Why the empowering coming-of-age film “Moxie” is important for young grrrls to watch

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Valerie Chavez

Netflix film “Moxie” is about a girl who starts feminist movement at her school.

With the feminist movements going strong all around the world as they have been for centuries, women are striving to get their voices heard in order to bring down the patriarchal society in which we have been raised with and we have been trained to adapt to our whole lives. Young girls, particularly teenage girls were inspired to start a movement of their own because the struggles that women go through have not made them an exception. They are working hard to end the patriarchy and the hope for a more equal future has given them power. It has given them Moxie

Directed by Amy Poehler and based on Jennifer Mathieu’s novel of the same name, “Moxie” is aimed toward young girls, and it’s intended to let them know that regardless of their age or race, they can stand up for themselves when they feel they are being treated unfairly.

“Moxie” was released on March 3. It revolves around 16-year-old Vivian Carter, who has been anonymously distributing self-made magazines, or “zines” at her school under the pseudonym Moxie. She started the movement after being inspired by her mother when she learned of her participation in the historic Riot Grrrl movement of the 90’s. 

This movie pointed out the struggles that many women still have today, even in the seemingly-progressive 21st century. The movie doesn’t sugarcoat the topics of sexual assault, sexual harassment, or even white privilege, as they are things young girls should be informed about. 

The movie is a heart-felt, fun, coming-of-age story that never shies away from the hard stuff about being a teenage girl. The typical toxic masculinity is being brought to the table by jock Mitchell Wilson (Patrick Schwarzenegger) who harasses new student Lucy Hernandez on two occasions, for which Lucy had to report him. Unfortunately, the principal did absolutely nothing, because she claimed that since Lucy used the word “harassment” in reporting Mitchell, she would have to do paperwork. If you’re someone of color, you can of course relate to the fact that there’s not nearly as much we can get away with as a white person. This is portrayed when Vivian’s best friend Claudia, who is Asian-American, is suspended for participating in the Moxie movement at school, so that she could protect Vivian from suspension. Claudia expressed to Vivian that her mother was angry with her because she sacrificed everything and came to this country so that she can go to a good college, and that Vivian couldn’t relate because she was white, so she could get away with so much more. 

Personally, I think that this movie is wonderful for any young girl to watch! It was so empowering the first time I watched it. I think that I’m lucky to be a young teenage girl right now because this movie gives me hope for the future of our world. I can definitely relate to not being able to get away with so much. I am Mexican-American, and my parents are definitely stricter than the typical laid-back white parents. If my parents saw me walk out of my school in the middle of the day or even wear a tank-top to school, I would get an earful. Also, it’s a cute coming-of-age story that made me feel like I had a voice.

Mia Gonzalez, 15, said that she related to the movie.

“As a young woman in modern society, I have been told before that I can’t do this or that because of my gender. Like the whole scholarship storyline, when I decided to start running as a sport at the beginning I was told by my fellow male athletes that I would never be as good as them and I would never actually be a good runner because I was a girl,” said Gonzalez. 

The film showcases powerful athletes, and fierce young women of color, who are idols we need more of nowadays. 

Jaylene Palacios, 15, said she enjoyed the movie, but she had some constructive criticism ready to share. 

“I do wish that the one that started the Moxie movement was a person of color, instead of the usual white person saving people of color situation. However, I still think it’s important for young girls to see this film because it can show them that they should stand up for what they think is right,” said Palacios. 

Overall, this film is fun and informative on the struggles that young women go through in school environments, that eventually lead into the real world. Please give it a watch; you will not regret it. It is currently available to stream on Netflix.