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 hope you’ll join us for the 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. We hope you will join us for our next event on Thursday August 6, where we will sit down with internationally renowned visual artist, Shahzia Sikander, to discuss how she interweaves contemporary feminist issues into her unique artistic work.
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does. Born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and, star-crossed, they fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. But when their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself and there is a cost to living inside a lie. Inspired by Nigeria’s folktales and its war, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply moving commentary on identity, prejudice, and forbidden love.
The Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak
Three Daughters of Eve is set over an evening in contemporary Istanbul, as Peri arrives at the party and navigates the tensions that simmer in this crossroads country between East and West, religious and secular, rich and poor. Competing in Peri’s mind however are the memories invoked by her almost-lost polaroid, of the time years earlier when she was sent abroad for the first time, to attend Oxford University. As a young woman there, she had become friends with the charming, adventurous Shirin, a fully assimilated Iranian girl, and Mona, a devout Egyptian-American. Their arguments about Islam and feminism find focus in the charismatic but controversial Professor Azur, who teaches divinity, but in unorthodox ways.
Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord, and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Written and directed by Eliza Hittman, this film is an intimate portrayal of two teenage girls in rural Pennsylvania. Faced with an unintended pregnancy and a lack of local support, Autumn and her cousin Skylar embark across state lines to New York City on a fraught journey of friendship, bravery and compassion.
Guilty is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Ruchi Narain and written by Ruchi Narain, Kanika Dhillon and Atika Chohan. Starring Kiara Advani and several others, the film follows the story of a songwriter whose boyfriend is accused of rape during the era of #MeToo.
I May Destroy You
Arabella is a Twitter-star-turned-novelist who found fame with her debut book Chronicles of a Fed-Up Millennial and is publicly celebrated as a Millennial icon. While struggling to meet a deadline for her second book, she takes a break from work to meet up with friends on a night out in London. After being sexually assaulted, Arabella’s life changes irreversibly and she is forced to reassess everything, including her career, friends and family.
Villanelle is a psychopathic assassin, and Eve is the woman charged with hunting her down; the two fiercely intelligent women, equally obsessed with each other, go head to head in an epic game of cat and mouse.
Podcasts & Music
Forgotten: Women of Juárez
In the border city of Ciudad Juárez, hundreds of women have gone missing. The ones that are found have strange symbols carved on their bodies, some have their wrists bound with shoelaces. All are discarded like garbage. The story of Forgotten investigates theories about what or who is responsible—a serial killer, organ traffickers, a Satanic Cult—and pursues an investigation with law enforcement on both sides of the border, terrified witnesses and corrupt authorities.
For nearly half a century, Bill Cosby brought warmth and laughter into hearts across the country, cementing his image as “America’s Dad.” But he also led a dark, secret life preying on women. The comedian carefully coaxed each one into feeling safe and cared for, then left them to pick up the pieces of their lives. It all started with Andrea Constand. She carried the burden of being the only one of the 60-plus accusers whose case could be tried in a court of law. Now, she’s telling her side of the story, along with firsthand accounts from more than a dozen survivors, jurors and prosecutors.
Do you have any suggestions for us to share next month? Please send them to us, we’d love to hear from you.