Let’s celebrate our feminist icons
While it might not be International Women’s Day anytime soon, celebrating the ideas, legacies and successes of revolutionary women should never need an excuse. Whether you identify yourself as a feminist or not; knowing the impact of women, past and present, can remind us of the power to speak out against the norm.
Pussy Riot should be considered a world treasure, in my opinion. The all-Russian girl group communicates important and relevant messages in contemporary societies around the world, with their brash punk vocals and iconic lines such as: “Don’t play stupid, don’t play the stupid vagina where you really are” extract from the quintessential “Straight Outta Vagina” (feat. Desi Mo and Leikeli 47). With masks on their faces, they also subvert the prominent male gaze submission of the music industry. Their music and message is valued, rather than their image-based market.
Unlike her supposed former lover and popular feminist icon, Frida Kahlo, Chavela Vargas has not been given the same feminist light that she arguably deserves. Vargas defied 1950s genre conventions in Mexican society through her androgynous style and, as one of the first female singers of ranchera, a genre of traditional Mexican music, she refused to change female pronouns in her songs to conform to hetero-normative norms. It is also assumed that, although she lived in conservative conditions that led her to go out publicly at the age of 81, she openly had many lovers throughout her life and did not respect conventional and gendered norms of behavior.
JOAN W. SCOTT
Academics are rarely seen as feminist icons, but Joan W. Scott has written seminal works to change the way we understand history through gender. A Striking Force in Scholarly Discourse, his 1986 article in American historical review is one of the most ‘important and influential ‘ according to American History Review. His legacy is shown in the ever-changing rewrites of fabricated stories.
Sunday Times columnist and author of a number of books, Caitlin Moran offers alternative and radical ways to understand gender, sex and culture in relation to many social formations. It wasn’t until I first read “ How to Be a Woman ” as a teenager – being both repelled and comforted by her candid words about pubic hair, menstruation, and masturbation – that I discovered that I was not the only one to question the status. -quo. His writings have also brought the experiences of the working class to the forefront of media representation and discussion.
THE RECIPE PODCAST
The three hosts of ‘The Receipts Podcast’ are extremely open, warm and honest, offering advice based on everything from their life experiences to questions from UK listeners regarding relationships, friendships, sex and culture. Listening to Ghana, Tolly and Sanchez’s uncensored talks on typically taboo subjects is both refreshing and reassuring.
If you are interested in anything related to feminism, join the Feminist Collective Society on Monday evenings. Some of the women mentioned in this article were inspired by the thoughts of members of the Feminist Collective.