An Intersectional Feminist Guide to Pop-Culture

Can you feel the revolution coming?

In 2018… where activism, understanding and change is being accepted as the norm –  we bring to you a guide to pop-culture. Check out the following equality-centric entertainment genres from movies to comedians that are being backed by two self-proclaimed feminists, yours truly.  Also, some of our personal favourites are listed so expect some bias, okay?

Matilda: Book

A Roald Dahl childhood-favourite is a woke novel that resonates with all ages and genders to this day. Need I say more?

Cuddle up with a blanket and some hot cocoa as you reread your childhood classic and reignite that innocent optimistic determination that is so powerful and needed in today’s global political and social climate.

Our teenage selves are giddy!

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Black Panther: Movie

First of all, let’s talk about the women in the film. At 16 years old, the Wakandan Princess Shuri is a fighter, activist and techie. Despite being young, she is respected and listened to. She is as clever as Tony Stark and Bruce Banner but has an optimistic and light-hearted outlook. Nakia, on the other hand, is a human rights activist and soldier. Despite being in love with T’challa (the Black Panther), she refuses to be with him until his values and goals align with hers.

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The nuanced portrayal of WOC as more than — more than a love interest, more than a diversity bid, more than a disposable character — was so refreshing. These women are complex and, more importantly, they are not victims. Instead, they have agency: Nakia uses the wealth of Wakanda to liberate others and Shuri creates her own technological legacy.

This movie is a giant leap in what Hollywood can achieve when it comes to equal representation. Next up, a WOC Superhero feature film!

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – TV show

Okay first of all, when you have MCU (that’s Marvel Cinematic Universe BTW) and science fiction taking the entertainment industry by a storm, and then to have A MUSICAL ROMANTIC COMEDY top that? Or maybe we are just hopeless romantics. But hear us out? 

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We picked this show, over numerous others because not only does the main character joke about her weight and her bust line, and hits all the right notes, but more importantly, it takes a dig on being ‘the ‘crazy’ ex-girlfriend while being another great example of multiculturalism. Intersectionality is important, folks! Our prince charming, is an Asian-American and his Filipino Family is portrayed in a believable way, that’s true to the REAL culture.

It’s still going strong from when it was first premiered almost 4 years ago, and you guessed it – one of our favourites to binge-watch!

Kehlani – Music

Kehlani Ashley Parrish born April 24, 1995, is an American singer, songwriter and dancer. She describes herself as a mix of “black, white, Native American, Spanish, and Filipino.” Our personal favourites of the artist are literally all of the songs she has been featured in. To name a few check out, “Playinwitme” and “Good Life”.

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But her recent single, “Honey” is record-breaking, and her album “SweetSexySavage” focuses on this queer WOC and how she is unapologetically true to herself. She is an advocate of women empowerment and growth. Moreover, she allows her music to be a platform for mental health and the LGBTQIA community.  

So add Kehlani to your Spotify playlist and let her sweet RnB voice invoke your inner feminism.

Single Asian female: Play

Microaggressions! If you haven’t heard of the term before, well we suggest you need to do some reading and get on top of this ASAP!

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In this play, Michelle Law challenges the microaggressions that come with being Asian-Australian. If only we had a dollar everytime someone asked “Oh but, where are you really from?” we would have paid off our hecs-debt by now.

Single Asian female is the first Australian mainstage play to feature, you guessed it, three female Asian leads. A great testimony to women of colour taking the reign and sharing their ideas and stories and being creative. There aren’t many plays in Australia that portray such nuanced experiences without being tokenistic.

Rupi Kaur: Poet

An Indian-Canadian poet, writer, illustrator and performer who has published a collection of poetry and prose, in Milk and Honey (2014) and The Sun and Her Flowers (2017).

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She discusses feminism on a multicultural and racial spectrum. Her poetry came as a timeless piece that captures the essence of ‘strong female’, and simultaneously recognises and removes racial, cultural, and ethnic differences that exist within our society. You have to lose yourself in the pages to truly understand the paradox behind her writings, that millions of people find relatable.  

Here is one of our all-time favourite poem: 

“What’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn? That since day one. She’s already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.”

Claire Hooper: Comedian    

Claire Hooper is an Australian stand-up comedian and writer. She might look familiar, as she co-hosts “The Great Australian Bake Off” while conducting live comedy shows!

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If you’re lucky enough to see her on stage this year, her new stand up show is all about the feeling of RAGE. (And no, no one is PMSing! ) This rage is the all-out kinda rage, where you break your phone, have a breakdown in a hotel lobby, and or you break your mother’s heart and regret it for the rest of your existence.

Centred around her visit to a place in Melbourne where you can pay people to smash things (its real folks, check it out!), Claire dives deep into the things that set her emotions aflare and what keeps her grounded.  It’s so refreshing because often women aren’t allowed to be angry for being labelled as exactly that ‘an angry, aggressive woman’.

Check her out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs2tKINay8M

The list can keep going, but we have procrastinated enough. We are off to finish that dreaded essay and hope that you check out these works of art. Also here is a disclaimer that all work belongs to their respective artists, we are just appreciating it here!

Written By: Jharna Chamlagai and Diva Patro
Feature Image credit goes to catawiki!

 

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