Marina Watanabe, also known by her Youtube alias, MarinaShutUp, gives me major hope for the future of feminists on Youtube. In an interweb-vortex full of trolls and hater comments, Marina stands strong with quick-wit, deadpan humor and a lot of sass, while working to create a safe and thoughtful place as a nose ring-clad feminist crusader.
Discussing issues ranging from myths about feminism, to coming to grips with depression, to her love of McNuggets; Marina is not only able to articulate extremely serious issues with depth and sincerity, but will also make you laugh your ass off in an Aubrey–Plaza-talking–about-Black-Eyed-Peas sort of way.
While I could gush about this babe for hours, I think her videos speak for themselves, so without further ado, enjoy my little Q+ A session with Marina ShutUp, and be prepared to hit the “subscribe” button within 0.2 seconds of watching her videos.
C: You’ve been on Youtube for about 2.5 years, are you happy with the username you chose?
M: Overall, I'm very happy with the username I chose. I know a lot of people who made accounts with usernames like "unicornlover6" and "jessicaxhearts27xxx", so I'm glad I did something that's simple and easy to remember (and not too embarrassing.) Also, I feel like I've gotten more and more outspoken about "controversial" issues over the course of two and a half years and a lot of anti-feminists would prefer I shut up about those issues, so I think it's fitting.
C: If you could sit at a round table and eat McNuggets with your feminist icons, who would be at the table?
M: There are a lot of women I consider feminist icons, but definitely bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Janet Mock, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Tina Fey, and Abbi and Ilana from Broad City. Any woman who speaks out for women's issues and has succeeded in getting her voice heard in a male dominated sphere is a lady hero to me.
C: What is your favorite dipping sauce for these said McNuggets?
M: Ranch dressing of course.
C: Tell us a bit about your journey with Feminism?
M: I think I've always been a feminist, but I was never given the terminology for it until I entered college. I had to take a required history class to complete my general education and Women's History immediately interested me. My professor was a really awesome feminist who taught me about the patriarchy and the women's rights movement and that's what got the ball rolling so to speak. Social media sites like Tumblr have also been essential in my feminist journey because they exposed me to ideas I never would have had access to otherwise. I don't think I would be pursuing a Women's Studies major if it weren't for my exposure to feminism through the internet.
C: Youtube seems like a near impossible place for a feminist to exist without constantly being bombarded by Internet trolls how do you deal?
M: Well, YouTube definitely isn't the most pleasant place to speak about feminist issues and I still struggle a lot with misogynistic and hateful comments. I've learned that the people making these comments usually aren't looking to have a thoughtful discussion and will purposefully search for feminist content creators to attack, so I've stopped giving them the satisfaction of a reply.
C: Weirdest comment on Youtube you received so far?
M: I've received a lot of weird comments on YouTube (although probably not as many as I've received anonymously on Tumblr.) Most recently I got one on my "Myths About Feminism" video saying "THEY ARE EVIL" with no punctuation. Who are THEY? What are THEY doing? I have so many questions.
C: When can we expect your Women of Youtube project to burst a whole in the space-time continuum with its amazingness?
M: I don't want to announce a date just yet because a lot of the ladies involved have busy schedules and I don't want to leave anyone out that wants to do it because they couldn't find time. I'd like to have the first few videos out by the end of the summer though hopefully.
C: How do you find courage to make the difficult videos?
M: To be honest, the difficult videos are usually the videos I'm most excited about making. It's the routine videos that I feel like I have to make that end up being the most difficult for me because I don't care about them as much. If I'm putting out something that scares me I know that it's probably worthwhile.
C: With your disgustingly optimistic turn of events following your depression self-discovery can we see new content coming from your channel?
M: Yes! My video making has been pretty sporadic recently, but I've decided I want to take my channel in a more feminist direction and I'm very excited about it.
C: Lastly, any words of advice for feminists afraid to start youtube channels?
M: To the feminists who are weary of starting YouTube channels: we need you! It's unfortunate that feminists receive so much internet hate and negative comments, but that's all the more reason to keep speaking up. If you let that stop you then the internet trolls get what they want and the best way to fight back is to keep talking.
Are you obsessed yet or what? Just go check her out and leave a comment saying BUST sent you! And feel free to list your favorite feminists on youtube for us to check out in the comments below.
Photo credit: tumblr