YAS QUEENS! It’s that time of the week, where we end on a feminist high with another installment of our Feminist Friday series! In this edition, we are serving up a truly global helping. These are videos that have inspired us and since we’re all about the inspiration, we don’t want to keep this to ourselves.
First up, Australian MP Linda Burney’s historic and captivating speech in Parliament. Linda represents the seat of Barton for the Australian Labor Party, and also happens to be the first female Aboriginal MP in Australian federal Parliament. During her first time in front of the coalition government and national TV cameras, she took full advantage of the spotlight to bring awareness to her Indigenous heritage.
Wearing a kangaroo-skin cloak representing her clan, her 35 minute speech (which you can watch in full here) included references to Australia’s dark past where Indigenous people were treated horrendously.
“I was born at a time when the Australian Government knew how many sheep there were but not how many Aboriginal people. I was 10 years old before the 1967 referendum fixed that. The first decade of my life was spent as a non-citizen” she declared, referencing the period where the Aboriginal population was classed under Flora and Fauna law (effectively lumping them in the same category as plants and animals) until 1967.
She also spoke about how ironic it was that she represents the federal seat of Barton – a place named after former prime minister Edmund Barton who introduced the White Australia policy but which is now one of the most multicultural places in the country. Linda encouraged other Indigenous Australians with this message: “If I can stand in this place, so can they — never let anyone tell you, you are limited by anything.”
The second video features another trailblazer, one who lives in Mongolia. ‘The Eagle Huntress’ is a new documentary following the story of teenager Aisholpan, reportedly the only female eagle huntress apprentice in the world. Her remarkable journey infiltrating a male tradition caught our attention in 2014 when the BBC shared some incredible photos of the young rebel and shared her story with the world.
Now we are about to get an even bigger dose of Aisholpan in this documentary, which is narrated by ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ star Daisy Ridley.
“THE EAGLE HUNTRESS follows Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, as she trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and rises to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries,” says the description of the trailer on Youtube. It will be released on October 28 in Los Angeles and New York, and be sure to look out for more screening dates and cities.
Finally, a topic that is very important to us: abortion. ‘Abortion: Stories Women Tell’ is a documentary by filmmaker Tracy Dros Tragos, an award-winning documentarian who showcases numerous women in Missouri, which only has one abortion clinic in the entire state.
This documentary comes at a time when reproductive rights have reached a tipping point, and anti-abortion laws have successfully managed to place a series of burdensome restrictions on clinic, forcing them to shut down and leave many women in desperate situations. While the recent Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt Supreme Court Case ruling has put a stop to certain types of regulations which prohibit a woman’s legal right to obtain a safe abortion, the political and ideological battle wages on.
In the midst of this heated issue, compounded by the fact we are in the thick of a presidential election, comes the sobering reminder that when you strip away rhetoric, talking points, and any other factor, what we see are ordinary women from all walks of life who are seeking out abortions for a number of reasons. These are the stories we need to hear more of and what we hope will eventually dominate media coverage of this issue. This is what Tracy Droz Tragos is aiming to do with her film. It will be available on HBO in 2017, and is currently screening in select theaters across the US.