people say that feminism is anti-male. By giving their definition, the reader can see that it is far from it. Personally, I understood better the word feminism because of the definitions that the authors. Both of their explanations are identical in a way, but they are very different. The definition of feminism by Valenti is straight out of the dictionary. On the other hand, Hooks said her definition in her own words. Another aspect that distinguishes their definitions is that Valenti definition tells only about the “equality of the sexes” whereas Hooks talks more about the purpose of feminism “end sexism, sexist exploitation and oppression”, but Valenti tells more about the mind of a feminist or as she says the “belief”. Moreover, the similarities of their explanations of feminism are that they both have the word “movement” meaning it is a group that wants change. Also, it explains that they do not want unjust discrimination based on a person’s sexe.

For the authors, feminism is important because they want to end the division between men and women. They both want equality of sexes. More precisely for Valenti it is important because that would enable to end the pressure many women face about their physical appearance, psychological performance and social behaviors. In other words, she wants all women to feel good about themselves and to have the same rights as men. For Hooks it is important because she wants the world to know that everyone is created equally. It would also end the idea of patriarchy and all other ways of life where one sexe dominates another sexe. Hooks say she wants more advertisements to eliminate sexism. In my opinion, feminism is important because it gives provides fair rights to everyone. For example, women could have the same salary as men for the same amount of work hours. My definition of a feminist is a person who wants to eliminate the inequality of sexes in society. This definition is not a lot different from the idea that I held before reading the essay of Valenti and Hooks because our education system teached me a lot more about equal rights for every human no matter what their background, gender, orientation and sexe. The only aspect of my definition that is different is that before I thought that feminist can only be a woman, but I learned that anybody can be one and that’s the reason why I wrote a “person” and not a “woman”.

What struck me the most in the essay of Jessica Valenti it’s how a girl is the worst thing that you can say to someone. In other words, if you want to emotionally hurt a person feeling you can say anything bad that is related to the word women. As Valenti says “the worst you can call a girl is a girl”. I just realized that to some degree it is true, however, it is very disappointing to hear that women can be an insult even I a western society.

In conclusion, Jessica Valenti did a lot of things in social media to make more awareness about the feminist movement so that younger generations do not grow in an unequal and sexist society. In addition, she wrote many books that explain more in-depth the feminist movement. Furthermore, bell hooks did a lot of talks wrote books to make some awareness about the goals of feminism by giving public talks in universities and writing numerous articles and books. I appreciate both writers for all the hard work that they have done by talking about the subject that many people around the world are against. They are solving a big problem in our world and that’s why they are role models for our current and future generations.

Written by Hassan Waheed