Instead of Watching the Oscars, Watch These Feminist Films

As a pop culture person, I tend to feel out of the loop if I don’t keep up with award shows like the Oscars. Watching the red carpet and live tweeting my reactions to who wins what seems like a prerequisite to people respecting my opinions on movies and culture in general. But I’m not so sure anymore that the Academy deserves my attention. Despite the fact that Sunday is “Hollywood’s biggest night,” the awards show’s deep-rooted misogyny and racism leads me to believe that my content-watching time could be better spent elsewhere. Like, say, focusing on who the Academy mistreats.

This Sunday night, you have a few options: You could watch every female director of 2019 get snubbed, recall #OscarsSoWhite with frustration as history repeats itself, applaud the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ failing efforts to become more inclusive, celebrate “white male rage“—or ignore all of the misogynistic Hollywood glitz and glam to spend your Sunday night consuming content that would be both less sexist and more entertaining!

Here are three suggestions.

(Walt Disney Television: ABC / Adam Rose, Creative Commons)

Watch the Movies by Women That Weren’t Nominated for “Best Director”

Little Women, Harriet, The Farewell, Hustlers and Portrait of a Lady on Fire are just a few of last year’s well-reviewed films that had female directors, none of whom received nominations for Best Director—although, I suppose we must offer those men our congratulations. While the Academy blatantly ignores their hard work, you can spend Sunday watching some of our favorite feminist films from the last year.

Go to the Movies and Watch Something Women Should Get Nominated for Next Year

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) opens this weekend, providing an alternative to the other DC villain earning recognition from their time on the big screen this weekend. Like a Boss, another female-fronted film that came out this year, could be more up your alley if you would prefer something outside of a comic universe. Or, grab tickets to Frozen II, Bombshell or Harriet if you want to see an empowering movie from last year during its last days in theaters.

Watch a Feminist Documentary

Feeling meta? Avoid the awards ceremony that struggles to praise women in the media by learning about the lack of representation of women in the media.

Seeking motivation to read those books stacked next to your bed? Learn about nine girls across the globe who fight for their right to education.

Looking for a way to show the men in your life that they shouldn’t flinch when they see a tampon? Watch women from India fight the stigma of menstruation in their country.

Regardless of which documentary you might choose to watch, you’ll leave your couch feeling inspired.


Fiona is a journalism student at the University of Southern California. When not in the office nor in class, she is often found photographing her friends, attending local concerts and eating sourdough toast.