“Moxie”: An Empowering Take On Feminism

Savanna Crawford, Editorial Assistant

*Slight Spoiler Warning*


Trigger Warning: Mentions of Rape and Sexual Assault


Just in time for Women’s History Month, Netflix has released a movie called “Moxie,” which follows the main character, Vivian (Hadley Robinson), through her journey of leading a feminist rebellion to combat sexism at her high school.


Right from the first scene, you could tell what this movie was all about. Rockport High is filled to the brim with sexism against girls, with one of the first scenes revealing that the boys at the school compile a list of the girls and title them with names such as “Most Bangable” and “Biggest Butt.”  The golden boy of the school, aka the football team’s quarterback, Mitchell (Patrick Schwarzenegger), is the lead sexist jerk, who of course is ignored by all since he’s so golden. 


This changes, though, when new student Lucy (Alycia Pascual Peña) confronts Mitchell and his sexist ways. To no one’s surprise, she’s ignored and told by both Vivian and the school’s principal to “keep her head down,” and he’ll move on to another target. 


Vivian and her best friend, Claudia (Lauren Tsai), are your typical shy girl archetypes. They keep to themselves, and that’s it. This is why it’s so surprising that Vivian decides to start a zine titled “MOXIE!” to anonymously combat the misogyny at her school after hearing what Lucy has to say. Claudia is not all for the feminist thing that’s going on since she’s so shy and introverted. She’d rather not make a “big deal.” Vivian and Claudia’s relationship leaves the audience feeling unfulfilled since Claudia is introduced and then pushed to the side pretty quickly in the movie after “MOXIE!” gains supporters, and Vivian makes new friends. She reclaims her role as best friend by the end, but it all feels very rushed. 


And, of course, I cannot forget the love interest of our main character. Seth (Nico Hiraga) is Vivian’s skateboarding, feminist crush. I enjoyed that this movie did include a male character who wasn’t portrayed as a misogynistic jerk because that would take away from the message of gender equality that is trying to be passed on. 


My biggest problem with this movie is that real problems that girls face in day-to-day life are brushed over and replaced with overly dramatic scenes such as a scene where Mitchell spits in Lucy’s soda. How often does that actually happen? The biggest issue, date rape, is only addressed within the last 20 minutes or so of the film, which doesn’t sit right with me either. There could’ve been a better way to touch on this huge and real issue other than letting a girl have a two-minute speech and brush over it to a happy ending.  


Although I do believe that director Amy Poelher, who also played Vivian’s mom, did a good job on relaying this message of girl power to the younger generations. She made a fun, feminist-filled, breezy teen movie with a good message. Much like Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls,” the movie leaves viewers very entertained and, most importantly, with the message that girls are a force to be reckoned with and, together, can create change. 


Poelher also did an amazing job with inclusivity in this movie. She included women of color, disabled women, and women in the LQBTQ+ community, all playing at least secondary characters.


Overall, “Moxie” had a bit more potential, but is still a good watch if you’re looking for a mood-booster or something to spend a couple of hours on. It doesn’t solve every problem ever, but you can’t expect that from a movie that’s targeted for teens.