13 Movies That Changed My View about Being a Woman
Updated: Aug 4
Sometimes, people underestimate our capabilities or skills just because we are women/girls/females -- yes, it's pretty stupid, but it's real.
Several times, I thought men would be the only ones who can change the world, while women are only able to serve their husbands and kids. That's why people tend to ask, "Why should women get a master's degree or even Ph.D. when we know that their job is being at home and taking care of their family?"
I know this statement is pretty controversial in the world. Until one day, there was a new term that came to the English Dictionary, called Feminism.
"Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define, establish, and achieve the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes." - Wikipedia -
If you're a boy or a man reading this blog post, please don't hesitate to close this web page immediately (if you're getting emotional or angry when reading this). BUT...
If you're a girl or a woman, please keep reading and check out some of my favorite movies that change my view and perception about being a woman. And most of them are TRUE STORIES.
It's incredible to be a girl, you know! :)
1. Monalisa Smile (Fiction/True Story)
Although the internet says that it's a fictional story that focused on Drama/Romance, somehow, I found that it was a true story. Well, that probably because the movie is telling about Wellesley College students after all.
Quoted from Wikipedia:
"Wellesley College is a private women's liberal arts college in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Founded in 1870 by Henry and Pauline Durant, it is a member of the original Seven Sisters Colleges."
Do you know Hillary Clinton? If yes, she went to Wellesley College in 1965-1969.
Quoted from Roger Ebert:
"The film shows a school which teaches, above all, that a woman must stand by her man, and if Clinton learned that, she also learned a good deal more. Undoubtedly, she had a teacher as inspiring as Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts), who trades in the bohemian freedom of Berkeley for a crack at Wellesley's future corporate wives. The movie is not really about Katherine Watson's romances, but about her function as a teacher and her determination to install Feminism on the campus before that noun was widely in use."
2. Kartini (True Story)
From these 13 movies that I listed, one is from Indonesia (specifically from Java).
Quoted from Wikipedia:
"Raden Adjeng Kartini (21 April 1879 –17 September 1904), sometimes known as Raden Ayu Kartini, was a prominent Indonesian national hero from Java. She was a pioneer in the area of education for girls and women's rights for Indonesians."
If you can imagine living in the 1800s, Do you know what the Javanese women's life purpose?
The answer is, "Their life purpose is to be a Wife. No matter what, they should accept if they are becoming the second or third or fourth."
But Kartini initiated the new revolution in education. She is the trailblazer of women's education in Java, even in Indonesia. Without her sacrifices, I wouldn't be able to go to school. She is my hero!
3. Hidden Figures (True Story)
I was introduced to this movie by my friend in undergraduate, Hafizha. And I already fall in love with the story just by watching the trailer! How cool is that?
They're pushing the boundary of being a Woman in Colour at The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States of America. From being the 2nd generation to become the key to success in sending a man into space. They are my inspirations!
4. Megan Leavey (True Story)
Now, we can see another incredible woman outside the ordinary lives. She serves the US Military and is willing to be in the front lines with a military working dog to find bombs. Her name is Megan Leavey.
Quoted from Wikipedia:
"Megan Leavey (born 28 October 1983) is a US Marine corporal veteran who served as a Military Police K9 handler. Leavey enlisted in the Marines in 2003 and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, where she was paired with military working dog Rex (E168). The pair served two deployments in Iraq together. They were first deployed to Fallujah in 2005, and then to Ramadi in 2006, where they were both wounded by an improvised explosive device. Leavey was awarded the Purple Heart and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a "V" device for heroism in combat."
In terms of being a woman, who is mostly expected to be married and have some kids, well, we can do something different beyond the expectations. Know ourselves better, trust ourselves, the most important thing is, we can make a greater good even if we are a woman.
5. He Named Me Malala (True Story)
He Named Me Malala is not a Hollywood movie, but it's a documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim.
Quoted from Wikipedia:
"The film presents the young Pakistani female activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who has spoken out for the rights of girls, especially the right to education, since she was very young. The film also recounts how she miraculously survived and has become even more eloquent in her quest after being hunted down and shot by a Taliban gunman as part of the organization's violent opposition to girls' education in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. The title refers to the Afghani folk hero Malalai of Maiwand, after whom her father named her."
From her story, I have learned that being an activist is not all about protesting to the government. It's all about the act of creating a change to other people or the society for a better world. Starting with small steps and never give up whatever the obstacles are, even death.
6. Little Women - 2019 (Fiction/True Story)
Honestly, there are several versions of Little Women movies because it was adapted from a Fiction Novel.
"Little Women is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869." - Wikipedia -
My favorite Little Women movie is the 2019 version, directed by Greta Gerwig because she gave the "true story touch" of Jo March (which is the REAL Louisa May Alcott as the original writer of Little Women).
That's why I LOVE this version so much! -- Thank you, Greta!
7. Homeless to Harvard (True Story)
I know this is not about women empowerment or something, but this story proves that, even when a girl is homeless, they can survive and thrive if she wants to work hard.
Apart from the fact that she's a girl, being homeless itself is hard for everybody. Surviving in the unsupportive environment is Tough. That's why I recommend this movie to all of you.
8. Freedom Writers (True Story)
This movie is telling about a first-year teacher at Woodrow High School in Long Beach, California, named Erin Gruwell.
Quoted from Wikipedia:
"Erin Gruwell was an incredibly influential teacher that not only taught her students, but ensured their safety at home. She inspired her students to be successful by giving them guidance and being the role model they needed."
She is not a teacher that only teaches the subject. But she teaches her students to be a better person in life, no matter what color they are. After I watched this movie, I realized that I saw myself in her. So, until today, she's my role model :)
9. Mulan (Legend/Folk Story)
I watched Mulan for the first time between 2003-2008, which we know that it was the cartoon version of Mulan, created by Disney in 1998.
Somehow, I felt this story is not a fiction story. I guess, my curiosity made me search more about Hua Mulan. So, I found this:
"Mulan is based on an ancient Chinese folk story called the Ballad of Mulan (木兰辞 Mùlán Cí). The Chinese mùlán means 'magnolia flower'. It is a short folk story comprised of 392 Chinese characters that was created in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386–534). The Ballad of Mulan has been a popular tale since the Tang Dynasty (618–907). In China, Mulan is a byword for heroines, and Mulan's story is a household tale to encourage girls to be brave or to "make a man out of you" as the popular saying goes nowadays." - China Highlights -
After that, I decided to say that Mulan is a Legendary character.
The most exciting part is when I found that Disney re-produced the Mulan story with the Real-People! But, since the COVID-19 came along, they have to postpone the launch date. But, I still love the trailer :D
10. Frozen 2 (Fiction)
Yes, I know Frozen is a fictional movie (or probably not really). But I can guarantee that this story (Frozen 2) is SO RELATEABLE for us as a human being (not only for a woman). Especially for you who were seeking about your calling and finding answers, "Why the universe sent you to this world?"
And the impressive part is: I became more faithful in believing myself than I was before.
11. Moana (Fiction)
Some people say that Moana is a non-fictional character, but others say she is fictional; But, it doesn't matter anyway hehe.
What matters are the messages that this movie wants to tell you -- which I found It SO DEEP AND TRUE. Like Frozen 2, it helps you see further if you're confused between "Choosing the universe who calls you, or your parents' expectation of you."
12. Soul Surfer (True Story)
Soul Surfer is the inspiring true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton. She lost her arm in a shark attack and almost died. But then, she courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again.
When we felt that our lives were being taken away suddenly, and sometimes we want to give up and ended up our hard work or even our lives. Bethany Hamilton teaches me the real struggle that she had, and I believe that my stress is nothing compared to her (who lost her arm because of a shark attack). From this movie, I realized the importance of having faith. Because sometimes, we don't understand, "Why something bad is happening to us?".
13. I'm Not Ashamed (True Story)
LAST but NOT LEAST! I'm Not Ashamed is a heartbreaking movie EVER but still able to INSPIRE Millions of People. This is a true story of Rachel Joy Scott at Columbine High School. When her hopes and dreams seemed to end, God was just getting started. This hope-filled story reminds us that when we put our lives in God's hands, we can make a world of difference.
So, No Matter Who You Are, Don't Be Afraid to Start The Light in a Dark Place :)
Well, that's all my 13 movies that changed my view about being a woman. All of them have inspired me, and until today, I still love watching those movies, especially when I was at rock bottom.
I hope this post can helps you find what you're looking for.
Good Luck and Happy Watching! :)