FEMINIST FRIDAY: Bustle Launches Web Series Showcasing Leading Female Political Voices

Abbey Adkinson

It wouldn’t be a Friday without a good dose of feminism! Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday, that part of the week where we get to fangirl over a handful of videos we are loving right now, videos that we believe help define what feminism means today.

This week we’re getting a little political and we ain’t shying away from it! In this era of #resistance, we’re so excited about the voices and movements that have begun to take shape and change our culture for the better. First up, a new web series from Bustle, called ‘So Tell Me’. Hosted by six time Emmy-nominated journalist and Bustle’s Senior Political Correspondent Erin Delmore, the series spotlights the nation’s leading political voices and focuses on the issues and movements that impact young people and women today including health care, immigration, gun control, feminism, and more.

The first episode, which premiered on March 8, International Women’s Day (appropriate), featured a conversation with Chelsea Clinton. Chelsea and Erin discuss the #MeToo movement, the protests against the Trump administration, and the strong women in Chelsea’s life, including her mom, Hillary Clinton, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.

A couple of highlights from the interview. Here’s what Chelsea had to say about the Trump administration’s egregious decision to not only implement the Global Gag Rule, but expand it in a way no previous president has done, which will have a devastating effect on the health of women and girls globally.

“I’m infuriated by the kind of retrograde posture of the current administration toward women and girls, not only around the world, but also here in the United States.”

Here’s what she had to say about about how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement about Senator Elizabeth Warren, “Nevertheless, she persisted” (which inspired the title of Chelsea’s book for children ‘She Persisted’), meant to be condescending, actually ended up becoming a warrior cry for women everywhere.

“I don’t think the Senate Majority Leader had any [kind of idea] what he would help unleash when he censured Elizabeth Warren.” Take a look at the episode below, and be sure to watch all of the ‘So Tell Me’ series on Bustle.

The second video we’re excited to share is an episode from another web series, called ‘Beck and Clem’, which premiered in January. It is a comedic series about friendship, time travel and the conviction that the past was not that great. Created by Abbey Fenbert, it stars Abbey Fenbert and Emily Harpe​, and is produced by Three Lyons Creative.

Clem is an early American colonist who travels centuries into the future to escape a plague. Her roommate Beck, a 21st-century woman, delights in introducing her to the many splendors of modern life. Beck is thrilled to guide a woman from the nether-centuries through this secular, feminist era. Clem’s pretty sure Beck’s a witch, but they make it work. They examine the economics of first dates alongside the dark legacies of colonialism.

They debate the morality of Thin Mints and the meaning of romance. They drink a lot of wine. As Beck helps her friend find citizenship, employment and a profile worth Swiping Right, Clem tries to uphold her value system and live her best future life.

All ten episodes are available to watch now, so be sure to subscribe to the Youtube Channel. ‘Beck and Clem’ originally got off the ground through a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, once again showing how female-driven talent and creativity is circumventing traditional film industry pathways to launch the type of entertainment and content an ever-diversifying audience is craving right now. Watch episode 1 of ‘Beck and Clem’ below.

Our final video this week is the trailer for another crowdfunding project, one which we cannot wait to see. ‘Personhood’ is a documentary exploring the criminalization of pregnant women as seen through the eyes of a young mother swept up in dangerous new laws. The film is directed, written and produced by Jo Ardinger.

You may be familiar with the term “personhood” from the numerous laws that many Republicans and conservative groups are trying to push across the country, which would enable a fetus to have the same constitutional rights as a person already born. In a nutshell, it is a backdoor way of criminalizing abortion (without having to explicitly overturn Roe vs. Wade). If you watched ‘Birthright: A War Story’, you will also know that Personhood laws are one of the latest trends in the anti-choice movement as they continue their crusade to make abortion illegal.

This new documentary is shedding important new perspective on this topic, once again reminding audiences that when the life and body of the mother is devalued, the result can be devastating. Should the government have the power to override a woman’s constitutional rights during pregnancy?

Given that these are incarcerated women under the direct care of the prison industrial complex, their ability to exert their individual rights can become even more fraught and allows for so much more potential and actual abuse. The US currently boasts the highest incarcerated population in the world for men and women, and the number of female prisoners is actually growing at a faster rate than men. As with most social justice issues, there are intersections of race and socio-economic status that come into play.

There are 12,000 pregnant women in custody every year, and 28 states have no laws against shackling them during labor. Only 54% of pregnant women who are incarcerated are reported to receive adequate pregnancy-related health care. Let’s be clear, this is absolutely a reproductive justice issue, and a problem that deserves more attention. Well done to Jo and her team for successfully completing their Women You Should Fund crowdfunding campaign and bringing this issue to light. Follow the documentary on Facebook and their website for news about release dates and screenings.


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