Happy New Year everyone! I love this time of year because despite the fact that many beginnings may end – that promise to go to the gym or give up sweets – some promises and ideals stick. I think there may be something magical, not so much with the first of the year, which in actuality is like any other day, but the idea of a beginning. A beginning is an adventure, an opportunity. So it gives me great pleasure to share with you a beginning that will hopefully touch each of us soon. This beginning is being initiated by this awesome lady who has decided to invoke on a physical and intellectual journey across America to ask a question that is near and dear to this blog: What is feminism? I love this, and other kinds of questions of this nature, because I can be sure that my answer may not match the person’s next to me, which gives the answer to a question like “what is feminism” depth and life and purpose.
So without further a due, I will let the words of this awesome lady speak for herself about her project.
“Sit down, turn on a TV, and flip through the channels. Look at all the television shows, look at all the movies and then stop. Close your eyes and tell me – how many women of color did you just see? Enough to count on one hand? Were they the lead of the show?
The media within the United States has gotten very comfortable with erasing women of color from your television, to a point that they will even cast a white female actress to play an Asian or black women rather than casting a woman of color in that role. While there may be a few still seen on your television set, the number of women of color is substantially lower than the number of white women and especially white men on your screen.
Rather than waiting for the media to change, I decided to change it myself.
#FeministAmerica will be a full-length documentary that brings to light the stories of women of color across the United States and shares their experiences with others. Through a series of interviews, I will have the opportunity to hear the stories of American women of color from various socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities, and bring their experiences together to form an interwoven narrative of what lived feminism/ womanhood/ strength/ self-reliance/ etc. is to them. At the end of each interview, each woman will be asked: “Are you a feminist? Why or why not?” in order to challenge the current perception of a feminist as broadcasted by the media. I want to show that feminism is not a static definition, but a concept that is as malleable and diverse as the people it represents.
In between the interviews, I will, in a way, be interviewing myself, from the inside of my car as I drive from state to state. My identity as a woman of color and my journey to understanding what that entails is my inspiration for pursuing this project. I hope to learn from my own experiences, just as I look to draw out and empower the life experiences of others. Filming for the road trip across the U.S. will start in January 2016 and end before the 2016 presidential elections.
Want to be part of this All-American road trip? With the handle @FeministAmerica, join us on Tumblr, Instagram, and/or Twitter. By following, you can suggest people you think should be a part of the film, post pictures, post videos, or even play a word challenge with us. And, when we finally get on the road, you can keep track of where we are, send suggestions as to where I should visit along the way, as well as get some behind the scenes footage before the film is released.
So join #FeministAmerica on this amazing journey! You don’t want to miss a thing.”
So what is feminism to you? Please comment on this post as well as visit the #FeministAmerica social media sites. You can be a part of this beginning to, and hopefully together, we can bring feminism back into the media conversation.