List-less: Nerve takes on strong women in film
Maybe I'm being too way too picky, but there is something deeply underachieving about Nerve's "Girl Power Top Ten," a list of the ten most—oh yeah, here it comes—empowering movies of all time.
Now, I would never come right out and suggest that perhaps having three dudes be the ones to make both of these judgment calls is going to, you know, limit the scope of things, but...okay, that's basically what I'm saying. Andrew Osborne, Phil Nugent, and Leonard Pierce, who coauthored "Chick Hits," get shirty in their introduction about the cluelessness of the media execs and pop-culture minders who've been so pleasantly surprised at the success of Sex and the City's big-screen bow, going on to write proudly that "We here at The Screengrab aren't afraid to get in touch with our feminine sides as we raise our Cosmos to these...films that put their empowered female characters front and center (without resorting to stripper poles OR big gauzy Prince Charming/Bridezilla wedding porn)." And yet some of their picks — The Devil Wears Prada? — reflect that either these fellows think that any movie with a woman in any lead of any kind qualifies as an empowerment film, or have gleaned the entirety of their collective knowledge of female awesomeness on film from Spice World. (To be fair, the word "feminist" doesn't actually appear in the "Chick Hits" piece, and the authors often seem to be conflating strong-woman content with female spending power—a few of the list's entries are far less about the films' narratives than they are about their box-office receipts.)
But let's say the intent was to focus on the empowerrific, strong-woman-tastic aspect of the films. Between the obvious (Thelma and Louise, Erin Brockovich, Aliens), the crowd-pleasing (I will never say a harsh word against Bring It On — or, for that matter, Jackie Brown), and the token "artsy" inclusion (Persepolis), there's a lot missing. I'm not just talking about non–Oscar recognized, lesser-seen releases like Girls Town, Real Women Have Curves, Freeway, Just Another Girl on the IRT, Antonia's Line, and All I Wanna Do. There are some doozies that should be fronting this list: I mean, have these three never heard of a little 1980 effort called 9 to 5? What about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Norma Rae? A League of Their Own? Whale Rider? Come on, now.
And then there's "Chick Hits"'s companion piece, "Girl DisemPowering: Nine Films That Didn't Do Feminism Any Favors." Okay, first of all: Nine? In a list that ostensibly isn't confined to any one decade? Really? Maybe Osborne and his co-contributors were kindly trying not to harsh our post chick-hits mellow, but Radar's March 2008 list of the most lady-hating films of the 2000s clocked 20 solid offenders—and that's with two years and one remake of I Spit On Your Grave left in the decade.
So let's open it up to you: What films did both of these lists miss?
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