This month I have taken part in the lovely Lauren’s (from Lauren and the Books) themed February challenge, which has celebrated all things female; from books to film, to role models and friendships. I shall insert her booktube channel here. Though I do see myself as a feminist and actually, when I come to think of it, I read largely female authors, it has been really refreshing to dedicate a whole month to exploring what feminism and being a woman means to me. Here is a short synopsis of what I have been reading, watching and listening to:
Audio book: The Gender Games by Juno Dawson. Now, I have so many thoughts to share with you about this book that I WILL write a separate post. This is such an important book: an exploration of how society defines gender and the implications of these definitions in the world we live. It is a commentary, full of observations and open questions, written in a really accessible way. In part, it is also the very genuine, honest memoir of Juno’s personal journey. The audio book is read by Juno herself and this works brilliantly ( I am so fussy about narrators but not only do I love Juno’s voice but it also adds a very personal element to the book). I have now bought a physical copy of the book too so that I can go back and underline to my heart’s content.
British Library online resource: Votes for Women. This month has celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the first women to gain the vote here in the UK. I find it so interesting/frustrating that class very much defined who could vote and who could not (only householders over the age of 30 could in 1918). To celebrate the beginning of such an important change in women’s rights, the British Library has put together an online resource of photographs, posters, pamphlets and articles. Click here for this brilliant resource.
Book group: The Feminist Orchestra. The passionate, politically minded Jean (from Jean Bookish Thoughts, click here for her booktube channel and here for the goodreads group) has started an online book club for reading and discussing feminist texts, both non-fiction and fiction. I can’t wait to get stuck in with the first book, which my local library is ordering in for me: Feminism is for Everybody by Bell Hooks.
Children’s book: Great Women Who Made History by Kate Pankhurst. A gorgeously illustrated, fact filled book aimed at children – and people like me, who love short, accessible, illustrated non-fiction.
Play: Hedda Gabler. I was lucky enough to be given a couple of tickets to the National Theatre production of Ibson’s Hedda Gabler, adapted by Patrick Garber and Ivo van Hove, at the Nottingham Theatre Royal. Hedda is one of the dark heroines of theatre: free spirited and frustrated by society’s constraints, desperate to assert her own power whilst struggling with her own sanity. Lizzy Watts was incredible in the role and I loved this contemporary version too.
Graphic novel: Red Rosa by Kate Evans. I’ve already written about Rosa and reviewed this graphic novel here. Rosa will forever be a role model for me.
Film: Milada. A film (on Netflix) about the Czech politician Milada Horáková, who fought for women’s rights and democracy until she was executed by the Communist regime in Prague in 1950. I didn’t know anything about this principled, resilient, incredibly intelligent woman.
Biography: The Brontë Sisters, the Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily and Anne by Catherine Reef. I’ve just started reading this book aimed at younger readers. I adore the Brontës, and for me, each is a role model in her own right. I am amazed over and over again at how they overcame all odds to have their work published and how their individual pieces are still so very popular and relevant today. I bought this book as I am interested to see how their lives are described for a new generation. Plus, THE COVER!
What a brilliant month I’ve had.