08/03/2012 09:32 am ET Updated Oct 03, 2012

Favorite Women-Empowering Movies of Recent Memory

The last time I compiled a small list of women-empowering or even ostensibly feminist movies was in 2009. Since it's been a while, it might be prudent and even fun to remind ourselves that movies and our corresponding culture are becoming more woman-friendly in ways that inspire us to conquer the world more than before.

I know, it almost seems ridiculous to type and even applaud, as it should go without saying that society rightly promote strong women in film just as often as strong men. In an ideal world, this is something we should be able to take for granted.

But as you might already know, we do not inhabit an ideal world at this time. We still have a lot of work to do -- even on the superficial level of lending better role models in storytelling, film, books and other media.

Yet when there is incremental improvement, even if the roles and subtle messages are quick and small, I happily try to acknowledge it as proof that our social consciousness is evolving.


That is all we "progressives" want anyway: something.


Signs that show us we that we are headed in the right direction and that others are on board -- perhaps consciously, perhaps unconsciously.

Notwithstanding the presence or absence of a public and purposeful feminist dialogue, one cannot help but notice that we are in a state of becoming more and more of what we want to be, even if it's in the movies.

Let us not forget that art and entertainment do affect the masses and the masses affect the arts. In many ways, what is popular and successful is a barometer of where we are and where we're headed.

So in my perception, we're not doing so bad. Even if we still have bigger problems like the body image pandemic and the counter-intuitive persistence of female competition to name a few issues. Not to mention the condition of women in other countries or even the violence against women that continues to plague us in this country.

But for now, just for a little while, we can cease bemoaning the mountain of crap that needs to be fixed and enjoy the little triumphs we have here and there. Take a break. Watch a movie. Here are some of my favorites in recent memory...

-Brave (2012)

-The Hunger Games (2012)

-Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)

-Prometheus (2012)

-Hana (2011)

-Bridesmaids (2011)

-The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

-The Help (2011)

-Alice in Wonderland (2010)

-Winter's Bone (2010)

-Sherlock Holmes (2009)

-Pride & Prejudice (2005)