It's hard to imagine that there was a time when women weren't even allowed to vote. But in the Philippines, it was only in 1937 that Filipina women were allowed to cast their votes during elections. Fast forward to 80 years later and we've already had two women presidents and we're actually ranked eighth among 135 countries in terms of gender equality. Not bad, right? But we still have a long way to go.
In case you guys weren't aware, March is considered internationally as Women's Month. In fact, on March 8th of every year, the Philippines observes National Women's Day through the passing of Republic Act 6949.
And what better way to celebrate these strong and amazing women in our lives than to watch these empowering movies about them?
This Oscar-nominated film is probably known to some as that post-apocalyptic movie set in the desert that will make you want to take a long cold shower after seeing it. Despite the movie's title, the real star of the show is actually not Mad Max (Tom Hardy) but Imperator Furiosa, who is played by the statuesque South African beauty, Charlize Theron. She basically starts a feminist revolt after hijacking a tanker, in an attempt to deliver the women in Immortan Joe's harem to safety. Judging from her name alone, it's probably not a good idea to piss her off.
What you should learn from it all: Women can be badass drivers, sometimes even better than men!
2) Hidden Figures
Another Oscar-nominated film, Hidden Figures tells the story of real-life NASA scientists Katherine Johnson (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), who served as the brains behind the launching of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The film depicts how despite their brilliance and qualifications, brainy and qualified African-American women had to be discriminated against because of their gender and skin color. Against the odds, these progressive women persevered and left an indelible mark in space science and human history.
What you should learn from it all: These gals were out-of-this-world, using their superior intellect to further space exloration.
3) A League of their Own
Nowadays, a lot of female athletes are excelling in their own respective sports. But back in the '40s, the notion of competitive and hard-nosed female athletes was practically unheard of. A League of Their Own tells the story of the short-lived All-American Professional Girl's Baseball League, which was established when men had been enlisted to fight in Europe and the Pacific during World War II. With an ensemble cast led by Geena Davis, League chronicles how these lady ballplayers kept Americans' minds off the war. In the process, they earned the respect of rowdy fans. But before anything else, they had to learn Tom Hanks's (who played their coach) one cardinal rule in the sport: there's no crying in baseball.
What you should learn from it all: Sports isn't just for the big boys—the gals can get in on it, too!
4) Kill Bill
In the Kill Bill series, Uma Thurman plays 'The Bride,' a woman that was left for dead by a group of assassins on her wedding day. After four years of being sexually abused while in a coma, she finally wakes up to seek retribution from those who did her wrong. What follows is an epic battle against assassins and ninjas in this bloody but brilliant Quentin Tarantino classic.
What you should learn from it all: Don't mess with your missus!
Sometimes it takes a woman to do a man's job. Elizabeth tells the story of how Queen Elizabeth I ascended to the throne of England and effectively became the most powerful woman in the world. The film shows the challenges she encountered to get to the throne and how difficult it was, even for the Queen of England, to navigate a male-dominated political arena.
What you should learn from it all: Admit it, women can be better leaders (because men are idiots).
Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi opus featured one of cinema's most iconic female protagonists. The character of Ellen Ripley had Sigourney Weaver going against predatory alien creatures in a badass display of heroism. Not only was she smart and sharp, but she was, above all else, a survivor.
What you should learn from it all: When given the right opportuniy, women are more interesting action stars.
7) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
There are some ladies you just don't mess with. In the 2011 adaptation of the Stieg Larsson novel, that woman is Lisbeth Salander, played by actress Rooney Mara (and Noomi Rapace in 2009 original). Salander is a cyberpunk vigilante who walks to the beat of her own drum. Together with Daniel Craig's character Mikael Blomkvist, Salander tries to uncover the truth behind the missing daughter of a wealthy business magnate.
What you should learn from it all: Even bad girls are capable of carrying out justice.