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Feminism for the 99 Percent

There are many ways women across the world have been disproportionately impacted by COVID. The pandemic has simultaneously increased the demand for unpaid labor from women, including childcare and homeschooling, while decimating industries like retail, leisure, hospitality, education and entertainment which are their main employers. So many of the jobs lost during the pandemic were held by women, that the resulting economic recession has been called a “she­cession” — or even an example of “disaster patriarchy.”


But our current economic system has always had a history of harming women disproportionately — in fact, in many ways, COVID has simply revealed and exacerbated already existing inequalities. But where there is a crisis, there is also opportunity. And in this space, some are asking what a feminst response to COVID could look like? 


But, of course, there are multiple kinds of feminism. In this episode, we explore what kind of feminism could not only lead us beyond this present crisis, but also offer us a vision of a more just world where equality and liberation are premises, not aspirations: a feminism for the 99%.


Khara Jabola-Carolus — Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women

Tiek Johnson — Reproductive Justice Advocate and Doula

Sarah Jaffe — Type Media Center reporting fellow and an independent journalist and author of Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted and Alone

Tithi Bhattacharya — Associate Professor of History and the Director of Global Studies at Purdue University and author of Feminism for the 99 Percent: A Manifesto

Nicole Aschoff — Editor at large at Jacobin Magazine, senior editor at Verso Books, and author of the book, The New Prophets of Capital


Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

Marissa Kay


Chris Zabriskie


Many thanks to Chiara Francesca for the cover art

and to Elle Bisgard Church Noah Gabor

for their research and support for this episode

Support for this episode of Upstream was provided by The Guerrilla Foundation, supporting activists & grassroots movements to bring about major systemic change.

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