Netflix’s “Moxie” Gives Young Women a Sense of Empowerment

Paige P., journalist

On March 3, Netflix started off Women’s History Month with a bang! Moxie, Amy Poehler’s female empowerment themed movie was released. In the setting of a typical American high school, the main character, Vivian (Hadley Robinson) begins to notice and pay closer attention to the issues of sexism that occur on a daily basis all around her. Inspired by her mom’s and passion for feminism and observing the new girl in school, Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña) standing up for herself, Vivian distributes copies of an anonymous pamphlet entitled “Moxie.” The pamphlet calls out unacceptable behaviors and actions towards young women in her school in an attempt to make female voices heard and it received a lot of traction. As a result, a group of students also called Moxie forms to protest injustices in their school, big and small, and work to empower not only each other, but everyone in their school (especially young women) who feel as though they are not being heard.

The dictionary defines “moxie” as simply a sense of courage and determination, but as Moxie the film demonstrates, the word has a deeper meaning than what is on the surface and is closely tied to feminism in the film. In a Netflix interview, director Amy Poehler says, “Moxie is this energy, and it’s what a person needs in order to get things changed.” Having moxie itself is a major theme of the film and the word has a different and powerful meaning for every individual. Another overarching theme of the film is that no two people are exactly alike when it comes to how they choose to express personal beliefs regarding a cause they support, but it is a common cause that unites people from all walks of life. Personal interests such as athletics, fashion, music, or literature also have potential to affect someone’s expression of a cause, which is demonstrated in Moxie through character development. In addition, Moxie builds a continuous theme of fighting misogyny and patriarchy, which some women face every day.

Moxie addresses current societal and social issues relating to feminism that have been around for generations. Feminism is another important word that appears in Moxie. It encompasses a wide variety of beliefs but essentially means advocating for equality and fair treatment of all people. Historically speaking, women have always needed to come together, support, and fight for one another for causes such as equal pay, voting rights, and equal opportunities. In 2021, society is still male-dominated in many aspects, and strong, influential women are imperative to changing this dynamic. For example, the issue of equal pay is one that still exists today, as women’s salaries are on average 18 percent less than those of men. There is still a need for change in order for women and other “minorities” to achieve true equality and societal acceptance. As perfectly demonstrated by Moxie, this can be made possible through collaboration, leadership, and most importantly, moxie!

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