FEMINIST FRIDAY: Feminism At TEDWomen & Dads Teaching Daughters To Be Confident

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Since this will be our last installment of our weekly Feminist Friday series for 2016, we figured it made sense to end on a festive note, as well as share inspiring and powerful messages that sum up part of our mission here at GTHQ. Yes, we are unashamed feminists and aspire to break down stereotypes, negativity and myths surrounding the feminist movement. This is why we created this series, so that readers could see the varied and important definitions of feminism in the world today.

One of the aspects of the movement we have come to champion, is the involvement of men. This includes understanding how, under the umbrella of intersectional feminism, issues such as race, class, economics, immigration, sexuality, body image and more can affect men too. One of the most powerful ways we have seen male involvement is in their understanding and championing of women and girls as equals, as outlined by UN Women’s He For She campaign.

We came across a beautiful video made by pop culture site The Scene, showing a series of dads and their daughters sharing a powerful bonding moment. We’re used to seeing moms affirming their daughters, and fathers affirming their sons. But in a world where gender is still sadly a very real and dividing factor, watching these dads affirm the value of their daughters by having them repeat phrases about confidence and strength is amazing.

These are the kinds of moments that will impact a young girl for the rest of her life. When many of these girls grow up and become undoubtedly bombarded by narrow messages from the fashion world, advertising, and even mainstream media which incredulously still tells females that their biggest source of value is in the way they look, these father-daughter affirmations become an anchor. This video was inspired by a viral piece shared on Facebook, and became a moment of cultural clarity of the power fathers have in the life of their daughters.

If young women are raised with the knowledge that they are equal, but the world may not always treat them so, this then becomes their early feminist foundation. Today’s biggest discussions around feminism often involve how it is defined, and whether one person’s feminism is as “legitimate” as another. Conversations about whether a stay-at-home mom is a feminist compared to a female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, for instance.

Ultimately, it comes down to choice, as the women in the following video show. At the TEDWomen 2016 conference, Lifetime network interviewed a group of attendees, some who are recognizable names and faces from television, who shared what feminism means to them in a video for the network’s “Fempire” brand. Not only do we get to see how feminism impacts women in different ways by the varied definitions, we also got to hear some of their favorite feminist memories. Take a look:

We know we usually only share 3 videos in each Feminist Friday installment, but since this is our last one of 2016, we figured it didn’t hurt to break the rules, especially in light of the holiday season. Our final video is one of an 8-part online docu-series called ‘Light Song’. In honor of the 8 days of Chanukah, a female-driven filmmaking team from Los Angeles wanted to share the message of light and love with a female empowerment slant.

Artists, students, and formerly incarcerated teens have joined together to make a music video (inspired by Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’), as well as a series of videos where they each share how they plan to be a light to people in their communities during the holidays. We are so used to hearing many religious or faith-based messages from a male point of view, so it is rather refreshing to see this from a distinctly and overwhelmingly female gaze.

With topics about how women are strengthening and building community, finding your light, friendship, and the importance of raising our voices (especially in anticipation of a Trump presidency which threatens to strip away many hard fought-for and won equalities and rights) this docu-series is the perfect holiday message to inspire hope.

Directed by LA-based filmmaker Melanie Zoey (who is also featured in the series), we love how this group of diverse, badass and beautiful women are able to take a faith tradition and share it in an inspiring, feminist way. You can see the full series by going to their Youtube Channel. Watch Naomi talk about how she teaches girls what is possible through her organization Advot Project: