From the #MeToo movement to a surge of women in politics, to the many ground-breaking achievements from women in entertainment, the ‘10s have been the decade for women’s equality and empowerment. Looking forward, there are many talented, inspiring young women sparking change. Here are three of NYMM’s favorite badass women to look out for in the new decade.
Just 24-years-old, Pugh has already had a prolific and captivating career. You may recognize this Oxford-born actress from her leading roles in recent box office hits like Midsommar and Little Women, but this is only the beginning for Pugh. This year she’ll play Scarlett Johansson’s sidekick Yelena in Black Widow. She’ll be joining the ranks of A-list celebrities like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans.
Better yet, Pugh is constantly pushing the feminist agenda forward. Her two latest films, Little Women and Black Widow, were directed by women. This is a huge departure from the typically white and male space Hollywood cinema occupies. “They’re actually making a reason for women to talk in films now,” Pugh said coyly when asked about her most recent female-driven projects. “When a woman speaks, she’s going to have something to say.”
This 28-year-old Irish author came onto the fiction scene in 2017 when she released her jaw-dropping debut novel Conversations with Friends. Since then, Rooney has been called the “first great millennial novelist” and “Salinger for the Snapchat generation” by critics. Still, none of these titles truly capture the freshness and authenticity Rooney’s work brings to the table.
Rooney’s writing perfectly captures the second-wave feminist sentiment, “the personal is political.” Her two published novels explore the complex inner lives of young women. Being able to write about yourself with such nuance is a privilege traditionally only afforded to famous male authors like Fitzgerald and Twain.
Plus, if you read her books, you’ll find Rooney’s feminist politics aren’t exactly a secret. “I feel like you can really get away with putting a lot of your opinions — if you wanted to — in a novel,” said the author with a wink.
You might not know her name, but you definitely know Matsoukas’ work. This prolific director has filmed countless commercials, television episodes, and music videos, including Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Beyoncé’s “Formation.”
Matsoukas has also recently directed her first feature-length film, Queen & Slim. This outstanding debut shows that Matsoukas is a filmmaker to look out for in the upcoming decade. Praised by critics as “a potent love story for our times” and “one of those increasingly rare movies that should leave audiences discussing it after they exit the theater,” Queen & Slim follows an empowered female lead surviving through tragedy and falling in love at the same time. Her female characters are raw, complex, and never sexually objectified, making Matsoukas a compelling contender for the next great feminist filmmaker.