FEMINIST FRIDAY: Witches And Drag Queens And Rappers, Oh My!

Welcome to another edition of Feminist Friday! This week we’re shaking things up and having a little fun, showcasing how diverse the feminist identity can be in the modern movement. From Drag queens who are channeling their inner bruja spirit, to feminist heroes who have lived through more than one wave of the movement, to Japanese rappers who are disrupting a male-dominated genre in a relatively conservative culture, we’ve got something for everyone.

First up, the music video for drag queen Aja’s new single ‘Brujería’, featuring Mitch Ferrino. You may recognize this literal Queen from the cult favorite ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, where she made her first foray into our homes on season 9, then returned for All Stars 3. In an interview with Gaytimes.co.uk, Aja says she considers herself a musician first and a drag queen second. Her new EP release is called ‘My Feelings’, which includes ‘Brujería’.

She said the inspiration came from her love of “witchy pop culture” as well as her background growing up surrounded by Afro-Caribbean practices. Aja wanted to challenge the stereotypical notion of what being a witch is all about, denouncing the satan-worship trope to share how it is a very pro-female practice, unlike other belief systems and world religions.

“I think it’s always important to give light to those practices and religions that give women the power and freedom, because since the beginning of time the feminine energy has been super oppressed. So I feel like there are practices and beliefs where the women do have some say and power, and it is the unfortunate truth that in our society…women are not treated equally. But you know, we could always try to show people, ‘Hey, look, it’s an old idea that women are not equal, even though they are, but there’s also belief systems we can follow where women are just as badass’,” she explained. Watch the video below and prepare for a visual feast:

The second video showcases the rise of Japanese Kawaii female rappers who are starting to get a lot of attention thanks to an artist and producer by the name of E Ticket Production, who is considered the guru of Kawaii hip hop. He released his 2nd EP called ‘E Ticket Rap Show 2’ on April 4, which includes a line-up of collaborations with Japanese female rappers.

The following video ‘Right Now’ features artist MIZUHA from SAKURAEBIS. The song is an ode to old school era party hiphop and the theme of the lyrics is female empowerment. We love getting introduced to new music from around the world where the ladies are killing it and making themselves heard. Oh and fun fact: this is Mizhua’s first time rapping, so no big deal. Check it out below:

The final video we want to showcase this week is from ethical fashion brand Everlane who have launched a new video series called Human Heroes, which debuted May 7. According to Glamour.com, the brand is committed to social activism and has raised half a million dollars for organizations such as ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, and Equality Now.

The new series shows heroes who “have dedicated their lives to empowering their communities and making a difference”, so it’s no surprise they picked feminist pioneer and author Gloria Steinem. She spoke about the earlier days of the feminist movement when she became a household name in the 1960’s and 70’s during the second wave, and her thoughts on where the movement is heading today.

“The Human Heroes series is our way of highlighting individuals who fight for those rights every single day—and Gloria Steinem is the ultimate Human Hero. For over 50 years she’s fought on behalf of disempowered and disenfranchised women all over the globe and even now, at 84 years old, she still uses her voice to educate and inspire every day,” said Alex Spunt, head of creative at Everlane to Glamour.

Feminism includes all women, or it’s not feminism,” Gloria says in the clip, while adding how inspired she is seeing the younger generation of feminists. She prefers not to give them advice but instead listen to what they are saying and how they are voicing their concerns today. Watch the episode below.




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