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REVIEW: Moxie - If you found the film to be ‘demonizing white men’ then you’re part of the problem

Written by Niamh Crawley


The Netflix film ‘Moxie’, was produced by Paper Kite Productions and directed by Amy Poehler, who also co-wrote the film along with Dylan Meyer, Jennifer Mathieu, and Tamara Chestna. It is an adaptation of the 2015 novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu.


The film follows shy 16-year-old Vivian Carter (played by Hadley Robinson) who, inspired by her mother’s rebellious past during the 1990s riot grrrl movement and her confident new friend Lucy Herandez (played by Alycia Pascual-Pena) starts to find her voice.


NETFLIX © 2020

Vivian, who was voted “most obedient” in a list compiled by the school jocks, decides to starts an anonymous zine under the name of ‘Moxie’ to call out the sexism at her school. If you are a woman, there is a guarantee you will find some type of comfort in this film.


Moxie is painfully relatable, with many of the topics and issues covered demonstrating the harsh reality of what women everywhere have experienced. From being sent home from school for wearing a tank top to being harassed by some arrogant fool of a man who thinks you owe him attention because he has a penis and therefore the world must revolve around him.


Whilst the film certainly is not perfect; it's more of a statement than a story. The pacing is a little off at points due to the fact it tries to tackle a range of subjects in less than two hours and it does, unfortunately, fall under the white savior complex, however, it is a great starting point for the topic of intersectional feminism.


The film features a range of people of colour, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, and a range of body types whose characters all band together in an attempt to fight back against the patriarchy.


The arrogant athletic boys who are loved by the school purely because they can ‘run fast’ and ignorant headteacher (who doesn't realise their actions also contribute to the misogyny that thrives off the high school and secondary school education system) is something every teen to young adult will relate to.

Colleen Hayes / NETFLIX © 2020

Personally, I related to Vivian quite a lot, due to the fact my own secondary school experiences really affected my confidence and it wasn't until my last few years in school that I decided to speak up for myself.


The anger and trauma I experienced whilst attending a strict and very sexist catholic secondary school came bubbling back to the surface whilst watching the film. However, at the same time, there was an overwhelming sense of sadness and relief because it reminded me I was not alone in my experiences.


Women everywhere have to experienced boys harassing them in class, making fun of how we look, and judging us based solely on how much they would want to sleep with us. Bold of them to assume any of us wanted to sleep with them as sitting next to them in English class was torture enough.


Overall, Moxie manages to brilliantly sum up women’s secondary school/high school experiences - I honestly lost count of the number of times I ended up crying whilst watching the film because it was just so relatable to my own experiences as a woman. The film speaks up on the way society should be and criticizes its current state.


Moxie is a great starting point and highlights how we need to change as a society in order to fight for gender equality. One final note for all you dear readers, if you found the film to be ‘demonizing white men’ then you’re part of the problem, Google is free, educate yourselves.





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