Words and Art by Gaby Capule & MJ Viernes
Edited by: Keegan Bernardo & Joaquin Ferrer
“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” - G.D. Anderson.
Time and time again, women have proven that they have never been and never will be the secondary sex. Until now, women continue to break gender barriers, fight against oppression, and pave their definition of success in a male-dominated world. Amazing, aren’t they?
This International Women’s Month, join us as we raise a toast to appreciate all the women in our lives! Together, let’s celebrate women’s stories through various media – may it be books, TV series, or podcasts. With this, here are stories by women on women that have personally inspired us! #LumineRecs
1. Girl Decoded: A Scientist's Quest to Reclaim Our Humanity by Bringing Emotional Intelligence to Technology by Rana el Kaliouby (Non-fiction)
In a captivating and inspirational narrative, Rana el Kaliouby shares her journey from growing up in Egypt and Kuwait to pursuing her dream as a scientist.
What makes Girl Decoded unique from other modern memoirs is how Kaliouby provides a deep and tangible chronicle of how, despite all odds, she was able to achieve her goal of connecting technology to what makes us human—empathy. Her hard work resulted in Affectiva, an emotional artificial intelligence (AI), which is an awe-inspiring feat!
All in all, this book is a must-read for those who are interested in AI, the history of technology, or even those who are just trying to find their place in this world!
Girl Decoded is available on Fully Booked.
2. Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura (Fiction)
When we think of fairy tales, we think of heroes and villains as well as princes and princesses. More often than not, these stories feature a damsel in distress who will be rescued by her “true love” – a male. But in Lonely Castle in the Mirror, Mizuki Tsujimura veers away from this typical narrative.
Set in Tokyo, we follow Kokoro, a bullied schoolgirl, who has trouble going to class. One day, the mirror in her room shone and she was transported into a magnificent castle, where she met the Wolf Queen and 6 other children her age. The Wolf Queen told them that within the confines of the castle, lies a key to a room that has the power to grant only one of them a wish. The catch: if the wish is granted, they’ll forget their memories of each other and the castle.
Here, we are reminded of the power of friendship and the beauty of vulnerability. If you’re a fan of magical realism or just want to read an emotionally-charged story full of twists and turns, then this book is for you! What’s more: it’s even getting its own anime film this year!
Lonely Castle in the Mirror is available on select Instagram book shops and Shopee.
1. Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain
Podcasts have become very popular over the pandemic, and Emma Chamberlain’s Anything Goes is one of those that truly resonated with us!
Listening to Emma talk about her everyday life, give advice, and share her personal experiences has become something a lot of people look forward to every week. Her calm, relaxing, and charismatic voice has made her podcast feel more like a conversation than anything else. Despite being only 19 years old, she is an inspiration to people to be true to themselves in a world full of picture-perfect personalities on social media.
Anything Goes is available to stream on Spotify.
2. Camp Confidence Radio by Ayn Bernos and Rizza Lana-Sebastian
If you’re looking for a local podcast, Camp Confidence Radio is the one for you. Hosted by two Filipino entrepreneurs: Ayn Bernos and Rizza Lana-Sebastian, this podcast provides you with not one, but two perspectives on a variety of topics – from self-love to success!
Throughout the episodes, the two reflect on their learnings from their journey so far and even invite iconic guests! What’s more: Camp Confidence Radio is the type of podcast to remind you to be unapologetically yourself and how you’re enough just the way you are. Definitely a much-needed confidence boost!
Camp Confidence Radio is available to stream on Spotify.
1. The Handmaid’s Tale, based on the novel by Margaret Atwood (TV Series)
TW: Violence & sexual abuse
A creative TV adaptation of the classic novel by Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of the patriarchal dystopia Gilead, where women are treated unfairly and stripped of their rights. It mainly follows the experiences of the protagonist Offred, who is a “handmaid” or a woman assigned to a ruling male commander and forced to reproduce with him.
While it tells a very dark and heavy story with themes of violence, loss of agency, and oppression, The Handmaid’s Tale also serves as a warning– a wake-up call—of what we never want the world to be. It also provides an often overlooked yet alarming side of misogyny, which is women’s hatred towards other women. The story’s critique of a patriarchal and misogynistic community that strangely, has parallels in the type of world we have today, implies that vigilance for women’s rights and unity among women are vital to make a better society.
The Handmaid’s Tale is available to stream on Hulu.
2. Six: The Musical (Musical) by Lucy Moss & Toby Marlow
More often than not, history tells only his story. Our history books are dominated by male names and their feats. How about her story? There’s more to history than what was written.
Composed by Lucy Moss and Toby Marlow, Six is a British comedy and pop musical that is a “modern reimagination” of a piece of Tudor history. While it is not 100% historically accurate, the musical focuses on telling her story – specifically the 6 queens of King Henry VIII, modeling them after today’s famous pop stars! Now, we have Catherine of Aragon modeled after Beyoncé, Anne Boleyn after Avril Lavigne, Jane Seymour after Adele, Anne of Cleves after Nicki Minaj, Catherine Howard after Ariana Grande, and Catherine Parr after Alicia Keys! They then compete on who suffered the most in their life and eventually come together as six.
From just one word in a rhyme to each queen shining in their own song (backed up by an incredible all-women band) where they convey their hopes, dreams, pains and even find ways to diss Henry VIII – Six is a musical you won’t want to miss!
Before we wrap up this article and close International Women’s Month, remember that our march towards equality does not end here!
For one, we need to be critical of the media we consume. The next time you see women portrayed on any kind of media, ask yourself: does this really allow women to tell their story, or does this distort their truth? This is important because, at the end of the day, our media consumption has a big influence on how we view and treat the women around us.
Lastly, these stories are just the start. Women have many more stories to tell. It’s now up to us to listen. We hope that our recommendations will inspire you to listen to women’s stories and empower you to tell your own! After all, your story matters.