FEMINIST FRIDAY: Women Vloggers From The Middle East Band Together To Dispel Arab Stereotypes

Welcome to another Feminist Friday! That time of the week where we share 3 of our fave videos that speak to a diverse, inclusive and intersectional definition of feminism. Given there is still so much fear-mongering and misinformation being spread about the movement (not to mention those who appropriate the term for harmful means), we love that there is so much amazing content online today that drives conversation about what feminism means to different groups of people.

First up this week is a conversation about feminism and female empowerment in the Middle East, a place where stereotypical narratives ensure we only see one narrow definition of a lived experience. This video, featuring women from various Arab countries who have a popular following online, including Palestinian vlogger Haifa Beseisso, is a challenge to the Western stereotypes of Arab men and women, while also emphasizing the need to nuance when it comes to narratives about people from around the world.

It’s not about ignoring the negative and very real issues that people in the region face, it’s about giving the microphone to individuals to allow them to speak for themselves. Haifa teamed up with Youtube for their Creators for Change campaign and helped produce this badass video which you will not be able to get out of your head for it’s pointed lyrics but also stunning visuals.

Our second video this week is certainly a conversation-drive when it comes to discussing the role of feminism, especially in pop culture. ‘Saturday Night Live’ recently parodied the typical rap/hip hop music video and featured not only a group of male cast-members but actual rappers like Lil Wayne and Future.

The video is called ‘Permission’, and flips the script on the female objectification narrative we have seen for far too long in many music videos, particularly in the aforementioned genres. The guys talk about how it’s important to get consent, and get permission when it comes to flirting or even sexual interactions. Why it’s important to respect women etc.

We think this video is a good start and certainly makes for a great video. But what does suck is that this is a comedy parody, and the real norm is the opposite. When a video like this isn’t just comedy fodder will be a good day, because it means conversations about consent and respect, which lead back to larger conversation about equal rights and gender equality, are having a meaningful impact on society.

In the meantime, here’s hoping a video like this will not just entertain audiences, but impact the music industry execs and artists who have the power to make lasting cultural change.

The final video we want to share this week comes from car brand Kia, who released a series of videos promoting certain Latina business owners and championing diversity, entrepreneurship and female empowerment coinciding with Latina Equal Pay Day on November 1. With the lack of Latina representation in the 2019 Golden Globes nominations showing how disappointingly far behind we still are when it comes to a more accurate and diverse representation of America’s melting pot, this series makes us happy.

According to Marketing Dive, Kia teamed up with Hispanic agency Inspire to make these documentary videos, an increasingly popular marketing tool for major auto brands, in order to reach Hispanic and Latino audiences which are often overlooked segments for auto brands.

And the awareness around Latina Equal Pay Day is also vital, as it highlights the estimated amount of time a woman of Latin American descent would have to work — roughly 10 months and one day of 2018 and all of 2017 — to make what white men typically earned in 2017 alone. On average, Latina women earn 53 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men, per Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

The video below features Latin Grammy award-winning, all-female mariachi band Flor De Toloache who travel around the country in their Kia meeting with three Latina entrepreneurs who share their stories of struggle and success as small business owners.

At the end of the day the campaign is of course aimed at selling a product and tapping into a largely ignored potential market demographic. But at least the auto brand is thinking outside the box and creating content that will introduce audiences to issues as well as entrepreneurs and artists that we may not have known about before.

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