The Five Most Girlboss Moments in
Have you heard of the film Respectful Young Man? No? Hmm, that’s interesting. Well, you probably haven’t heard of it because it doesn’t exist. And Promising Young Woman pretty much explains why. You know, the movie with #girlboss Cassie. Sure she’s a girlboss on her own, but it’s the structure of society and actions of those around her that make her reign even more #powerful. If you’ve seen PYW, then read on. If you haven’t, go watch it bro. Either way, here’s Cassie’s most #powerful #girlboss moments.
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*
Girlboss Meter: 8.5/10
You would think that the dean of Cassie’s ex-medical school being a woman is a feminist moment until she starts talking. When Cassie confronts Dean Walker, the dean practically reads a script of all the words used to victim shame. She says that she can’t “ruin a young man’s life every time an accusation is made,” and she has to give men “the benefit of the doubt.” I mean aside from the fact that Cassie lowkey kidnapped the Dean’s daughter (we’re not gonna talk about that one), Cassie’s comeback to Dean Walker is outstanding; “Luckily, I don’t have as much faith in boys as you do.” Not to mention the fact that Cassie literally came up with this plan entirely on her own and made the Dean switch up so fast. It’s also hard to believe that Dean Walker had the audacity to victim-shame Cassie while wearing a low-cut blouse. I would say go off to her attire, but she doesn’t get to go off until she cleans up her act.
Girlboss One-Liner: “Luckily, I don’t have as much faith in boys as you do.” Girl go off!!
Girlboss Meter: 9/10
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you usually don’t have a connection with someone because you made out while you were drunk. Or in these circumstances, forced someone to make out while they were drunk. So, Cassie is a #queen for calling out the awkward dude snorting you-know-what in front of her, thinking that she’s completely wasted, and then claiming to have a connection. Not to mention that she’s way out of his league. I don’t know if it makes it worse that this dude is literally McLovin. But she shuts him down with a series of questions: “What do I do for a living? Sorry. Maybe that one’s too hard. How old am I? How long have I lived in the city? What are my hobbies?” She pauses. “What’s my name?” And then he goes on to claim that he’s a “nice guy” even though he practically assaulted her while she was “drunk.” I’m not tryna come off as a misandrist, but this movie makes me want to burn all men in a fire.
Girlboss One-Liner: “What’s my name?” The POWER.
Girlboss Meter: 9.5/10
C’mon Cassie, you can do it, pave the way, put your back into it… You know the rest. Anyway, not Bo Burnham also being in this movie. And not him also being another “nice guy.” The way that Cassie finds a video of what happened to Nina is absolutely disgusting, but Cassie shows no hesitation in not only cutting Ryan out of her life but destroying his life #sistersbeforemisters. And her not being scared to confront him is the scene I think we were all waiting for. I mean his reaction is pretty typical, considering he’s a “nice guy.” He says he was just a kid and then switches up and says, “Then we both won’t be doctors you… failure” (we’re just gonna omit that one word but it’s pretty obvious what he said). Like bro, you were literally an adult in pre-med school. Grow up. Any other person would probably want to scream back at him, but Cassie’s response is cool and collected, “Nice.” Every guy in her life literally betrayed her, but she still prevailed. Cassie is the real CEO here.
Girlboss One-Liner: “Nice.” Need I say more?
Girlboss Meter: 10/10
Emerald Fennell basing the whole movie on Cassie drunkenly saying “What are you doing?” and then saying the same line sober is the ultimate power move. Cassie’s #power also radiates through this opening scene. There should’ve been some sort of trigger warning because the opening scene, let’s be real, the entire movie, can be triggering. The movie on its own can be traumatizing, so the lack of a trigger warning is validly controversial. There’s really no easing into it because the first scene just dives right in and makes you fear for Cassie’s safety. However, the tone of the entire scene flips in a split second and there is literally a sound effect to emphasize this. I don’t know about you, but I could feel Cassie’s power through the screen. Women have watched the destruction of themselves onscreen for the entirety of the industry, but she literally turned the tables all on her own and ate it up while doing it.
Girlboss One-Liner: “What are you doing?” Literally a question that should be asked to most men on the daily.
Girlboss Meter: 11/10
Sure, the movie may be controversial, but the nurse costume Cassie wears doesn’t have to be. The amount of courage it took to show up at that bachelor party, literally looking like a queen, and confront Al shows some insane dedication. But now that we’ve established Cassie is an absolute #girlboss, let’s just talk about how none of it ever had to happen. If Al could’ve been a respectful young man, Cassie wouldn’t have had to literally die to get justice for her best friend. And it wasn’t just Al who was behind all of this, but it was the structure of society that allowed his actions to not be punished. Society shouldn’t have enabled things to go on the way they did, but it is girlbosses like Cassie that can flip the switch. Rest in power bestie.
Girlboss One-Liner: The nurse costume. That’s all.
Go and be a respectful young man, so we don’t need to be a promising young woman.
Stephanie Tokasz is a second-year film, photography and visual arts major who has been camped outside Emerald Fennel’s house for weeks. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.