TGIF readers! Once again it’s our favorite time of the week where we dive into another edition of our Feminist Friday series and share our favorite videos of the moment with you. This week we’ve got female artists creating change in the digital space, high school boys openly declaring their feminism in a now-viral video, and an important look at the problem of maternal mortality among black women in the United States.
First up we’re taking a look at Geena Davis‘ latest campaign, #ShesGotDrive, launched in conjunction with Ford. It’s a branded campaign promoting gender equality in the digital and media world. Although she is an incredibly influential Hollywood figure the world over, Geena understands the power of Youtube and how it is reaching a generation of viewers in a way traditional Hollywood is still trying to do.
The #ShesGotDrive campaign features 3 popular Youtubers: Lifestyle & music personality Taryn Southern (457k subscribers), filmmaker Yulin Kuang (27k subscribers), and musician Clara C. (aka. Clara Chung, 263k subscribers). In a series of individual videos as well as an intro to the campaign, Geena and the Youtube personalities talk about how important it is to use the entertainment platform to help encourage other women and girls to raise their voice and share their stories:
We’ve seen plenty of videos from various women and activists talking about feminism, and we’ve certainly shared a number of these on our site. And in a sign of how the younger generation is going to be a powerful force for change, especially in the gender equality stakes, we are seeing more men and boys share their views and work to dismantle harmful patriarchal masculine norms that do nothing to help men.
A group of prefects from Sydney Boys High School in Australia released a video on Facebook which now has over 380,000 views and counting. Released just before International Women’s Day, the boys shared why feminism is important to them, but instead of just speaking from their own perspective, they recited stories and words from the women in their lives to reiterate why it is important for men to be part of this conversation.
You may have recently come across the viral story of a writer and editor from Philadelphia who swapped email accounts with one of his female colleagues for a day as an experiment. He tweeted out one of the most important and profound threads about sexism in the workplace, and how putting himself in the woman’s shoes for one day made him realize how differently and rudely she was being treated simply because of her gender. We need to see more of this kind of empathy and understanding, and it should start at the school age!
Finally, we leave on a more sombre note. We want to share a trailer for Fusion TV’s recent documentary ‘Death by Delivery’ as part of ‘The Naked Truth’ investigative journalism series. Reporter Nelufar Hedayat gave viewers an inside look at a mostly-ignored issue within the greater reproductive justice topic – maternal mortality in America. Yes, America (we fare worse than countries like Libya and Kazakhstan). More specifically, the way black women are more likely to die from childbirth than other women.
“Among developed countries, the United States has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality. The numbers have been on the rise since 1987, with some 17 pregnancy-related deaths per every 100,000 live births, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control data,” says an accompanying article about the docu.
This should shock the hell out of EVERY pro life and pro choice activist in this country. According to the docu, black women are four times as likely to die from maternal complications than white women, and this directly ties into poverty, lack of access to maternal healthcare, as well as other racial disparities found within the medical system. Geographical location can also be a determining factor in whether a black woman will live or die from childbirth.
As the US is gearing up to see some major healthcare policy changes, including in the reproductive rights space under the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress, rising maternal mortality rates should not go ignored. How can we call ourselves the “greatest nation on earth” or brag about any sort of “family values” when women are dying from an entirely preventable type of death? Watch the trailer below to find out more, or check out the full docu as shared on Fusion’s Periscope account by clicking here.