‘Moxie’ inspires with women’s rights message

Netflix honors National Women’s History Month with feminist film

Olivia Hahner, Staff Writer

Moxie. It’s a word I heard growing up, but never quite understood the meaning of. In fact, I am in my final year of college, and I still don’t know the exact definition.
According to Google Dictionary, moxie means “force of character, determination, or nerve.” The cheesy example sentence that is used reads, “When you’ve got moxie, you need the clothes to match.” Honestly, this isn’t wrong.
In the new Netflix movie “Moxie,” the all-female cast proves they are full of character, determination and nerve. They are full of moxie.
The film follows Vivian, portrayed by Hadley Robinson, a wallflower just trying to survive until graduation. With her best and only friend on her side, a possible new love interest and hope of getting accepted into her dream school — the University of California, Berkeley — she feels like life is complete.
Enter the new girl, Lucy, portrayed by Alycia Pascual-Peña, a young feminist who does not take lightly to the antics of the clearly favored male students. When Lucy tries to voice her opinion on important matters and when she feels unsafe about how she is treated, she is shut down not only by the popular young males, but by the school’s faculty and staff.
Vivian starts to open her eyes to this harsh reality after confronting Lucy and telling her to simply ignore them, but Lucy refuses and says she will hold her head up. She finds inspiration from the rebellious past of her mother, portrayed by Amy Poehler, and anonymously publishes a feminist article titled “Moxie.”
Female students all across campus find comfort in this article and show support by drawing hearts and stars on their hands and wearing tank tops to protest the sexist dress code.
Not only does this movie address issues such as sexism and favoritism, but it also addresses many societal battles for young adults, including labels, discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, female athletes being looked down on and the fear of coming forward about sexual assault.
After “Moxie” is published, Vivian befriends a variety of young females going through these issues: Kaitlynn, a young girl harassed by the male students and faculty for her appearance; Kiera, the captain of the women’s soccer team who gets no praise for being on the only winning team in the school; and CJ, a young trans women who still does not feel accepted by her peers and teachers due to them refusing to call her by her new name.
With these young women feeling on top of the world with “Moxie” created to be their safe place, the world will eventually come crashing down when the male students start to fight back and make life hectic with talk of suspensions and expulsions. They find they must bond together and fight to make the school, and the world, a better place for future generations.
Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, I think it’s great. We still live in a society where females are viewed as “less than” men. Female athletes are accused of being “hysterical,” our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters are scared to be who they were meant to be and victims of sexual assault are forced to keep their mouth shut. It isn’t right, but it is comforting that the industry is working to show its support and help better these issues.
“Moxie” came in with a strong message and I heard that message loud and clear: “Smash the Patriarchy!”



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