Today the word feminism is everywhere: in headlines on the internet or in bright lights at Beyoncé concerts. As Tavi Gevinson said in a recent Vanity Fair interview, “As feminism becomes more integrated into mainstream publications and conversation, I feel weary of an obsession of celebrity culture masquerading as activism or as conversation or action.” While this means that the advocacy of women’s rights is getting more and more attention, it also means that the word has become confused, even ubiquitous. What does it even mean any more? In a new BBC documentary titled The F-Word and Me, Charli XCX talks to fellow artists and attempts to find out.
“Young kids are being blasted with what feminism is,” the singer says in the introduction. “But is the male-dominated industry really changing?” Among other artists including Izzy Bizu, Ella Eyre and Ibeyi, she talks to Nicki Minaj who says, “When I’m assertive I’m a bitch. When a man’s assertive, he’s the boss. He’s bossed up. No negative connotations with being bossed up. But lots of negative connotations with being a bitch.” There’s also footage of Charli XCX being interviewed – or rather, being asked, “What would you bring to a festival? What would be your essential items?” or “Did you remember your bra this time?”
While the documentary has been criticised as a personal take on feminism as opposed to an in-depth debate, it does show that – despite obvious progress and the fact that female artists are dominating the charts – there’s still a long way to go before men and women are treated equally in the music industry.
Watch The F-Word and Me in full below: