Popular culture, expressed through art, literature, sound, and film, can be a powerful way to explore women’s diverse perspectives, challenge harmful stereotypes, and advocate for positive change. But given the vast array of content released every year, it can be difficult to navigate the wealth of material out there.
Equality Now has got you covered with the Feminist Culture Club, our bi-monthly newsletter featuring a carefully curated selection of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts. Recommended by our women’s rights experts, you’ll find a mix of inspiring stories and insights about issues impacting women, girls, and other marginalized communities worldwide.
With 2023 drawing to a close, here are some top picks from this year’s Feminist Culture Club. These creative offerings shine a much-needed spotlight, deepening understanding, stimulating discussion, and inspiring collective action to build more inclusive, equitable societies for us all.
To Kill a Tiger is the powerful story of Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, India, who takes on the fight of his life when he defies convention by seeking justice for his 13-year-old daughter, a survivor of gang rape.
Written and directed by Nisha Pahuja, the film documents the arduous journey of a father striving to bring his daughter’s perpetrators to, all while confronting ostracism and threats of violence from his own community.
As an organization working to reform discriminatory laws and practices that perpetuate sexual violence and deny justice to survivors, Equality Now is proud to be the Impact Campaign Partner for the film. For information on how to watch To Kill a Tiger, visit the film’s website.
Award-winning documentary Another Body tells the story of Taylor, an American college student who embarks on a quest for truth and justice after finding out that deepfake pornography featuring her image is being circulated on the internet. Her investigation leads her into the clandestine realm of deepfakes, where she uncovers a troubling trend of men using this technology to target and harass women, including influencers, classmates, and friends.
Equality Now and the Alliance for Universal Digital Rights (AUDRi) will be holding a webinar on January 17, 2024, featuring Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn, co-directors of Another Body and co-founders of the My Image My Choice campaign, discussing the legal labyrinth around deepfakes. Register here.
This first-of-its-kind docuseries features six unfiltered, real-life queer-love stories from different parts of India.
Rainbow Rishta breaks stereotypes about LGBTQIA+ couples and attempts to explore beyond their queerness, enabling viewers to learn about our protagonists, their families, friendships, aspirations, and how they navigate all the challenges to make their seemingly impossible dreams come true. The series is available to watch on Prime Video worldwide.
Set in the late 1950s, this fictional eight-part-period drama delves into the life of Elizabeth Zott, a trained chemist facing a sudden halt in her academic career due to the deeply entrenched sexism prevalent in that era.
In an unexpected twist, Elizabeth becomes the host of a cookery show, where she ingeniously applies her extensive knowledge of chemistry to the art of cooking, providing a unique blend of science and culinary expertise to a nation of homemakers.
The narrative takes the audience through her journey, navigating the transition from an elite research institute to local television, where she sets out to teach far more than just recipes, challenging societal norms and expectations.
Based on the 2022 debut novel by Bonnie Garmus — a self-taught chemist and a full-time copywriter in advertising — Lessons in Chemistry is streaming on Apple TV+.
This enlightening six-episode podcast by Equality Now examines a range of issues, including how discriminatory laws governing culture, family, and religion are holding women and girls back, the persistent challenge of women’s underrepresentation in leadership positions, and obstacles hindering progress.
It also provides key insights on achieving positive change and holding governments and decision-makers accountable.
Hosted by award-winning journalist Samira Ahmed, it features renowned thinkers and reformers, including feminist icon Gloria Steinem, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former Deputy President of South Africa Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Pakistan’s first female Supreme Court judge Ayesha Malik, and Equality Now’s Global Executive Director Mona Sinha.
If you’re searching for a podcast to rejuvenate hope and optimism, look no further.
An Idiot’s Guide To Saving the World centers on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, presenting insightful conversations in each episode with remarkable individuals from around the world, including educators, human rights defenders, and women’s rights activists actively working on the frontlines to make a difference.
Co-hosted by stand-up comedian and actor Loyiso Madinga alongside Gail Gallie – co-founder of Project Everyone – each episode aims to cultivate a sense of optimism by thoroughly exploring solutions to various issues. The goal is to empower listeners with actionable ideas for changing the situation.
An Idiot’s Guide To Saving The World is available on YouTube.
Authored by journalist Elise Loehnen, this book explores the subtle and pervasive rules women unintentionally adhere to in their pursuit of being perceived as ‘good.’
Delving into the historical roots of the Seven Deadly Sins — pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth — codified by the Christian church in the fourth century, Loehnen analyses how these ancient concepts continue to shape and restrict women’s lives in our contemporary, secular, patriarchal society.
From self-denial in the name of sloth to avoiding assertiveness due to a fear of greed, the author exposes how women internalize these societal norms, unwittingly perpetuating gender disparities.
Through personal stories and insights from spiritual traditions, Loehnen reveals the impact of these behaviors and guides women toward liberation.
In her coming-of-age memoir, refugee advocate Luma Mufleh writes about her internal struggle to reconcile with her identity as a gay Arab Muslim woman. She recounts her experience of navigating shame and grappling with suicidal thoughts following the early realization of her sexuality as a young girl growing up in the conservative religious society of Jordan in the 1980s.
The memoir, split into two parts, delves into Mufleh’s childhood in Jordan and her life as a refugee in America, where she later seeks political asylum for safety.
This hopeful and heartrending narrative captures a young woman’s quest for belonging, identity, and the meaning of home.
For those seeking to get a grasp of the widespread impacts of gender inequality and misogyny worldwide, this book is an excellent starting point.
Authored by Maya Oppenheim, Women’s Correspondent at The Independent, The Pocket Guide to the Patriarchy is filled with fascinating statistics and empowering knowledge to better understand and dismantle the patriarchy.
This book is a blazing examination of the systems rigged against women and a call to build a better, more equitable world. It unveils the harsh realities and injustices women face, explored via a range of topics, including sexual violence, policing, women’s health, the criminal justice system, the far right, transphobia, abortion rights, and much more.
For more great recommendations of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, sign up for our Feminist Culture Club bi-monthly newsletter featuring a carefully curated selection of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts.