Last month, Physics Today put out an excellent article that supported the claim that continuous patterns of gender inequality in the sciences have driven very talented women away from the field. Women in the sciences describe jokes and situations that created a negative experience for them. In reference letters, male students are described using words like “brilliant” and “outstanding,” while just as qualified female students are “conscientious” and “hardworking.” Guess which students get accepted more often into physics graduate programs?
These imbalances stem from cultural stereotypes that create a downward spiral for women. Historically, and even presently, women are wrongly disrespected and discouraged in the sciences. For this reason, it was very inspiring to see roles reverse in A Wrinkle In Time. Amidst the Women’s March and the Me Too movement, the movie’s timing could not be more inspirational.
Meg (Storm Reid) is a young girl on a mission to find her scientist father (Chris Pine) who travelled to another universe by bending frequencies into a fifth dimension. Her mission takes her far and wide, to magical places. Meg’s friend, Calvin (Levi Miller), travels with her and in one scene they are fleeing a bad storm. They are running away from the barrelling storm and approach a giant wall and have nowhere else to go, but Meg asks Calvin to trust her. She knows they must run into the storm, so the force of the wind throws them over the wall to safety.
Once they are safe, Calvin asks Meg how she knew what to do. Meg replies that it was a “physics thing - a classic slingshot maneuver,” to which Calvin replies, “you are incredible.” Meg acts like it was no big deal, but this scene is powerful. She saved their lives with her confidence, and intelligence. Calvin just needed to trust her.
This is one of the many scenes in the movie that empower girls and women. Meg’s journey through the universe to find her father starts with her encounter with three mystical women, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), and Mrs. Witch (Oprah Winfrey). At a point when Meg wants to give up, Mrs. Witch telsl her, “immense choices occured since the birth of the universe that led to the making of you just the way you are.”
Mrs. Witch encourages Meg to be a warrior to fight the It, which is the evil being that is taking over the universe. “Be yourself. Be strong. Be the light that drowns out the dark. These are all reoccuring themes in the movie and reasons why I would take my children to see this movie,” remarks Denver entrepreneur, Brendan Hufford.
In the end, it is Meg’s bravery and smarts that leads them to find her father and bring him safely back to Earth. Complete with magical scenery in the other worlds and powers of the imagination, A Wrinkle In Time spotlights girls and women in the sciences and motivates females to follow their dreams, no matter how nerdy it may be.
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