20 November 2006

Fascinating article from the Guardian archives about the Miss World contest in 1967.

Also, I recently heard about the Guerrilla Girls (thanks T) who do mad, fun campaigning about the underrepresentation of women in the arts. Have a look at their website here - they do fabulous posters.

03 November 2006

Ariel Levy - reviews

My post about the Ariel Levy book on my book blog, the Observer review, an interview with her in the Guardian, and Natasha Walter's review of the book.

First meeting

So: the first meeting. There were nine of us, and we decamped from the (noisy, crowded) planned pub to the All Bar One round the corner. We settled round a long table. No one drank chardonnay.

Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs: women and the rise of raunch culture was the book we had decided to discuss, and it was a good decision – at least, we all seemed to have plenty to say about it. The general feeling seemed to be one of disappointment – her general point about the ‘porn’-isation of popular culture was something that we all recognised, to a certain extent – Nuts and Zoo magazines, the rise of pole-dancing and stripping classes as leisure pursuits for the middle classes – but her research was very anecdotal; she would describe a phenomenon like the ‘boi’ trend among lesbians and back it up with nothing more than a couple of interviews.

We also all felt the book suffered from being too descriptive and not analytical enough – as someone said, it felt like a list of things she found disturbing, with no attempt to suggest why we were seeing all this stuff happen. Also we mostly found the way she used examples of teenage girls rather problematic - using teenagers to say something about adult female sexuality doesn't make much sense.

Hopefully the next meeting will be in early January, and I'd welcome suggestions for what to discuss then. Poeple suggested various things: Andrea Dworkin's Pornography, something about the Muslim veil, or perhaps a television programme like The L-word.

12 October 2006

'Feminist fightback' conference

A friend of my sister's is helping to organise a feminist conference in London on Saturday 21st October. I don't know much about it but the agenda looks interesting:


In France women are no political animal

Next year French presidential election is going to be fascinating. For the first time ever a woman is topping the polls. You probably don't think it's such an achievement but very very few women enter politics. Why: because in France in order to be a politician (or homme politique) you need to be over 50 and a man. And isn't it symptomatic that in English you say politicians and in French you say hommes politiques?! (there isn't any femmes politiques).

11 October 2006

Interesting article in the Times on the choice British-born Muslim girls make to wear the veil.

09 October 2006

How to use this blog

Welcome! Currently you can all make comments. As soon as those of you with blogspot accounts email me, I'll add your names to the list of blog members, and you'll be able to post too. Anyone who hasn't got a blogspot account yet will have to sign up, but if you let me know which email address you want to sign up with, I will add your names to the list. Email at woodscolt@hotmail.com or my workmail, if you have that.

I see this blog as a place where we can put links to interesting articles, book reviews or blogs, post thoughts, talk about stuff we've discussed or read about.

If anyone is clever with html and wants to do creative stuff with the formatting, they should go straight ahead. Good ideas for the title/description would also be welcome...