January Monthly Meeting: Feminism in Film

By Hannah Pajtis ’26

On January 25th, 2023, WLI hosted their first monthly meeting of the new year. This meeting featured a viewing of the 2017 biographical sports drama “Battle of the Sexes” featuring Emma Stone and Steve Carrel. Taking place during the 1970’s, the film follows the professional and personal journey of Billie Jean King, a talented tennis player experiencing discrimination on the basis of her gender. Protesting the misogynistic regulations preventing her from receiving equal pay, King starts her own women’s tennis league. In a turn of events, she ends up playing self-proclaimed chauvinist Bobby Riggs in a widely televised match characterized as a fight between male and female. 

King’s continuous struggle against sexism reflects the greater battle against misogyny that women have been forced to fight for centuries. The film does an exemplary job of illustrating how the misogyny women face in athletic spheres overflows into their personal lives and impacts daily activities. Furthermore, the film highlights the intersectional nature of one’s identity by spotlighting King’s journey through navigating her sexuality. In doing this, it contextualizes King’s activism, which is centered around inclusivity. Focused on empowering women, the film features strong female characters in addition to King like her teammate and announcer, Rosie.

Discussion ensued after the end of the film, where various individuals shared their opinions on the movie. Many compared scenes in the movie to their experiences in real life, revealing that despite its 1970’s setting, the film is relevant to 21st-century audiences. 

WLI thanks everyone for attending and engaging in meaningful discussion. Keep your eyes open for more WLI-run events, including February’s Monthly Meeting, an internship panel.