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Top 10 secretly feminist films

No filmmaker in their right mind would advertise the fact that their film has feminist ambitions — we’re pretty sure that’s box office suicide (sad, but true). Despite that, some films have pretty obvious feminist heroes — think THELMA AND LOUISE, G.I. JANE, Jodie Foster’s character in THE ACCUSED, and ERIN BROCKOVICH. And then there are the stealth feminist films — movies that advance the feminist cause without anyone driving off a cliff or shaving their head or or fighting against rape or giving an Oscar-winning, stick-it-to-the-man performance. These movies take feminism for granted and act like it’s no big deal — in fact, they’re so stealth that sometimes maybe even the filmmakers and stars didn’t know what was going on. Here are ten of our favorites:

10. UP IN THE AIR (2009)

If you haven’t seen UP IN THE AIR, please go watch it right now and then return to this list, because its designation as a secret feminist movie doesn’t make sense until the last five minutes. Okay. Now that we’re all on the same page: Alex (Vera Farmiga) tells no-strings-attached frequent flyer Ryan (George Clooney) that she’s basically the female version of him. “I am the woman that you don’t have to worry about,” she says. His response? “Sounds like a trap.” And the gut-wrenching ending of this movie only happens because Ryan, and the viewers along with him, don’t believe Alex. Because she’s a woman. So she can’t fuck like a man, right? Turns out she can fuck way, way worse than a man. Not that cold-hearted marital cheating is a feminist value. It’s just that this movie forces us to face our own acceptance, however subconscious, of widespread gender stereotypes: all men want sex and all women want love; men cheat, women don’t.

Don’t miss the rest of our Top 10 secretly feminist films.

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