This is a short guide to some of the vids and approaches out there for fans looking to dip their toe into feminist vidding, with a little annotation. Some of these are "classics," some of these are slightly less well-known, but I think they're all worth looking at. (Also, depending, cool/sexy/exciting/heartbreaking...)
Note: This is a brief list drawing from a large pool of candidates, and omission from it is not meant to imply anything about quality (or ideology!). Others would make different lists, use different definitions of feminism, and even read these vids differently. Additions and criticisms are invited.
Critique: vids that explicitly critique the source, or social attitudes reflected in the source.
Lum & Sisabet, Women's Work (SPN)
Wondering what that "male gaze" is? This vid is an unforgettable illustration. The camera that loves the Winchesters loves to see the women around them suffer, too, and not in the same ways.
Giandujakiss, Origin Stories (BTVS/Angel)
A vid about (among many other things) the way the standard romantic narrative makes the heroine complicit in harm to other women.
Keewick, Martina (VM)
Sexual vulnerability and the way it is the foundation for so many women's experiences.
Sloanesomething, Star Trek dance floor (STR)
Makes a vital point about fannish source—"make sure you know/ before you go/ the dance-floor bro-ho ratio"—hilariously.
Methods: is fangirling itself a feminist act?
Laura Shapiro & Lithiumdoll, I put you there
We can't literally possess our fannish objects of desire, but they are within our power…
Cali Crew, Under Pressure
This vid, which documents the making of an old-school VCR vid, is not available online, but I urge you to watch it if you ever get a chance. Not only is it a wonderful time capsule of the experience of VCR vidding—you will be shocked at what they had to do!—but it is also an unapologetic revel in the joy of fandom. Just watching three women give themselves over for a whole weekend to creative play still feels edgy, even in 2010.
Reclaiming the Narrative: "if you don't like it, rewrite it"—how can you bring this approach to source that excludes or diminishes or demeans the stories of women?
Such_heights, Glorious (multi)
Reenvisions the stories of many heroines as one common triumph over adversity. The vidder seems to be saying: look at the stories available for us to tell, if we choose to! (Created for our very own challenge last year, too.)
Sisabet, Get Low (Resident Evil)
Reclaiming power—power over your own body, power over others. Grounded in a critique of the source (video and audio, I'd say), but evolving into a reconstruction of it as a more satisfying story.
Hazelk, Scarlet Ribbons (BTVS)
Coming of age and growing into solidarity with those who have come before through shared suffering. Draws a compelling thread out of a problematic source. (Note that it is almost exactly the opposite of the argument made in "Origin Stories," above. One highlights the points where the source breaks down, the other remolds the source to emphasize what could have been.)
Reclaiming the Gaze: A particular problem for fans who use visual media: how do you take footage conceived and edited to appeal to a sexist audience and use those very same images to tell a different kind of story?
Jescaflowne, Candelight (multi)
By removing both the team and the audience from the frame, Jescaflowne turns a vid about cheerleaders (and the actresses who have played both them and superheroes) into a celebration of female kinetic energy. While any erotic implications are wasted on me, it's nonetheless invigorating to see young women moving with such confidence in their bodies. Noteworthy also is the emphasis on teamwork to accomplish goals rather than rugged individualism, an issue the "superhero" source has struggled with.
Charmax, Boom boom bah (Xena)
Highlighting a source that is friendlier than most to female eroticism. (However, the source does some exoticizing and appropriating of Eastern cultures. Takeaway: good on one score doesn't mean good on all.)
Greensilver, Take It Off (multi)
Celebrating not only the objects of (heterosexual) women's desire, but the women themselves as both desirers and desirable.