Stellar performances, sublime cinematography and an important cause – this historical drama is quite close to perfection. Almost, because there are questions on whether this film represented ‘white feminism’ and completely ignored ‘intersectional feminism’.

The intensity of emotions was magnificently captured and the music complemented the tone in every scene, whether a small triumph or unspeakable sorrow.

Carey Mulligan was electrifying in her role as Maud Watts, a suffragette whose life represented countless women that devoted their lives to the cause at grass-roots level. She participated in acts of defiance and serves time at prison during which force feeding was allowed. In the same vein, Helena Bonham Carter shined as Edith Ellyn, a more senior suffragette whose heart illness did not interfere with her relentless pursuit for justice.

Surrealism Exhibition – National Gallery of Victoria  (Photo by: Julia Velez)

Even with only a few minutes of screen time, Meryl Streep did not disappoint. Her eloquence, conviction and passion for the cause reflected that of the real Emmeline Pankhurst, an iconic British figure of the early 20th century suffrage movement.

These real women of courage were beautifully portrayed by these actresses. However there was an apparent lack of characters portraying women of colour, which has been termed “erasure” by critics. This is the cause of accusations on being racially insensitive on the part of modern day film makers. Historically accurate or not, the decision to exclude cultural diversity in the film was in my eyes, questionable.

Whilst bearing this issue in mind, this film remains powerful and heart-wrenching, visually captivating and emotionally raw. It delves into gender inequality, the daily challenges of ordinary women at the time when strength of human character was tested but never faltered.


Modern Women are Super

Revenge, Scandal, Suits, Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty – love them or hate them, they all have something in common.

Female characters in these TV shows embody different nuances of a modern woman and that’s a good great thing.

If someone steals the one person you love, Emily Thorne a.k.a. Amanda Clarke shows that if justice isn’t served, you can serve it yourself with a nice little cherry on top – revenge. This feisty young woman enacts intricate plans but revenge at its finest  is best served with torture, some blood and lots of cold bodies.  After all, every woman should have at least an ounce of deviousness running through her blood!

Caught in a scandal? Got a problem no one can solve? Except of course, Olivia Pope. Fear not, Liv’s army of gladiators will come to the rescue and show up at your doorstep or rather, sneak in through the backdoor at the wee-hours of the night just to make sure you’re taken care of. Whether it be a murder, an ex-husband, a dark past or a murderer ex-husband with a dark past, or if you want to be the leader of a great (crumbling) nation, then infamous fixer Olivia Pope will rise above the challenge and turn everything to her client’s advantage. Her ingenious tactics will amaze you without a doubt.

Jessica Pearson: the name and face of a top-tier law firm in New York, the managing partner. Despite his arrogance, Harvey is on Jessica’s leash and she doesn’t have to do anything dramatic to keep him there. Men in suits are next to nothing because a couple of wise words does the trick and Jessica reminds us that you don’t always need to get your hands dirty to get what you want. A firm voice and effortless charm can take over the world because victory is sweeter when you jump past a couple of hurdles.

Despite of daddy issues, mummy issues and all sorts of other issues, Meredith Grey remains adamant in her belief that nothing is black or white, even if her gorgeous McDreamy husband thinks so. She counts on her intuition over logic and most of the time, to do the right thing is to ignore what you think is right. Besides, if we always do what we’re supposed to do and what society deems right, are we ever going to be happy?

No one can be more focused and driven than Grey’s Anatomy‘s Christina Yang. This super workaholic, no babies type of woman realises that there is no need for marriage, you should simply follow your instincts and do what feels right – even if it means divorcing your husband and being his girlfriend again. To some people, marriage sounds like a happily ever-after storybook but for some, it’s more toxic and exhausting than having a successful career and twelve kids running around the house.

Betty Suarez, oh where do we start? The poncho on her first day, the endless public humiliation and oh, the bushy eyebrows… I can go on and on but those things do not say a thing about the character and integrity of Daniel Meade’s lovely editorial assistant. If anything, it only makes you wonder why the fashion world is so messed up. Betty’s strength, resilience and compassion make her stand out from a sea of skin and bone creatures with judging eyes, those obsessed in all that is physical and suffice to say, trivial. “If you truly want it, it’s worth fighting for.” Isn’t that enough to prove how inspiring this woman is… and that she is anything but Ugly Betty?

Did I mention each character also has a great sense of humour and their witty remarks are more effective than any other sword or weapon?

Who’s your favourite modern woman in television?

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