A captivating television series often draws inspiration from real-life experiences and transforms them into a riveting fictional narrative. “Strife”, the latest BINGE series, achieves precisely this. It delves into the world of women’s media in its formative years, drawing inspiration from Mia Freedman’s memoir “Work, Strife, Balance”.

At its core, “Strife” revolves around the imperfect yet compelling character of Evelyn Jones, played by the talented Asher Keddie. From her humble beginnings as a lounge-room blogger to emerging as a powerful force in women’s media, Evelyn’s journey is a testament to the complexities of life, motherhood, the end of a marriage, public scrutiny, and the unique challenges faced within the confines of a women’s media office.

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“Strife” Is Based on Many Personal Experiences

While the series is undeniably a work of fiction, Keddie reveals that many storylines are grounded in reality.

“We brought so much of our own experiences because we really wanted to tell this story and the complexities of it,” she tells POPSUGAR Australia. Keddie explains how the narrative reflects the cultural shifts of the past decade, as society increasingly shifted online, exposing individuals to new challenges and opportunities for self-expression.

Asher Keddie on How “Strife” Tackles Feminist Ideals

“Strife”‘s brand of feminism as portrayed in the mid-2010s is deeply rooted in the rise of women’s online media. Empowerment, in this context, emanates from sharing personal stories online. Keddie describes the experience of constantly discussing feminism during filming as “validating and empowering”. The series gave the cast and crew a space to explore their evolving opinions on feminism, with Keddie noting, “It’s okay for our opinions to be changeable.”

Reflecting on her own upbringing, Keddie shares how being raised in a predominantly female family initially instilled a sense of equality between genders.

“I grew up in a family of really all females, except my dad and my grandfather, and that gave me this gift of thinking that there was absolutely no difference between me and a boy,” she says.

However, this perspective also led to moments of realisation and questioning, which Keddie describes as being like “a smack in the face”.

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“…I’m So Naive!”

In essence, “Strife” not only brings forth a fictional narrative but also serves as a lens through which to examine and discuss the evolving nature of feminism, as well as its influence on individual perspectives and societal norms. Asher Keddie’s portrayal of Evelyn Jones becomes a conduit for exploring the intricate dance between personal experiences and the broader societal shifts captured within the series.

“Oh, I’m so naive!” Keddie says of her previous assumptions about equality. “Why did I think that what I wanted to do would be possible and not questioned and not judged?”

She adds: “It has been the experience for quite a number of years… So it’s a gift and it’s not. My ideas have changed and it’s been to just talk about feminism and think about how that affects how we’re raising boys, opposed to 20-30 years ago.”

Stream all eight episodes of “Strife” on BINGE now.

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Kailah Haddad

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