Here’s to Monday, Berkeley (or wherever you may be reading this from).
The month of March brings international recognition for women. While this celebration is a gentle tap on the glass ceiling instead of the necessary smash, it does give special attention to the artistic works of women, both past and present. So, for this final week of March, here are my picks of things made by women for everyone to appreciate.
Monday may bring fresh perspectives, particularly in literature. A personal favorite that I’ve picked back up this week is Peggy Orenstein’s “Girls & Sex,” a deep exploration into the genuine thoughts of young women on body image, sexual relations and navigating today’s turbulent society through the gaze of their developing bodies. The feminine perspective expands through Orenstein’s interviews with more than 70 girls, aged 15 to 20, giving her work a beautiful, humbling multiplicity. Orenstein performs necessary work in identifying the discrepancies between male and female pleasure expectations, in addition to looking into skewed gender dynamics.
Turning to Tuesday, become immersed in — and perhaps obsessed with — Hulu’s new miniseries, “Little Fires Everywhere.” An adaptation of Celeste Ng’s wonderful novel, the show brings cinematic drama and intense production to the already taut, emotional narrative. A story about suburbia and all of its underlying issues, the series looks at two starkly different families and their reactions to their children’s development. Starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington as the two head matriarchs, their relationship unravels at an interesting pace, questioning what is to come. With three episodes released at a time, Hulu does wonders creating suspense and ensuring that this series is taken at a slower pace as opposed to a manic binge.
For Wednesday, put yourself to work making new playlists. There is a wide field of female artists to choose from at the moment, but ones near and dear to me include King Princess and Peggy Gou. From somewhat dissimilar genres, King Princess and Gou both reign supreme in their respective areas of expertise. King Princess’s crooning ballads, such as “Ain’t Together,” are matched only by her popularized pop anthems like “1950” or “Pussy is God.” Gou’s repertoire is not as frequently posted on music platforms as King Princess’s, but she has more than 11 million Spotify streams on “Starry Night” and “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane).” Her combination of energetic post-disco beats and Korean lyrics call for a celebration of hybridity. She especially brings this hybridity to life in her live DJ sets, which you can check out here to see her in action.
On Thursday, pick up another immersive read with Namwali Serpell’s “The Old Drift.” The first novel by Serpell, a UC Berkeley English professor, “The Old Drift” garnered immense praise from the literary world, finding a spot on the New York Times’ best-seller list. Following three Zambian families in a colonial settlement, Serpell meditates on the passing of time and how each generation navigates temporality and tension. Her characters provide a vibrant, rich understanding of their environment, which builds with each page Serpell presents.
For Friday, check out the girls of Skate Kitchen on Instagram. A motley crew of female skateboarders, the Skate Kitchen group traverses across New York City, its skate parks and its streets, filming all along the way. The girls’ momentum in the last few years even led to the production of the film “Skate Kitchen.” Although the movie is a fictional take, the real Skate Kitchen members starring in the film made way for a genuine take on pushing against gender boundaries in the male-dominated skate park space.
Unwind over the weekend with some light-hearted laughs, brought to you by none other than Olivia Wilde’s “Booksmart.” An honest analysis of high school, “Booksmart” pays special attention to the relationship between two best friends in the time leading up to college, and the result is simultaneously heartbreaking and joyous. The moments shared between Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) relatably encompass the fragility of friendship in rapidly changing times, all while expanding the narrative to avoid falling into typical teenage tropes. Wilde’s humorous take on growing up and navigating sexual experiences is spectacular and deserving of the praise the film received.
As March draws to a close, take heed to incorporate more female perspectives into your feed, your reading list, your playlists and wherever else you find yourself seeking inspiration. Finish up the month by reading The Daily Californian’s packaged content for International Women’s Day on The Daily Clog. That’s it for now, but come back next week for more hand-picked content to keep you entertained.
Contact Francesca Hodges at [email protected].