Women are incredible, and a lot of men need help figuring that out. Let's create a cinema syllabus for them, shall we?
  1. Magic Mike XXL
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    Never before have I seen a film so explicitly state that it is Important To Make Women Happy. Not to date them, not to get laid, but just because it's the right thing to do. Just ask them what they want, and give it to them. Magic Mike XXL also celebrates women of all shapes and sizes. Bigger women are treated with the same level of respect as smaller women, and their pleasure is treated with the same level of importance. No kidding - This movie is downright revolutionary.
  2. Tootsie
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    There is a wisdom in Tootsie that I totally missed when I watched this movie as a kid. It doesn't hit you over the head with its depiction of sexism. It shows the subtle ways women aren't treated the same way as men, the casual day-to-day sexism. Tootsie is a feature-length exploration of the sentiment, "Would you say the same thing to a man?" And it's hilarious.
  3. Ruby Sparks
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    ListApp pandering be damned, Ruby Sparks absolutely belongs on this list. @zoe wrote and stars in this response to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope that was so prevalent in movies and TV at the time (and now, still). This one hit me at a vital point, as I was just starting to take my writing seriously. It made me realize not only was I writing women poorly (through the lens of my desire), but I was barely giving any thought to writing them at all. Ruby Sparks changed that. Thank you, Zoe.
  4. Whip It
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    Whip It is a celebration of female badassery, something we sadly don't often see. It shows that toughness and strength can be great and sexy (though not necessarily sexualized, an important distinction). I adore this movie, which should come as no surprise to those who are familiar with my love of women's rec league basketball.
  5. Spy
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    Dignity. That's what makes this movie important. Melissa McCarthy goes through this entire movie as a hero who, when she fails, does so not because she's incompetent, but because she has to learn to believe in herself after a lifetime of being undervalued. This is not a Message Movie - it's a silly comedy. But it's a silly comedy that treats a larger woman with respect, and it lets her be a fucking rock star.
  6. Norma Rae
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    Sally Field holding up the "UNION" sign will never not give me chills.