#BeBoldForChange International Women's Day 2017 Theme: Anticipating Unprecedented Participation Thanks To "Prez Grab 'Em"

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2017 01:24pm | Post a Comment

#Women'sHistoryMonth Every cloud has a silver lining. Just as the increasingly regressive policies and surreal statements of Donald Trump have proven to be a major boost for subscriptions to news outlets like the New York Times and the Nielson ratings of SNL, Seth Meyers, and Stephen Colbert, the "grab em by the p***y president" has similarly injected new life into the women's movement as witnessed by the overwhelming turnout and solidarity of the January 21st  Women's March, when over two million protesters took to cold January streets of Washington, D.C. as well as other cities worldwide, plus the countless subsequent protests and newly formed gender based, resistance organizations it, in turn, has inspired. Hence we can anticipate unprecedented participation in the upcoming 2017 International Women's Day (IWD) Wednesday, March 8th. In fact as a sort of continuation of that post-inauguration day protest, will be A Day Without a Woman. Planned for IWD the informal day of protest encourages women to wear red, to not go to work, and to not shop in stores or online with the exception of at women-owned businesses or at local small businesses. More info at Women's March and #DayWIthoutAWoman.

As with every other group he has marginalized, Trump has emboldened the women's movement.  Hence for this year's global celebration IWD organizers have chosen the hash-tagged theme  #BeBoldForChange that is a, "call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world; a more inclusive, gender equal world." Indeed! As accurately noted this past week by UK Twitter user Women. Fast forward, "It'll take until 2186 for women to achieve gender parity in the workplace."  Even in the supposedly progressive state of California the "pay gap for women grows to widest in more than a decade" as recently reported by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Add to that pay disparity the current wave of reports of sexism within the Northen California based tech industry, with Tesla now joining Uber and others accused of sexist discriminatory behavior as reported today by Wired.


The organizers of 2017 International Womens Day promise literally thousands of events around the world including "gatherings, conferences, awards, exhibitions, festivals, fun runs, corporate events, concert performances, speaking events, and online digital gatherings" etc. being held by various women's networks, corporations, charities, educational institutions, government bodies, political parties, and media outlets.  In honor of International Women's Day 2017, this Amoeblog lists a few of the events scheduled for IWD with links to others here.   Further down below in this Amoeblog I've profiled women artists from three different areas of the arts [film, music-theater, and hip-hop] who will be making noise in 2017. These include Ava DuVernay, Pussy Riot, and Siya.

Among the 2017  IWD events in the Bay Area is the League of Women Voters of San Francisco sponsored networking event at the Tonic Bar on Polk St. A meet-up/networking "happy hour" happening between 6-8pm on March 8th, it is directed at women who wish to get more involved in the democratic process on both a local and national level. Protecting voting rights, something that effects everyone, is the main topic on the table for all invited: both members and non-members of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco. No host bar with Tonic donating the evening's tips to the League of Women Voters of San Francisco's nonpartisan voter education and advocacy programs. Free admission. No host bar. More info.

Also in San Francisco during that same time (630pm - 8pm) is the International Women's Day Town Hall at the World Affairs Auditorium (312 Sutter Street, Suite 200). A panel discussion with guest speeakers Musimbi Kanyoro (President & CEO, Global Fund for Women), Linda J. Calhoun (Executive Producer at Career Girls), and multimedia artist Ana Teresa Fern├índez, the event plans to outline the development of women's rights and the path ahead. "Stories of empowerment from the advocates themselves" and an opportunity "to speak candidly about women’s rights, the disparate challenges women still face and what fuels the passion to fight for women worldwide," is promised by the event's organizers. More info 

Across the Bay in Albany the following day, March 9th at 645pm, in honor of IWD is the Pacifica Institute sponsored Interfaith Discussion Group - International Women's Day 2017 with the topic being, "The role of women in the three Abrahamic religions" with short presentations by women from each of the 3 religions followed by group discussion. More info.  Happening this weekend in LA a few days in advance of IWD is the third annual LA International Women's Day March & Rally. Organized by AF3IRM LA it is scheduled for Sunday March 5th at noon at the Los Angeles City Hall (200 N. Spring Street, CA 90012). The event will include "speeches, performances, music, and art" with a focus on "transnational/women of color" but all women invited as stated by the all-volunteer, grassroots organization AF3IRM who describe themselves as a national organization of women "engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism and dedicated to the fight against oppression in all its forms," with the slogan “a woman’s place is at the head of the struggle.”  More info.


Ava DuVernay Spearheading New Movement of Women Film Directors: As in every other area of the workforce the film industry suffers from gender inequality: something that high-profile director Ava DuVernay is working on changing. While many over the past two years focused on inequality at the Oscars from a racial perspective, even more blatant was/is the uneven ratio of women to men as film directors. Hence last year when African American woman director Ava DuVernay's amazing Selma was snubbed by the Academy, who did not nominate the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic for Best Director, it was a double whammy based on both racial and gender inequality. The racial part fueled the consequent #OscarsSoWhite campaign which resulted in a more racially balanced Oscars this year. However, despite been nominated in the Best Documentary category this year for her documentary 13th, she lost out to O.J.: Made in America. Too bad because 13th was hands down the best documentary made in years. Streaming on Netflix (trailer above), it expertly examines the roots of the US incarceration epidemic that has snowballed in the past few decades, and examines the role that the US prison system plays in legalizing and normalizing racism and is essentially modern day slavery. 13th was not first documentary the director made. Back in 2010 she directed My Mic Sounds Nice: A Truth About Women in Hip-Hop for BET and talked to the Amoeblog at that time.

Never one to rest on her laurels DuVernay is currently filming the upcoming Disney movie A Wrinkle in Time as well as working on the second season of her award-winning TV drama series, Queen Sugar, that returns this summer for its second season. Created, directed and executive produced by DuVernay Queen Sugar (based on the Natalie Baszile novel) began airing six months ago on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network). Winfrey also serves as executive producer for the show. Additionally DuVernay is using her high profile to promote her fellow women film directors. And in honor of Day One of Women's History Month 2017, she kicked off the 12 hour Rebel-a-Thon Twitter campaign to raise awareness (and money) for women in the film industry via a membership drive for Array Releasing which is her independent film collective and distribution platform for people of color and women. Among the 25 women directors highlighted by DuVernay are Kasi Lemmons (director of Eve’s Bayou), Tina Gordon Chism (director of Peeples), and Julie Dash (director of Daughters of the Dust). Dash, in an interview on WNYC this week while addressing the topic of gender inequality in Hollywood, singled out DuVernay as a true role model and barrier breaker particularly. "In six months time, Ava DuVernay has done more to advance women in filmmaking than Hollywood has done in 100 years. She hired women directors to direct the entire series: White women, Asian women… Ava changed the landscape," she said in reference to the production of Queen Sugar.

Pussy Riot Take Their Revolution To USA Including 3 CA Dates:  Thorn in the side of Trump's best buddy Putin is Russia’s riot grrrl activists Pussy Riot who we  can expect to be hearing a lot from in 2017. In advance of their upcoming SxSW performances later this month in Austin TX, the revolutionary performance collective will be on the West Coast in both Washington and California for five performances of their new music-theater project: Revolution. Billed as a Pussy Riot Theatre production, Revolution is the stage version of the similarly titled autobiographical book penned by prominent Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina. The book and spin-off one-hour stage production tells Pussy Riot's incredible real life story. As stated by the author it's the tale of "everyday women gathering to resist the fascist regime of President Vladimir Putin." As such it addresses the group’s "excruciating account of a corrupt trial, years of violent abuse in the Russian prison system" and their never-ending demand for "justice in a hostile state." Included is their well documented balaclava-clad punk prayer in Saviour Cathedral, their hiding from the Russian police,  arrest and consequent treatment by authorities, as well as a reenactment of their guerilla-style protests in Moscow’s Red Square.

The collective state that the goal of the new stage production for American audiences is to focus attention on the "ever present problems of censorship in the media, violence towards the LGBTQ community, corruption within Russia’s judicial system, and use of tyrannical use of violence within the country’s prison complex." Revolution's performers will include the author/playwright Maria Alyokhina, Kiryl Kanstantsinau, AWOTT (Asian Women On The Telephone), and VJ Vasily Bogatov with direction by Yury Muravitsky, production by Alexander Cheparukhin, and video content by Taisia Krugovykh and Katya Sheglova. California dates for Revolution will include Friday March 10th at The Warfield in San Francisco (tix $24.50 to $44.50), Saturday March 11th at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz (tix $25 to $38), and Sunday March 12th at The Fonda in Los Angeles (tix $45).

Brooklyn emcee Siya Takes It Mainstream in 2017: CA born, NYC emcee Siya looks set to have a very successful 2017. The critically acclaimed female hip-hop artist this week published the new two-part music video above: "Clarity/Nights B4 You."  Born in California to drug-addicted parents and raised in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant Siya caught hip-hop fans' attention in 2016 with the release of her underground debut album SIYAvsSIYA that featured the Bay Area artist and friend of Amoeba Sage The Gemini. Beyond music, Siya is even better known via her  starring role in all three seasons of the T.I.-produced TV reality show series Sisterhood of Hip-Hop. That popular Oxygen channel show features Siya along with four other female rappers and captures their trials and tribulations of navigating the male-dominated music industry.

Relevant Tags

International Womens Day 2017 (1), Siya (1), Women's History Month (41), International Women's Day (2), A Day Without A Woman (1), Ava Duvarney (1), Women's History Month 2017 (1), Iwd 2017 (1), Pussy Riot (4)