How “Black Panther” has changed the game for women

Screenshot of a Marvel Studios' clip entitled, "Warriors of Wakanda."

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By Whitney Jani ’18

The popularity of the new Marvel movie “Black Panther” is sweeping across the world. It has been the number one movie in the world for the past two weeks since its opening day.

The movie has sparked global recognition for a number of reasons. One of the most prominent aspects of the movie that makes it so great is the majority black cast. This movie has broken through racial barriers and promoted black excellence in the finest way. The movie has also received great recognition for having people of color being portrayed as great and important figures in society that want to make a change for other people of color in the world. Although race is one of the most prominent underlying topics in the movie, there is also a strong theme of feminism.

The women in the movie “Black Panther” are an image of pure resilience and strength. The cast includes, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia. She is a strong warrior-like character with a close relationship with Black Panther. Danai Gurira plays Okoye. She is the general for an all female military. Through the course of the movie, she fights alongside Black Panther and Nakia. There is Angela Bassett who plays Ramonda. She is Black Panther’s mother, and she shows her strength when she has to carry on in the face of her husband’s death. One of the most memorable characters was Shuri played by Letitia Wright. She is Black Panther’s sister, and she is an extremely smart scientist and engineer that designed a lot of Black Panther’s equipment.

The women in this movie have broken down some of the stereotypes placed on women in the film industry. According to The Washington Post, “From the start, the story avoids the sexist tropes we are accustomed to watching on film. The women’s sex appeal is obvious but secondary to their personality and skill. They are strategic opponents in battle, saving the life of Black Panther T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) several times over. Equally entrusted with guiding and protecting the nation, they do not need to be rescued, sustained or lauded by men.”

The reason this movie is so great is because it strays away from the typical portrayal of women in films as sex symbols and objects of affection for men. Although there is a love story that follows the course of the movie, that is not the main focus of the film. The film instead focuses on promoting the strength of women and how beautiful that can be.

All of the women in this movie should be proud of this accomplishment. They are setting new standards for the portrayal of women in cinema. “Black Panther” is setting new precedents for the industry to follow and for girls and women around the world to look up to.