Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday – our fave part of the week where we get to fangirl over a handful of videos we are loving right now, especially those that expand on the definition of modern feminism. This week it’s all about defying standards to create space for more voices and representations.
First up, a new CNN series hosted by anchor Brooke Baldwin is celebrating a diverse group of women who are killing it at the top of their game. ‘American Woman‘ is an 8-part digital series that includes interviews with plus size supermodel Ashley Graham, ‘Insecure’ creator and star Issa Rae, designers Diane Von Furstenberg and Tracy Reese, director Ava DuVernay, actress Betty White, and artists Sheryl Crow and Pat Benatar.
In an interview with People magazine, Brooke said the inspiration for the series naturally came about after experience reporting during the 2016 Presidential campaign, hearing a record number of women speaking in the hope of seeing the first female American president get elected. The Women’s March also played a role in her decision to want to do something about these voices that had been raised but refused to back down. Of course Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men in entertainment being outed for ongoing sexual misconduct, which sparkled the resurgence of the #MeToo movement as well as a new Hollywood organization called Time’s Up is a part of the past 12 months of female-driven activism, that will be touched on in the series.
“It has always been important for women to empower other women. It has been my personal mission — especially the older I’ve gotten — to make sure the women I meet…know they matter. I credit my mom for teaching me confidence and kindness as a young girl — and that I must speak up…What’s been fascinating about shooting my series ‘American Woman’ is the ubiquity of a woman’s experience — and no matter who you are a rockstar, film director, mom — we all are celebrating this movement of female empowerment but we also realize we have a long way to go,” she said.
You can see all the episodes on the CNN digital website, and watch a sneak preview of the episode featuring Issa Rae below:
The second video is a trailer to a new documentary called ‘Alabama Bound‘, from co-directors and co-producers Lara Embry and Carolyn Sherer. This powerful film explores the legal roller-coaster ride of LGBTQ family rights in the South over the last decade. The film offers an intimate view into the lives of three lesbian families in Alabama as they set precedents and fight the courts for their children during the time that federal marriage equality comes to a head.
This is the story of a powerful community living with both frustration and hope in a conservative state, where the line between church and state is often blurred. One of the people featured is the only openly-gay Alabama State Legislator, Patricia Todd who is a champion for non-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ citizens from losing their jobs for their sexual orientation. She initially ran for office because she felt that nothing would change until an LGBTQ representative sat at the table with the decision-makers in the state.
Alabama is one of 28 other states across the country where there are no legal protections for LGBTQ citizens from losing their job, housing, or access to public accommodations. On May 3, 2017, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill into law making it legal for private adoption agencies to follow faith-based policies— such as not placing children with gay couples. While much of the nation has moved toward LGBTQ equality, many states have become bound in conflict, and families that call these states home have suffered. Watch the trailer below, and find a screening of this timely film near you.
And our final video this week will leave you feeling empowered and want to dance into the weekend! However, if it leaves you feeling uncomfortable, singer Jessie James Decker has a message for you. The pregnant country star released her music video for ‘Flip My Hair’, and talks about deciding to go ahead and shoot a fun dance sequence despite being obviously pregnant at the time.
“When the question of ‘when’ I wanted to shoot it came about, I thought to myself do I wait after I have the baby and get my body in perfect shape like I’m supposed to do? Or do I just embrace where I am at my life, pregnant with my third baby?I said ‘we are shooting a music video even though I am six months pregnant and we will rock this shit!’ she wrote on social media, explaining the idea behind gathering a cohort of pregnant women all wearing form-fitting bodysuits to dance alongside her.
She also mentioned some of the negative criticism she has received and used it as an opportunity to push-back against the ridiculous standards placed on pregnant women in society.
“I’ve already read some of your comments stating that it’s weird or it makes you uncomfortable or that other successful country female artists would never do this. Well if it makes you uncomfortable then that’s your own issue. I’ve never felt sexier or more confident than I did during this music video shoot. I want to showcase that no matter where you are at in your life, shape, or size you can exude that confidence and sexuality in your womanhood!” she said.
‘Flip My Hair’ is an exclusive bonus track on an edition of her album ‘Southern Girl City Lights’ only available for purchase at Target.