All the women, independent!
Women are stronger than you think. We can take a lot; we can be tough for a long time. Women can lead, inspire; we can show you the way. Think outside the box, think with our brains (not body parts). We can be heroes, for more than one day! It is time to adjust or change your mindset and allow women to blossom. Because we will, no matter what. Let’s talk about fiercest women in the cinema!
The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.
Before I begin with (almost) all the awesome women in films, let me tell you why today, why now. This past week tested my patience for men and believe me, it was wearing very thin. Let me tell you a story, on how my full-time-all-in silent war started.
First of all, I was “jumped at” for being alone in my suffering. You all know that I am a struggler; restless warrior and star-crossed voyager. Most of my fights, I’m fighting alone. But not because I am alone – I chose to battle my own demons. I am blessed to have the most amazing friends who understand. They do – if I have to lay low for a while and crawl back to my turtle shell. They know, that sometimes I just must be around them and explode with joy. This is the textbook ambiversion, right?
A lot of people don’t understand, that “today’s women” don’t need rescue. I am broken and I am struggling but does this mean that I need fixing? That someone knows all about it, and can help? Thanks for asking me first, but I don’t see it the way you do. And frankly, my dear? I don’t give a damn. Because the only person that can “fix” me, is me.
And listen, it’s not me going all cowboy shit and yelling that I am strong and independent woman. I know that I am, and there is no need to make a fuss about it. This situation, if I was to describe it with one word, seemed a lot like patronizing. And that is something I will not tolerate. Plus… You gotta admit it – shots fired to my friends, right? Remember that I love you, fam.
The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.
This was just Monday, and we are not even close. Let’s face the truth: we are mostly alone with our struggles, because we choose so. I don’t want to dump this shit on my closest friends, I know they have their plates full. But sometimes, even talking about problems is a great help. Venting out – not lashing out – helps. Meeting with your friend for a coffee, muting the TV so you can only see light in the background and talking for hours is one of the best therapies.
Brainstorming about problems is important, but asking someone to resolve your issues is not the way to go. One day, you might be under pressure and your friend will not be around. Therefore, problem solving skill is an absolute must-have. This doesn’t mean, that I (you, she, he, them) am alone. Never was and don’t plan on being anytime soon. And just for the record: I outgrew the concept of knight on a shining armor about 10 years ago.
This kind of over-concern was sweet when I was a little girl. Most women grew up to learn how to take care of themselves – and it’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t always prove, that men are disappointing and we can’t count on them. Rather, it proves that with shifting social dynamics, women adjust/change quicker. Men struggle with accepting the truth: women can be heroes too. We can provide for the family, we can paint the apartment, hell – we can buy the apartment all by ourselves.
Here’s to strong women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
Tell me, is that such a bad thing that women adapt to this ever-changing environment? Is it so damn diminishing for your male ego, that you have to show the “true power”? Come on. Sit down and be humble, just like Kendrick told you. It really is not the matter of power, strength. Women don’t need strength to become powerful or strong. Wisdom, emotions (yes, hell yes), instinct and ability to read the other side – these are the things that will help you become a great leader.
So, why is it so hard to accept this change in our social life? Why does it seem so impossible for men to accept independent women that don’t need help? It’s not a groundbreaking shift – from helping to supporting, you know? Sorry fellas, we’re going for the high ground.
One of the most common counter arguments I keep hearing is “oh, you are having a BAD day, huh?”. Well, if that isn’t a straight line to “this bitch is on her period and she is acting out again”, then I don’t know what is. Now, I am going to tell you the truth: this is rarely about our periods or hormones. The implication that this natural “phenomenon” is affecting our behavior, IS the gasoline to our fire. And it’s time for you to understand that. See, you can blame our “bad day” on the period, but what is your excuse? Talking about double standards, eh?
A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.
Shaming/not talking about periods is the other thing that just makes me laugh. Oh men, how disgusted are you? Grow a pair and listen about one of the most normal things in the universe. Pay attention and don’t be embarrassed about this human thing. And just because men don’t have periods (though it’s debatable, considering the mood swings), doesn’t make women less human.
Another thing that tested my patience was asking for my advice. Generally, you would ask about someone’s advice if you’d believe, that this person is good at whatever you are asking about, correct? Not because this person is making a course (with general information, available online) or because they are trying to do something in that area. I don’t understand the issue with transparency, you know? I just don’t get it. Sure, it might not be pleasant at times, but at least it’s honest.
And trust me – women are not in it for the compliments. I am one of those, that struggles with accepting compliments. Sadly, I am used to this mechanism: “I am going to tell her something nice and when she is too busy thanking me, I’m going to ask her to do something for me”. I find compliments suspicious. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe that you are being genuine and there is no hidden meaning. This is my issue and I am working on it. But it’s a men’s thing to assume that compliments will work every time, right? So disappointing.
The three things a guy should want to change about his girl is her last name, her address, and her viewpoint on men.
“Should want” being the key phrase here. I’ve been through this phase of “Oh, he will change for me, I can help him be a better man”. This has never worked and always ended badly. Why? People can only change if they want to. WANT. TO. Same goes for fixing the broken-ness. Do you know what the modern feminisms is all about? Hold on, do you even know what this word means? Because I have a feeling a lot of people thinks it’s just a bunch of angry women rambling about how they are mistreated. Here is the definition from Oxford dictionary: the belief and aim that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men; the struggle to achieve this aim.
It’s true, that feminism has a lot of different shape and sizes, and it’s often used as excuse for all kinds of bullshit. But do you know what this movement evolved to be? Women supporting women; celebrating success of other women; women being proud of other women absolutely killing it out there. When women cooperate instead of compete, the world is slowly, but steadily becoming a better place.
We are witnessing a new era of women not being jealous, the dawn of women that don’t take something away from other women just because they can (and this will hit you even harder, when you listen and understand Dolly Parton’s Jolene). If we don’t have the support in men, we must support each other. And even if there are men beside us, rooting for us and making sure that we are supported, women should be allies, not enemies.
Women don’t mean to take over the world, no. We simply don’t want to stand by and watch men have all the fun. Respect. I, she, we – want respect. Freedom to make our own choices and decisions, based on what should happen; not what shouldn’t happen. The sooner you understand this, the better.
I can hear the roar of women’s silence.
Respect is the last thing I want to talk about before I move into fierce females in the cinema. See, we live in a world that is full of cultural differences – some are beautiful and some are completely unacceptable to me. But I can’t go around and roar about how I hate them – this is the thing about culture. Only people who are a part of it, can influence the change. I wrote about this in Mulan review, so I don’t think there is a point in repeating myself.
What I cannot and will not accept is lack of respect in international environment, such as workplace. Corporations… You can say a lot about the work ethic there, but for quite some time now, there is a big “pressure” to make this world equal. And that is a change for good. However, there are still things which must be addressed – like ill hierarchy system, that should be transformed into network. Network, where no one is scared to write to someone with higher rank, asking for advice.
My personal experience with some men from different culture is not great. Hell, it’s a nightmare – the constant need to prove myself. We all hate that feeling of being ignored, right? Just because I am a woman and on lower rank, does not make me less valuable employee. I am, in fact, an employee of high value, knowledge and will to change the world. Just watch me.
When I talk to other female leaders at work, and I share my experience, I know that I am not the only one. They all have been thought exactly the same and look at them now! “Keep pushing, Julia. Keep doing what you are doing and if you feel like you’re stonewalled – let me know. Let us know. I’ve been treated the same way until they finally learnt their lesson. They don’t ignore me now. And soon, they won’t ignore you either” – might be the best advice I got at work, ever. So simple: keep on pushing.
Will I use every possible platform to share my struggles? Of course. Not because I must, but because I want to. Respect, sweetheart. That’s all it takes.
You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.
Imagine you want to go for a concert of your favorite band/artist. You got the tickets and it’s almost time to go to the venue. You are in a great mood, taking free space on the floor; you don’t like to sit at gigs like that. Suddenly, someone taller and bigger stands in front of you and you can’t see shit. So, what do you do? Do you ask them to move, or do you choose to move forward? Will you depend on someone’s good will and mercy or will you find a way to push onward? Will you stay in the back or find your way to the front row?
Just like life finds a way, so do women, all around the world. And there are plenty of great role models for every little girl, teen, young adult, adult, elder. Since I am into movies (that’s news to you, right?), I want to talk about brave women in the films and industry. Written to change the world. Making movies to educate and to show, that this isn’t just men’s world.
Here are SOME of my favorite women in movies – women that helped me grew to the person I am today. As much as I adore women in my life, it is definitely nice to see goo role models on screen. Young generation is addicted to screens, so… This might be the only way.
#1 – Leia Organa from Star Wars universe
Ahh, what I wouldn’t give as a little girl, to be like her. A princess in space (this is why I wanted to be an astronaut at some point), fearless leader of men and most respected woman in the Galaxy. While listing reasons why I love SW, one of the points is endless pool of role models for each generation, and Leia was my first choice.
Even when in distress, she was not having the “male savior” behavior. That doesn’t make her ungrateful, no. She was her own woman, and men around her soon understood that she chose to have them in her life. Leia was one of the greatest leaders – men listened to her and even when she was handing the mantel over to Poe, people still turned their heads to her.
Fight like a girl received a whole new meaning to it. You can be a rebel and a princess at the same time, don’t ever forget that.
#2 – Hermione Granger from Harry Potter universe
Harry and Ron would be lost and/or killed without this fierce woman. She saved them so many times, and many times she was mistreated. Like in The Goblet of Fire, when she agreed to go for the Yule Ball with “so called enemy” – Viktor Krum. At that moment, she was just a girl who wanted to have some fun with a man brave enough to ask her out.
It was her wit and intelligence that helped Harry overcome “the impossible” obstacles. Hermione was not afraid to challenge the authority, help the boys develop and train in new skills and at the same time, stay true to her ideals.
#3 – Jo March from Little Women
Ahh, I think this is one of my favorite fictional characters – Jo was a free spirit, creative, and adventurous sister. She was trying to find herself in a modern sense, defying the social role assigned to her at birth. Is it even possible NOT to admire her determination to be a writer one day? I can relate to that one very well. Often staying up after her sisters have gone to sleep to write, write, write.
#4 – Ellen Ripley from Alien thingy
One of the best things about her was that she never waited for “audience approval”. Ellen did her job in clothes that suit it, and didn’t care if she’s seen as sassy or aggressive. Ellen didn’t care about being dirty, or makeup-free in the process.
Plus I mean… The Alien killed everyone BUT her on Nostromo. Strength is a female, eh?
#5 – Diana Prince a.k.a. Wonder Woman
There is a reason why my podcast at work is called “Wonder-Movie”. I love how WW is the personification of strength, fearlessness and being more human than ordinary people. Sure, she has superpowers and she is privileged, but she always used it good faith – always believing that humans are worth it.
One of the best things about her is that… She is the rock in all-boys-club of Justice League. Dian keeps them in check and blesses them with her wisdom and power. She was never afraid to step up. Even in the newest film, she chose to gave up her wish – of being reunited with Steve – to save the world.
This is the kind of sacrifice women are making on a daily basis. Call your mother and appreciate.
#6 – Okoye from Marvel universe
We got to meet her in the MCU but she has comic book origins – she first appeared in Black Panther Vol 3 #1 in 1998. The fearless leader of the Dora Milaje who specializes in spear fighting. And sure – she was part of a formation that protected the king – a man – but she was not having the men’s bullshit at all. She said it herself: I am loyal to that throne. No matter who sits on it.
Her loyalty to the ideals – not people – should never be questioned. I spoke with Marta few weeks back about Chadwick’s death and we though about how Marvel will proceed with Black Panther’s mantel. Making Shuri the queen would not be a wise choice, so maybe in some exceptional way Okoye could do it? Food for thought.
#7 – Women from The Help
Based on the book of the same title, we could see Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer bring to life Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson. Film portrays race relations and issues between white families and their black household help in the South in the early 1960s.
As you can imagine, times were tough and this film shows it brilliantly. Even though film has its premiere in 2011, I cannot think of 2015 speech by Viola Davis (Emmys) and when she spoke about diversity and opportunities. Absolute legend. Before you continue reading, listen to this.
“The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity” – I believe that for the purpose of today’s post, this line could sound: The only thing that separates women from everyone else is opportunity.
#8 – Jyn Erso from Rogue One
Also already mentioned in the SW list of reasons why, but this is important. As a girl, she was forced to hide and watch her parents die. Then she lost her way, she got herself in trouble to eventually grow up to be a woman that cares.
A woman, that will lead rebels for the last, final battle for hope. Jyn took the skills she has developed as a soldier and a criminal, to use them for the greater good: The Rebellion.
#9 – Rey from Star Wars sequels
Try calling her a Mary Sue of this universe, I dare you. For most of her life, she was alone. All alone, with no one to talk to. Rey felt abandoned, left out. An outcast, if you will. There was no one that would care about her, not a single soul.
By accident, she was pulled into the middle of the war, she was trying to stay away from. A scrapper, living on a junkyard. So, when men appeared to save her – she had none of it. Rey was, is her own girl. It was hard for her to navigate in this new reality, reality of people being interested in her, her well-being.
Training to be a Jedi should take months, years, whatever. Accept the fact, that there are people – also women – out there, who are natural. Simple as that: natural born storytellers, natural leaders, natural math geniuses.
Rey was never a damsel in distress – just like Jyn and Leia before her.
#10 – Moana from Disney universe
Sometimes the best way to go, is to go your own way. Even if it means, that you have to disobey your elder. Or parents. Or common sense. She heard the ocean’s calling and decided to follow. She was courageous and determined to save her people. Moana bravely faced the waves to find the demigod Maui and defeat the force that was poisoning her island.
She kept pushing, even though the journey was dangerous.
Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths.
This list could go on and on – so I am curious about your favorite fierce women in the industry. Is it Greta Gerwig, one of the best film directors out there? Or maybe Hildur Guðnadóttir, an Oscar winning composer? Is it the Bride from Kill Bill? Or Sarah Connor from The Terminator? Maybe it’s Nancy Meyers writer, producer and director of several big-screen successes, or Kathryn Bigelow who became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director for The Hurt Locker?
I hope that one day, we will say about this post “it aged well” – captured the corrupted, crocked image; a broken speculum.
To all the strugglers out there – you are amazing. Keep on pushing. You are on your best way to the front row. And from there, you will be few steps away from the stage. The stage is where you change the world; the stage is a place, when people will listen and follow.
You are getting there. You are loved and appreciated. I am with you. To infinity and beyond!