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11 Movies To Watch While You’re Participating In The Women’s Strike

By Victoria McNally | Lists | March 7, 2017 |

By Victoria McNally | Lists | March 7, 2017 |

This Wednesday is A Day Without Women, a nationwide general strike declared by the organizers of the Women’s March. During this event (which takes place on International Women’s Day, naturally), women are encouraged to stay at home and take the day off from all paid and unpaid labor, avoid shopping except at women- and minority-owned local businesses, and wear red in solidarity to support workers’ rights.

Of course, not every woman has the flexibility or privilege to be able to skip work for the day, so you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re not planning to participate. But if you are, you’re gonna need something else to do with your politically-motivated free time… so why not watch a whole bunch of empowering movies? Best of all, these are all available to stream with the existing subscription services that many of you probably already have, so you don’t have to give Amazon or iTunes any more of your hard-earned money (although we won’t tell you not to torrent something like 9 to 5 or Norma Rae instead. We’re just, you know, making your legal options apparent to you.)

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry (2014)

This documentary explores the history of the women who founded The National Organization for Women (N.O.W.) and other similar movements during feminism’s first wave in 1966-1971. If you’re the type of person who loves a good “I can’t believe we still have to protest this shit” sign at a rally, and you like it when mainstream white feminism gets called out even while it’s being celebrated, then this is the movie for you.

Legally Blonde (2001)

What would a list of empowering movies be without this, the film that sneakily taught us feminist messages before we even knew what they were? The only thing that would make this movie better is if Elle and Vivian ended up together at the end, because I have a very clear favorite romantic f/f trope, thank you very much.
Available on: Amazon Video (free with a Fullscreen subscription)

The Women’s List (2015)

This short hour-long PBS special from the American Masters series follows 15 feminist trailblazers across all walks of life, from actors to scientists to a former Secretary of State (three guesses who that is).
Available on: Netflix

Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

It might not be the best movie about a group of students at a conservative women’s college in the ’50s learning that there’s more to life than landing a husband, but it sure is about that! And hey, there’s something to be said for a nice story about girls challenging stereotypes, even if it is a little hacky at times.
Available on: Netflix

Confirmation (2016)

If you’re looking for a more serious drama that will make you want to start protesting in these streets (and maybe lose your political crush on Joe Biden), this HBO film about the attorney who testified that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her will certainly do the trick.
Available on: HBO Go

Working Girl (1988)

Working Girl is what The Devil Wears Prada thinks it is but with an actual message that works: namely, don’t be mean to secretaries and definitely don’t be afraid to, ahem, “network” with Harrison Ford. Plus, the perms! My God, the perms!
Available on: Netflix

Clueless (1995)

This movie is just on this list so that we can all yell “IT DOES NOT SAY RSVP ON THE STATUE OF LIBERTY” along with Cher when we watch it, because that will be cathartic and important.
Available on: Hulu

Hairspray (2007)

This movie has everything. Fat girls demanding respect! Black people protesting for equal rights! Pretty white blondes getting picked on because they’re being total jerks! James Marsden singing! It’s everything we need right now, save for a campier Edna Turnblad.
Available on: HBO Go

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

Wanna learn more about legendary singer and social activist Nina Simone, but feel a bit icky about that biopic where Zoe Saldana darkened her skin with makeup to play the title role? This movie’s a documentary, so you don’t have to worry about any of that!
Available on: Netflix

Sister Act (1992)

Sister Act does not get nearly enough love from the general populace considering that it’s a movie about mostly old-lady nuns who sing together and support each other. Also their version of “Oh Maria” is definitive and I will not hear otherwise.
Available on: Hulu

Real Women Have Curves (2002)

Reminder that before America Ferrara was a household name for Ugly Betty or Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, she was breaking hearts as a struggling Latina teenager who dreams of attending college despite her mother’s objections (and her body shaming).
Available on: HBO go

Miss Representation (2011)

If you still haven’t seen this popular documentary about the effect that Western beauty standards and gender stereotypes have on real women, then now’s as good a time as any.
Available on: Netflix

Thelma And Louise (1991)

Feel less into the idea of feelgood empowerment and more into the idea of feelgood crime and murder? No one here blames you. Go ahead and revel in those fantasies of threatening catcallers and sexual harassers with violence.
Available On: Amazon Video (Free with Prime)

The Hunting Ground (2015)

This documentary explores the tricky subject of sexual assault on college campuses, making it probably the toughest movie on this list. Still, if you’re up to it and can handle wanting to punch a wall after you’re done, it’s worth the watch.
Available on: Netflix

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

I mean. Duh. (Also, you’ll need a palette cleanser after that last movie.)
Available on: HBO Go

Mulan (1998)

Is Disney’s animated Mulan at times a problematic portrayal of Chinese culture that bears almost no resemblance to the original myth? Yes, extremely. Is it still satisfying as heck to watch Mulan become a better “man” than everybody else in her platoon? You’re darn right it is.
Available on: Hulu

Hidden Figures (2017)

You’ll have to go into a real live theater with other people to do this, which might defeat the purpose of the strike (unless you can find a women or minority owned-theater near you, in which case you should probably be going there for all your movies). But it’ll be worth it for all the times this movie will make you cry and pump your fist in the air and lose your shit about space travel.
Available: In Theaters

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