We’re back with our Equality Now Recommends Newsletter, bringing you a round up of recommendations from our staff and supporters of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, that act as a megaphone for women’s rights.
We also recently launched a live version of our recommendations newsletter, the At Home With Series, where we have cozy conversations with some of our favorite authors, filmmakers, and creators. Our next event in this series is this Thursday 28 May with Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Ariel Wengroff, the creators of the short animated film, Sitara, which explores the realities of child marriage. Register for At Home With Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Ariel Wengroff today
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends, and lovers, across the country and through the years. Teeming with life and crackling with energy — a love song to modern Britain and black womanhood. This was a joint winner of the 2019 Man Booker Prize.
Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo
A fierce international bestseller that launched Korea’s new feminist movement, Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 follows one woman’s psychic deterioration in the face of rigid misogyny. In a chilling, eerily truncated third-person voice, Jiyoung’s entire life is recounted to the psychiatrist—a narrative infused with disparate elements of frustration, perseverance, and submission. Born in 1982 and given the most common name for Korean baby girls, Jiyoung quickly becomes the unfavored sister to her princeling little brother. Always, her behavior is policed by the male figures around her—from the elementary school teachers who enforce strict uniforms for girls, to the coworkers who install a hidden camera in the women’s restroom and post their photos online. In her father’s eyes, it is Jiyoung’s fault that men harass her late at night; in her husband’s eyes, it is Jiyoung’s duty to forsake her career to take care of him and their child—to put them first.
Undoing Gender by Judith Butler
Undoing Gender constitutes Judith Butler’s recent reflections on gender and sexuality, focusing on new kinship, psychoanalysis, and the incest taboo, transgender, intersex, diagnostic categories, social violence, and the tasks of social transformation. In terms that draw from feminist and queer theory, Butler considers the norms that govern–and fail to govern–gender and sexuality as they relate to the constraints on recognizable personhood. She writes about the “New Gender Politics” that has emerged in recent years, a combination of movements concerned with transgender, transsexuality, intersex, and their complex relations to feminist and queer theory.
On the Record Documentary
On The Record presents the powerful and haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly name hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault. The documentary chronicles not only Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers – Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be available on HBOMax starting Wednesday, May 27th.
This short film is a tale of nine women navigating through an unusual sisterhood thrust upon them by circumstances. A diverse group of Indian women discuss violence they have been through, and if/how to help one more person who is knocking on the door of the house they share.
Lionheart tells the story of Adaeze Obiagu, who wants to substitute for her father, Chief Ernest Obiagu, when he can no longer run his company due to health issues. Her father, however, asks his brother Godswill to take his place, and Godswill and Adaeze have to work hard together to save the company from debt and to not lose it to the businessman Igwe Pascal. Lionheart was the first Netflix original film produced in Nigeria.
Las Chicas Del Cable (Cable Girls)
It’s the 1920s and Spain has just gotten its first national telephone company, located in Madrid. For four young women who get jobs there, it’s more than just work. It represents the progress that is being made at the time as women are gaining more equality with men. This drama series follows the ladies, known as “cable girls,” who feel attached in different ways — to their families, their partners, and their memories.
“Mrs. America” tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, aka “the sweetheart of the silent majority.” Through the eyes of the women of the era — both Schlafly and second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus — the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the ’70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted the political landscape.
Podcasts & Music
“Mesh Hastanna / I Won’t Wait” by Felukah and Rama Duwaji
This rap song by Egyptian rap artist Felukah is set to animated illustrations by Syrian illustrator Rama Duwaji. Developed in collaboration with the artists and Equality Now’s partner, Musawah, who are spearheading a global Campaign for Justice in Muslim Family Laws, bringing together advocates for family law reform from across three regions—the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia—to build support at the national, regional and global levels for the urgency of reform towards equality and justice for women living in Muslim contexts.
A Criminal Underworld of Child Abuse Pt 1 & 2
A month-long New York Times investigation has uncovered a digital underworld of child sexual abuse imagery that is hiding in plain sight. In part one of a two-part series, we look at the almost unfathomable scale of the problem — and just how little is being done to stop it.
Do you have any suggestions for us to share next month? Please send them to us, we’d love to hear from you.