If you made it through the alphabet soup of that post title, congratulations! Your reward is that I’m gonna explain what the hell it is.
The acronym stands for The Year of “Taking In Media Made Primarily By Women And People of Color Instead Of More Stuff By White Dudes 2017” and it is something I chose to do this year for a few reasons:
- Supporting media made by underrepresented groups financially means that the industry will pay more attention to them and be more inclusive.
- There’s such breadth and diversity out there and reading/listening to/watching only one kind of person is really a shame in light of that.
- I was tired of white dude stories.
One year while I was in college I went the whole academic year reading only books by women (aside from stuff that was assigned reading) and it changed my life. I wanted to see what would happen if I chose to do a similar project again a decade later.
Some ground rules:
- This applies to new media. Re-watches or Re-reads don’t “count” but I will still limit my intake of old favorites that fall under “white dude” territory in favor of other options.
- I have to expand my reach in each category (film, tv, writing, podcasts, music) by at least one thing each month.
- The focus is on contemporary or new-to-me works, as I have covered many of the “classics” in these areas in the past. (Readers: please keep this in mind if you make suggestions.)
I’m tracking my media in my Passion Planner and will update this post with thoughts and the media I consumed each month. Stay tuned and feel free to play along!
Movies: 13th, Hidden Figures
TV: Master of None, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Cristela Alonzo’s “Lower Classy”, Steven Universe
Music: Hamilton (I mean…always), Childish Gambino, Aimee Mann
Podcasts: Call Your Girlfriend, Put Your Hands Together, Politically Reactive
Writing: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemison, Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks
This month was a challenge because I was performing in a musical (Ragtime) and writing & recording an EP, so I didn’t have as much time to take in other media. But I did get a few new things in
Movies: The Babadook, Tangerine
TV: Luke Cage, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (S2)
Music: Sarah Donner & Kittens Slay Dragons “Big Big Heart”, The Hamilton Mixtape, Anais Mitchell “Hadestown”
Podcasts: Code Switch
Writing: The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemison, Real Artists Have Day Jobs by Sara Benincasa
Y’all, I am not missing my old media habits At. All. I’m just not. At the start of this month, I removed everything from my Netflix “to watch” list and started fresh, adding anything that looked interesting and fit into my requirements. Now it’s easier for me to scroll through my options instead of scouring a list for something until I’m too tired to watch anyway.
I even did a version of this project “live” while I was on the JoCo Cruise at the start of the month. While it is difficult to completely avoid stuff made by White Dudes on a cruise tailored to nerd culture, I went out of my way to make time for and attend things presented by the non-white and non-dude performers and guests. It was a huge help that each year, the organizers of the cruise add more women and POC to the roster than they had the year before. Even though it’s nowhere close to “enough” diversity, they’re doing a bang-up job compared to typical cons.
Highlights were Aimee Mann, Zoe Keating, Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher, Jean Grae, Tawny Newsome, Hrishikesh Hirway (Song Exploder), Mary Robinette Kowal, Jackie Kashian, and Rebecca Effing Sugar (Creator of Steven Universe).
Movies: Get Out, As(h)oka
TV: Celia, Atlanta, sense8
Music: (see live music above), also checked out a bunch of instrumental hip-hop and Earl St. Clair’s “My Name is Earl”
Podcasts: Food Stuff, Song Exploder, JV Club
Writing: Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan