Movies Empowering Women


Barbara Guerrero

Heaven Woldai (’24), Angelina Abdelrahman (’24), Lesly Castillo (’24), Tracy Trinh (’24), Christian Platas-Sanchez (’24), and Vy Thai (’24) (left to right) demonstrate their pride in women empowerment.

Lesly Castillo, Entertainment Editor

After being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Women’s History Month was made official in March of 1987 by Congress. Women’s history lasts from March 1st to March 31st. These movies are to encourage and inspire women from all places and ages. These movies are great examples of women’s determination and their hard work as individuals, not by gender nor color. They’re great for young women, as well, to learn from a younger age that despite the actual differences between genders, women are just as capable of doing things as men are.

The Help

The Help was released in 2011 and was written and directed by Tate Taylor. The movie is based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett from 2009 with the same name. The movie takes place in the 1960s in Mississippi. Skeeter, the main character, who is white, came back to her little town from college hoping to become a writer. She ends up writing about the African American maids that worked for white families and that took care of them because of the constant mistreatment as an African American woman. The movie itself demonstrated the violence towards African Americans and even towards each other when men would beat on their wives or families. The movie doesn’t completely demonstrate the danger of being an African American at that time as the actress Viola Davis regrets playing her role.

“There’s no one who’s not entertained by The Help. But there’s a part of me that feels like I betrayed myself, and my people, because I was in a movie that wasn’t ready to tell the whole truth,” Davis says. The Help was “created in the filter and the cesspool of systemic racism.” Davis shared in an interview with Vanity Fair. Viewers may read as well on

The movie has a very emotional aspect for audiences to understand the struggle women had to go through at the time especially for women of color. When violence towards black people increased, women decided to help Skeeter write her book in hopes to get white people and others their perspective of their constant mistreatment. The movie emphasizes women’s suffrage by showing the abuse they face with some husbands. This movie is a great example of strong independent women.

Hidden Figures

Released in 2016, the movie is about three intelligent African American women who work for NASA and end up serving their intelligence under one of the greatest operations, the launch of astronaut, John Glenn, into orbit. As the movie takes place in Hampton, Virginia in 1961, the three ladies, Katherine Goble, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, struggle throughout the movie, constantly having to prove themselves to white people.
This was just the beginning of the movie which just gives audiences an idea of how the rest of the movie will continue for these women before they get to what they need. At the time, segregation was still very much a thing, as well. It made things difficult for African Americans everywhere affecting their daily lives at work, school, public places, etc., with many liberties taken.

The Woman King

This movie was directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood. The movies’ setting is in the 1800s, with an all-girl group of warriors protecting the African Kingdom of Dahomey with their amazing skills and fierceness. The movie, starring Viola Davis as a general, trains the next generation of warriors to fight enemies for a new threat named Gen. They end up having to fight against a foreign enemy who’s determined to destroy their way of life. The movie captures the passion the women have in the fighting scenes as they choose to stay and fight together. It is inspiring because the women never backed down and fought for what they’ve built together. Though the movie had been accused of being historically inaccurate, cast members claim that of course the historical framework is correct, but the characters are fictional.

Legally Blonde

Legally Blonde is more for viewers that like classic movies and chickcoms instead of very emotional ones. The movie was released in 2001, directed by Robert Luketic. The movie is about Elle Woods, the stereotypical dumb blonde white rich girl in school who was in a sorority, had a handsome boyfriend, a nice car and a cute little white dog. Her boyfriend ends up taking her out one last time just to break up with her because he’s going to Harvard; he wants to get more serious and says she isn’t. He leaves her heartbroken and devastated, until Elle realizes that since he’s attending Harvard, if she got accepted as well, he’d take her back proving she can be serious. She got accepted in the following summer but realized that he was now engaged to another woman. This leaves Elle devastated but determined to win the love of her life back. She ends up studying hard and making new friends, too. As she progresses, she makes it to the top on her own and gets to help her professor in any case.

She realized she had to help someone accused of murder who she used to look up to when she was in the sorority. She wanted to help and get her freedom back. When it came down to it in court, she proved herself to everyone in the room. That included herself, her professor, her ex, family, etc. She even graduated and succeeded by being with her love interest in the movie instead of her ex. This movie really showed how strong Elle was and her determination to prove others wrong about herself and became very successful at attending Harvard. Throughout the movie it also demonstrated how she continued to feel more confident and empowering herself as a woman and law student.