Welcome to another Feminist Friday column – our first one of 2019! This week and all year we plan to focus on the voices, experiences, work and stories of women around the world who are making change and pushing for gender equality.
This week we’re featuring a TEDx Talk, an animated series created by two badass filmmakers, and a documentary short film that has been shortlisted for the Academy Awards.
‘Period. End of Sentence’ comes from award-winning director Rayka Zehtabchi, and the initial idea stemmed from a non-profit organization out of Los Angeles that was created by female school students, parents and teachers called The Pad Project. The film follows girls and women in Hapur, India and their experience with the installation of a pad machine in their village. One young woman, Sneha, tells her dreams of becoming a police officer. Another girl discusses the taboo of menstruation, the importance of education, and how she had to drop out of school when she got her period.
Soon, all of the women we meet are determined to work on the pad machine (which will earn them more money than their prior work in the fields), and to create a micro-economy to support themselves for the very first time. As the inventor of the machine Arunachalam Muruganantham says: “The strongest creature on earth is not the elephant, not the tiger, but the girl.”
Having already won multiple awards at some of the biggest film festivals in the world, ‘Period. End of Sentence’ is sure to make waves upon its release as well as riding its Oscars wave. Watch the trailer below, and find out how you can take part in dismantling menstrual stigma by contacting The Pad Project.
The second video is episode one of a new animated series called ‘Gremlin Girl’ from Los Angeles-based actor/writer Rebecca Warm and director/animator Emily Rifkin. The series literally just launched January 10 and new episodes will be posted weekly on the Gremlin Girl Youtube Channel (13 eps in total).
The series follows Franny, an independent, seemingly confident woman, and Gremlin Girl, the adorable manifestation of her anxieties. From stressing about the enduring consequences of adding avocado to your sandwich to worrying if you’re doing enough to save the polar ice caps, ‘Gremlin Girl’ is a comedic take on all the ways we’re affected by our neuroses daily.
Gremlin Girl has been a labor of love for the two filmmakers, as they turned an original single-panel comic into humorous webisodes, handling all the art direction, voices, and animation themselves. But these two women are more than equipped for the task: Emily is currently an editor at Disney TV Animation, and Rebecca is an actress and sketch comedian with experience at Groundlings’ Sunday Company and TruTV. ‘Gremlin Girl’ is Rebecca and Emily’s way of hoping to connect with everyone out there who sometimes feels a little bit in their heads. Watch episode 1 below, and subscribe to the Gremlin Girl Youtube Channel to watch every episode as they get released.
The final video this week is a TEDx Talk that should be shown in very corporate and workplace setting. In an era where #metoo and #timesup conversations are everywhere, the idea of breaking down gender bias is a foundational must in the march toward gender equality.
Consultant, researcher, and author on women and the workplace Selena Rezvani shares how to disrupt gender bias through everyday meeting norms. Too often women are not included or don’t feel comfortable sharing their thoughts during meetings – and this lack of psychological safety affects the performance of the whole team.Selena Rezvani is known for her award-winning column in The Washington Post on gender inclusion, as well as her books Pushback and The Next Generation of Women Leaders.
Watch Selena’s ‘Interrupting gender bias through meeting culture’ TEDx Talk below: