Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

Feminists listen up! THIS is a blog for you.

Cate Young is a rising star in the world of pop culture criticism and analysis, she has written for Jezebel and Bitch media but what really drew me in was the work on her website. She is a Trinidadian native who received her bachelors degree from Boston University and her masters degree from the University Of Leicester her perspective is one that we need to hear. I am tired of feminism being told from the perspective of solely white women, and I’m sure any intersectional feminist reading this is too. For those reading this who aren’t sure what intersectionality is, it is a term created by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. It is the idea of overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppression, domination, or discrimination. By opening up to women from different walks of life we expand our horizon and our ability to understand true feminism grows. My favorite articles by Catherine Young would be her take on the drake speech at the VMA’s, reboot and rally, and “My feminism will never look like yours.”

In our interview she spoke of her childhood.She grew up with a mix of local television channels, there weren’t a lot of local projects happening when she was young. She did note there was a huge soap opera she couldn’t watch when she was little. Unlike Americans there it is a ritual and exciting experience to watch the news everyday, like Americans she watched a lot of Disney channel. It didn’t bother her that there was a lack of representation on, it was something she noticed but she felt proud and sturdy in her community that was full of her color and pride. She saw people in leadership positions and her people being humanized, being black wasn’t anything different she was normal. Television was where she learned about a lot of things including how Jewish people lived, she later discovered that there is a large Jewish population in Trinidad. There is plenty of diversity in Trinidad, there is almost every religion under the sun.
Attending Boston University was a huge culture shock for Cate. She assumed she knew Americans just by watching television shows but she was wrong. For the first time in her life she was very conscious of the fact that she was a black person. Her race was never something she noticed before. She received questions from ignorant peers like “Do you ride on dolphins?” “Did you have power?” because people knew she was from Trinidad. It was odd how she knew so much about their lives and history but they had no knowledge of hers. She felt very lonely in moments and some people don’t even understand that Trinidad is a whole different country from Jamaica. It was very disorienting. She was treated like an exhibition with people just listening to her talk, once she was approached and asked if she was married to a Hispanic man because “that’s what tribal people do” she chose not to argue over micro aggression’s and focus on her future which paid off dearly. One issue that I must note is that there really are institutionalized programs in place to help international students adapt. This is an issue as many universities flaunt the diversity in their schools but do not help their diverse students.
She received a degree in social journalism hoping to be a fashion photographer. She started a fashion blog and realized as a black woman who wasn’t even a citizen a lot of spaces wouldn’t be accessible to her. She became a feminist her sophomore year of college, she began to talk more about politics and feminism in her blog. She always considered herself analytical and in 2013 she wrote a piece about Miley’s performance that went viral. She learned that she had a voice that people wanted to hear and she kept going. She was the 2016 fellow for the award winning Bitch media. She claims this has helped her gain access to editors and she is now able to build her website.
Her advice for young creatives and young writers specifically is to read and read some more.. She claims she was able to grow her opinions not by social media but by reading and hearing the people who originate them. She was able to find her “thought leaders” and build a group of writers who she loves and has her own pop culture network. She values keeping an open mind to the different people, diverse narratives can open up perspectives. She lives in Trinidad currently and left after college because she need to be home and feel normal again. She now has her specific life plan and knows what she wants and it takes time. It takes time for all of us.
To Cate her pop culture analysis seeks to speak about how interpretation of everything in this world she loves, as a feminist she wants to have her audience look even closer and dissect the picture of life. Pop culture is what we find acceptable, what people we find acceptable, what cultures and traditions….it reinforces itself, this is why you need to absorb pop culture from a feminist approach. Cate Young stressed how media criticism is essential. She is a new light in media and we should help her shine.

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