By Shannon Carlin
Feminism means different things to different people. In the simplest terms it’s equality for women and men; when made more complicated, it can be misconstrued as ‘man-hating.’ But if there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that feminism isn’t perfect.
In an interview with Glamour, comedian and soon to be movie star Amy Schumer talked openly about being a feminist icon, letting the feminists out there know they’re in “good hands with me,” while also making it abundantly clear that she has “no interest in trying to be the perfect feminist.”
No woman is perfect, but often TV and film create female characters that are too good to be true. They’re nothing like real women. They don’t remind us of ourselves or our friends, they’re completely alien. Because of this, they don’t lend themselves to being feminist icons.
And no genre does this more often than romantic comedy, which has always geared itself towards women.
But now thanks to female directors and writers like Schumer, whose new rom-com Trainwreck is for all those women still trying to get their s–t together, we are in a Golden Age of funny, romantic films that are for women, by women. These films feature women who are unapologetically themselves, flaws and all. No manic pixie dream girls here, no way. These films don’t create caricatures, they instead push the boundaries and break down any misconceptions about how a woman should act.
In honor of Schumer’s new movie, which is bound to make any feminist’s must-see list, we’ve come up with a list of 13 rom-coms that are totally accessible to the feminist in all of us.
These films star women who are hot messes. Women who are more consumed with finding a career than finding a man. Women who don’t worry about tripping over things because they have much bigger things to worry about. Women who wear glasses and ponytails without any worry that someone will make them over. Women who want to find themselves before they find someone to marry.
On this list we have female directors, female writers and a whole lot of funny women, who despite what Michael Eisner thinks, look pretty damn good doing it.
These films, the majority of which come post-Bridesmaids, also feature women talking to one other about things that don’t just have to do with men, which should make Alison Bechdel very happy.