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Interview with Latina feminist blogger and activist Juliana Britto on feminism, blogging about social issues and activism.
Feminist. Humanist. Advocate for women’s rights. Meet women around the world who blog on women’s rights – even if they call themselves different names.
Juliana Britto Schwartz is a Latin American and Latino Studies major, who adds that by night, she is a Latina feminist blogger and activist. She writes at Juliana Britto about reproductive health justice, race, immigration and women’s rights in the U.S. and Latin America, with a focus on Brazil.
How did your interest in women’s lives and feminism begin? Was there a particular moment/period in your life when you started identifying as a feminist?
I became interested in feminism in high school. I was always involved in social justice, and was somewhat well-known, almost infamous for it. At some point, I felt like I started to develop a bit of a reputation as that annoying girl who is always trying to be PC, and the more that I ran into this, the more I realized how much my gender had to do with it. People listened much more to the young men who were doing this work than they listened to me. That’s when I started to begin working to debunk the traditional stereotype about feminists as obnoxious man-haters. And for the record, there is a feminist club at my old high school now.
What according to you, are the major challenges/issues that impact women in your country today?
As someone with a foot in two worlds (my mother is Brazilian, my father is U.S. American) I think I have a somewhat global view of feminism. I’ve read just as much about the sexualization of the mulata in Brazil as I have about the glass ceiling in the States. However, I think that within both those worlds, reproductive health access and justice are THE most pressing issues. Living in Brazil, I heard as many discussions about access to safe abortions as I have in the U.S., and I think the right to have control over our bodies is the most basic, yet so disputed.
Why do you blog (about these issues)? What does it give you? What do you feel it gives others?
I write as a way of organizing and collecting my thoughts and opinions in one place. Over time, my blog has developed, evolved a bit and I often use it as a tool for activism, spreading the word on issues that I find important. I also love the networking opportunities that blogging can drop in your lap. I’m excited to collaborate more as I continue blogging.
Do you face criticism (online/offline) for your views? How do you deal with it?
Every once in a while you get an obnoxious comment. I do my best to differentiate between someone who is just trying to provoke me, and someone who wants to have a legitimate dialogue. I respond to the latter, but not the former.
Are there any of your own blogposts that you are especially proud of/happy for having written?
Let’s see. I was particularly honoured to conduct this interview with Dxonne, a fulni-ô woman in the interior of Brazil, and I was fascinated when researching for this post about the Private Immigrant Detention Industry in the U.S. I think one of my most popular posts has been my Manifesto to That Guy on the Street.
Your favourite feminist blogs?
Right now, I’m loving Virginia Sole-Smith’s blog Beauty Schooled, looking at the beauty industry in the U.S. In Portuguese, I like reading about feminism in Brazil over at Blogueiras Feministas, as well as keeping up on Brazilian abortion politics at Aborto em Debate.
Previous Interviews In The Women On Women’s Rights Series:
Shifani Reffai (Sri Lanka)
Athambile Masola (South Africa)
Deborah Russell (New Zealand)
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"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
The Railway Men. Mili. Cuttputli. The Diplomat. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. And more…
Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
I have not received any appreciation in the past. Probably never will. This is the experience of ample women across the globe. The expectation to be thanked for all the sacrifices she makes to keep others happy has faded. Yet the urge to hear few words of acknowledgement always lingers.
There is never a day when she pushes off her own burdens. She knows not to give up on people she loves. Women in general, are givers by nature and hence, give without asking anything in return. They have been the care givers and lovers since centuries however receive no appreciation.
It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
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