Equality Now Recommends: August 2021
We’re back with the August issue of Equality Now Recommends, to share with you our favorite books, movies, podcasts, TV shows, and music that showcase women’s leadership, storytelling, and talent from around the world.
Black Box by Shiori Ito
In 2015, Shirio Ito became the symbol for Japan’s #MeToo movement after she publicly accused a prominent TV journalist of raping her. Black Box, so named because the police told her that her case was a “black box” that couldn’t be touched or prosecuted, is Ito’s story in her own words. It is a searing memoir that chronicles the legal, political, and cultural barriers that survivors of sexual violence in Japan face in seeking justice.
Variations on the Body by María Ospina
This collection of short stories chronicles the diverse yet interwoven stories of six women and girls living in Bogotá, Columbia. From a former FARC guerilla fighter re-entering civilian life, to a maid for a wealthy family who recently discovers she is pregnant, Variations on the Body uses the female form as a map for the reader to follow.
The Olympics are finally having their #MeToo movement, and female athletes from around the world are speaking out about sexual harassment, physical abuse, and the sexualization of sports. Last year we partnered with Athlete A, a documentary that chronicles the Indianapolis Star reporters that broke the story about USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar and the brave survivors who spoke out and demanded accountability. If you haven’t seen it yet, now is the perfect time to catch up on the story that helped lead the charge against sexism in elite sports.
We Are Lady Parts takes western assumptions of Muslim immigrant life and flips them on its head. The show centers around a punk band in the UK made up of five Muslim women and chronicles their journey as musicians trying to make it in the British music scene. They rock out while wearing hijabs, smoking e-cigarettes, and praying toward Mecca. A nuanced, joyful, and unpredictable show that hits all the right notes for 2021.
Feel Good is a semi-autobiographical comedy-drama, written by and starring non-binary comedian Mae Martin. It centers around Mae’s character’s relationship with George, a previously straight teacher who is exploring her bisexuality. The show covers PTSD, sexual abuse, and addiction with sensitivity and poise. It is heartfelt, funny, beautifully written, and most importantly the queer love story we’ve all been waiting for.
Podcasts & Music
“On Our Watch” is a limited series podcast from NPR and KQED that explores the recently disclosed files of police misconduct in California. In this episode, the show’s hosts investigate two cases where police officers used their power and standing to sexually harass and stalk women, and ask the question “Why hasn’t the #MeToo movement reached policing?”
Even though Puerto Rico is legally one of the U.S.'s 13 unincorporated territories, most students in U.S. K-12 schools never learn about the island or its people. This free digital toolkit seeks to rectify that erasure. It features eleven stories from people living on the island, accompanied by research and discussion questions. It covers essential topics for any American interested in racial literacy, ranging from sovereignty and gender and sexuality to queer survival, and how our vocabulary for talking about race changes in the Puerto Rican context.
Do you have any suggestions for us to share next month? Please send them to us at [email protected], we’d love to hear from you!