With every Wednesday comes the WCW, Women Creative Wednesday. This week, we’re taking look at the women of YouTube who educate us about topics that inspire them. This week’s for the teachers:
When we first brought up this WCW topic, there was a brief squabble over who would get to discuss Geek & Sundry vlogger Dael Kingsmill. If you ever need to learn things about mythology, specifically but not exclusively Greek myths, then Dael is your vlogger.
Each of her videos focuses on a different myth, and she spends the standard five to seven minutes teaching her viewers all the nuances of the story. But that’s not what makes Dael’s vlogs stand out. There are a lot of things I could mention — the accent, the drawings that she does of what’s going on in the myths, the occasional intercuts of more mainstream portrayals of the myths (looking at you, Hercules). But even with all that, what makes me love Dael’s videos is that she is such a fantastic mixture of casual and informative. Zeus is most often referred to as a sleazy creep, and Hercules was described in one video as what would happen Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez’s characters had a baby. Somehow.
Dael’s videos are charming, genuine, and, most relevantly, informative! Now, if you guys don’t mind, I’m going to go rewatch all of her videos.
There is a lot you can learn on YouTube — everything from drumming to bonsai to how to make yourself throw up. And that means there are a lot of great, inspirational YouTubers to choose from for this YouTube educator-based segment of Women Creative Wednesday. But the only one I wanted to focus on was Auntie Angel.
Auntie Angel, who posts through the YouTube channel Denise Walker, is a relationship expert for new media. Think a younger, more visual, equally enthusiastic Dr. Ruth. Relationships are one of those areas that people need the most help in. There aren’t easy answers and no one way is right. So that’s why I am thankful Auntie Angel can discuss helping couples reconnect in a frank manner that isn’t childish or immature.
I’m proud to say that Auntie Angel might just have saved my marriage — and I’ll bet she can do wonders for you.
You’d basically have to be living under a rock to not have heard of Anita Sarkeesian at this point. Or maybe you’ve somehow managed to find a decent corner of the internet where the misogynists of the world aren’t constantly trying to campaign against women for being interested in things like video games…nah.
But moving beyond mere name recognition, Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency channel is dedicated to discussing video games, movies, and other pop culture from a feminist perspective. Her topics certainly cause some controversy (much of it unnecessary and unwarranted, though personally I’ll go more than a few rounds defending Sucker Punch), but they also spark discussion and attempt to get people thinking outside of the easy but damaging conventions that inundate our media.
So in an attempt to push the focus back on the educational and conversational value of Feminist Frequency rather than whatever drudgery tends to come up in association, why not check out some of her videos and start some conversations about representation in media in your own circles? (Good luck.)
This week for #WCW we decided to reflect on some of the amazing creators who use their channels to educate and inspire, which present a sort of embarrassment of riches problem for me because there are so many that I enjoy. Fortunately, last week we introduced Kelly Kend, the recipient of the VlogBrothers’ Nerdfighter Indie Creator Grant and it got me thinking back on another creator and educator brought to my attention by the Green Brothers years ago. It’s been a while since I checked in with Vi Hart, the self-described “mathemusician” and I’m pleased to have an excuse to do so now.
I’m pleased to report that her channel is just as unique and engaging as ever. On her main channel Vi uses art and occasionally music to talk about what I like to call, the fun part of math. The abstract concepts and big theorems that can help us parcel out and understand our world in a new way. There are no problem sets or homework to contend with just the pure joy of following someone with a laser fast brain as she winds her way through jokes, nerdy references, and some pretty fascinating math with a dash of music theory.
Her videos have a great DIY quality that reminds me of old-school YouTube. That’s not to say her content isn’t polished, but rather that she seems to still be constantly experimenting with different styles and formats. Everything she cooks, draws, sings, or plays seems like an original experiment. In the world of professional YouTube where many creators have boiled video making down to a slightly homogenous science it’s great to rediscover a creator like Vi whose all about sharing, creating, and inventing.
There is no possible way I could allow this list to not include Emily Graslie. There’s just no way. Having started the channel after a chance encounter with Hank Green who, in the process of actually exploring his town for stuff he’d never seen before went to the museum Emily was working at, she’s taken to the YouTube game quickly. Even though she hasn’t been in the space particularly long, I honestly couldn’t see the YouTube community without The Brain Scoop.
Graslie works so well specifically because she’s personally invested in the subject matter. She loves biology. She lives for it. Not only does she want you to know what’s going on in the world, she herself wants to know what’s going on in the world. Her handling of expert guests is perfect — which is to say, letting them go and teach her/us.
It always feels like you’re on the field trip with her, a quality that few have. She’s a must-watch.
Women making cute DIY videos isn’t always my thing (though don’t get me wrong, I love cupcakes as much as the next person), but I make an exception for Karen Kavett – YouTuber, graphic designer, crafter and unapologetic geek girl.
Along with a cool jewelry line, funny personal insights and quirkier-than-usual craft tutorials like “How to Dress Like Your Ford Fiesta” and “Sewing Spikes to Things,” Karen offers a range of really useful and accessible videos about the basics of producing digital media, making her a great role model for young girls interested in the more technical side of DIY.
Her viewers can get a crash course in things like typography, designing logos, using Photoshop, putting together a portfolio website, applying for design internships and other tips from an experienced industry insider. She even has a video on how to make DIY/Craft videos. So not only does she represent geeky, tech-savvy girls and women in online communities, she also encourages more of them to get involved and start their own careers.
Tweet and Facebook out this article and let us know who you think should be on the list!