Charli XCX’s rad documentary on feminism in music is a must-watch

As someone who works both behind other artists and fronts her own act, Charli XCX (real name Charlotte Aitchison) has gotten deep into the music industry from all angles, and has become an outspoken advocate for gender equality and “pussy power” in the still white male-dominated industry. Now, she’s the driving force behind a recently-aired BBC documentary on feminism within the music world, confrontationally (and fittingly) titled The F Word and Me.

Even if you don’t directly know who XCX is off the top of your head, you definitely recognize her music, whether it’s from a co-writing credit (like Icona Pop’s earworm “I Love It”) to her own radio hits (like the teen dream anthem “Boom Clap”). The songs off of latest album Sucker were in-your-face, youth-in-revolt jams, and the 23-year-old artist has channeled that same spirit for The F Word and Me, which, in addition to being a gender equality manifesto, is also a pretty cool tour diary.

Featuring plenty of XCX’s commentary and insight into the business’s two sides (the public-facing performance side, and the more secretive inner-industry workings), as well as appearances from pop star peers like Marina & the Diamonds and Ryn Weaver, The F Word and Me doesn’t break new ground in terms of revealing the invisible barriers preventing women from entering more positions of authority behind the scenes. But, it shows that no matter what level of “success” you’ve reached, and no matter how many one-name female icons have dominated an industry, there are still plenty of challenges and assumptions about women, and women in music, that are holding women at every level back.

Clocking in at just over 40 minutes, The F Word and Me is a vital watch for anyone who’s curious as to why, in the same year that female artists like Nicki Minaj have directly challenged music media and Adele have demolished sales records, women are talked around or undermined. (Like, Mary J. Blige can definitely source her own damn music.) You can watch the full doc below:

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H/T Vulture. Image via Instagram.