30 Feminist Christmas Movies, Ranked

9 of 31

A Christmas Story, Screencap via MGM

A Christmas Story

Ralphie is a nine-year-old in Middle America in 1940 who only has one thing on his Christmas list: A Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. His parents and all other adults in his life claim that he will “shoot his eye out.” While he lobbies for his gift, he endures bullying by classmates, dependence from his little brother, and a mixture of embarrassment and wonder via a leg-shaped lamp of his father’s.

The Good

  • Ralphie’s mom holds their house together essentially by herself. While it sucks to see Ralphie’s dad never helping her do anything, really, it at least shows how competent she is.
  • Ralphie’s mom surreptitiously and fake-accidentally destroys that God-awful lamp, and more power to her.

The Bad

  • There are almost no women in the story.
  • All the women who are in the story, like Ralphie’s mom, teacher, and the helper elf at the Santa display, are all portrayed as uptight.
  • Ralphie’s dad, also known as The Old Man, displays tons of toxic masculinity as he “fights” with everything. The furnace must be conquered, as do the neighbor’s dogs, who annoy him.
  • Toxic masculinity is rewarded in this movie when Ralphie beats up one of his bullies triumphantly.
  • As long as we’re talking about toxic masculinity, the BB gun versus the pink bunny costume represents that issue quite well.

The Ugly

  • Literally objectifying women with a lamp. I know the lamp is an iconic symbol of this movie. And I know nobody in the family, outside of the dad, likes it. However, they don’t hate it because it’s gross and misogynistic. They hate it because it’s tacky. It has always made me uncomfortable and I’ve never found it funny, not even as a child when I didn’t understand why. I don’t care how much you love this movie; the leg-shaped lamp of A Christmas Story is literal objectification played for laughs.