5 books and films to celebrate Women’s History Month

Kelley Holland

It was only 100 years ago that women got the right to vote. Women have made significant progress in our country, but it was not easy to get there. Throughout history, women have had to fight to be recognized as equal, and they are still fighting. 

March is Women’s History Month, so why not sit down with a good book or watch a film to appreciate that history? Here are 5 books and films to help you celebrate.

1. Iron Jawed Angels

This historical drama set in the 1910s follows Alice Paul, a well-known suffragist leader, on her journey to get women the right to vote. With fellow suffragist Lucy Burns by her side, Paul campaigns in Washington D.C. using nonviolent tactics and is prepared to go to prison if that’s what it takes. This is a raw and emotional film that gives great insight to the hard work and abuse that the suffragists went through. Released in 2004, the film is currently available on Hulu and HBO Go.

2. “The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!” 

This book contains a collection of quotes and essays by Gloria Steinem, a feminist who is widely recognized as the leader of the 2nd wave of feminism in the early 1970s. The works in this book cover topics such as the patriarchy, relationships and activism. Steinem even includes some of her favorite quotes from her close friends, such as feminist author bell hooks and Michelle Obama. This book is a great way to get inspired.

3. Hidden Figures

This 2016 biographical drama depicts the three black female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the early 60s. The film showcases the important roles these women played in the Space Race as well as issues they faced regarding segregation and sexism. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae play the three women behind the operation of sending an astronaut into orbit. 

4. “The Little Book of Feminist Saints” 

This book by Julia Pierpont features 100 women who have shaped women’s history. The women featured vary from the well-known to some you may never heard of, dating all the way back to 630 B.C. The book is meant to be read in intervals as a source of inspiration, sharing anecdotes about the contribution these women have made that make them “saint-worthy.” This is a great book to display on your coffee table or desk, and certainly one to pick up if you ever want to feel inspired.

5. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

This 2014 documentary highlights some of the women involved in the 2nd wave feminism movement. The film takes the viewer through the journey of women’s history, starting with the National Organization of Women all the way to more radical feminist movements, and even showcases present-day feminists. It also touches on some controversies and issues, such as segregation within the women’s movement itself. The film is available to stream on Netflix.

Features reporter Kelley Holland can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]