Tag Archive | "books"

Breaking the Mould – it’s child’s play


Resources for teachers and parents about children’s books that challenge gender stereotypes Read the full story

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The Exciting Life of Being a Woman: A Handbook for Women & Girls by Feminist Webs


Recently I picked up a new book by the feminist youth work collective, Feminist Webs. The Exciting Life of Being a Woman: A Handbook for Women and Girls is a riposte to the rather dreary offerings that can be found in some UK bookshops which provide a nostalgic, new take on the 1950’s children’s annuals which offered a range of sports, crafts and facts to equip young boys with the skills and knowledge to be appropriately ‘boyish’. The equivalent popular books for girls again provide range of appropriate normative gendered ideas and activities. Read the full story

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In memoriam: Shulamith Firestone


On 28th August, Shulamith Firestone was found dead in her Manhattan apartment at the age of 67. Firestone’s 1970 book, The Dialectic of Sex, is a carefully argued and inspiring call for a feminist revolution that still feels ahead of its time 42 years later. I’d just finished rereading it when I heard the news of Firestone’s death via the Guardian’s obituary of her and as a tribute I have collected here some of the parts of that work that I found the most provocative and powerful in the hope that others will be moved to read or reread this classic of feminist theory. Firestone is perhaps best known for her call for women to take ownership of the means of reproduction, and so take advantage of advances in medical technologies to free themselves from their oppression. However, her work is far more wide-ranging than its represented as in the many textbook accounts. Here I look at what she had to say about schooling and about sexuality. The page numbers are taken from the 1979 Women’s Press edition.

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FWSA Book Prize 2012


Dear All,

I am delighted to announce that the winner of the 2012 FWSA Book Prize is Professor Clare Hemmings (LSE) for her text, Why Stories Matter: the Political Grammar of Feminist Theory.  After reviewing a strong shortlist of eligible submissions, all three judges were particularly impressed by Clare’s submission. This excerpt from the judge’s reports illustrates the high praise this text received: Read the full story

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The Softer They Come: Elly Tams reviews ‘The Declining Significance Of Homophobia’


The Declining Significance of Homophobia is, according to its author, a ‘Good News story’ (p xxv). I capitalise ‘Good News’ for reasons that shall become clear. But focusing first on the main thrust of the thesis (and there is no reference to it but I am certain this is a book written out of a PhD thesis), the ‘good news’ is how teenage boys in the UK are less homophobic than in previous eras. Good news indeed. Read the full story

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Aftermath – Marriage and the Feminist


I have just finished reading Rachel Cusk’s most recent book which reflects on the breakup of her marriage.  This book caused quite a stir when it was published in early March – some critics felt it was too self-indulgent, others bemoaned the poor husband and children having their stories so publically aired.  I began to read it with great anticipation, however, largely because her previous ‘memoir’ on becoming a mother had been such a fascinating read because it was so bold in the sense that she had not pulled any punches about the reality of pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood.  But also, I couldn’t wait to read the book because I have been through (several) moments where I have wondered – would I be better off alone, without my partner – would I be ‘freer’ – to parent and manage the day-to-day as I wished, without compromise and sometimes ‘giving in’? Read the full story

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The New Face of Feminism: Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman


In 1981 the noted British sociologist Olive Banks published a work called Faces of Feminism: A Study of Feminism as a Social Movement which provided an overview of feminism from the 1840s up to the end of the 1970s. She identified three feminist traditions: the equal rights tradition of the Enlightenment, the moral impetus of evangelical Christianity and socialism of both the Utopian and Marxist varieties.  This framework provided a useful background for the developments of second wave feminism although it was to become less useful as feminism began to fragment from the 1990s onwards.  However, now we in the UK have another kid on the block presenting another face of feminism; she is Caitlin Moran and her call to feminism entitled How to be a Woman has been the surprise best seller of this summer. Moran has an interesting background: she is the oldest of eight children, was home educated in a council house in Wolverhampton, joined the music weekly Melody Maker as a journalist at the age of sixteen, was briefly a TV presenter at the age of eighteen and has subsequently put in a solid eighteen years as a columnist for The Times.  She is therefore a seasoned media communicator who hasn’t (yet) learnt to keep her mouth shut about the kind of things that women have to go through. Thankfully, she has decided in this book to focus her intellect on making the case for feminism and its relevance to 21st century lives. Read the full story

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Book Review: Cordelia Fine’s ‘Delusions of Gender’


This extremely well researched book, ‘Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences’ dispels many long held and newly emerging myths about sex group difference. The book is divided into three parts: ‘Half changed world, half-changed minds’, ‘Neurosexism’ and ‘Recycling gender’. If you know the field of sex group difference well, you will be most interested in part II where Fine provides an excellent up-to-date review of the field of neuroscience which is extremely helpful in counteracting claims such as, boys and girls need separate pedagogies because they are hard-wired differently.  The research reviewed in parts I and III, although also up-to-date, spans a broad range of literatures which feminist scholars will be fairly familiar with.  Read the full story

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New books on women artists from GEA member Maria Tamboukou


In the Fold between Power and Desire (Cambridge Scholars 2010) explores entanglements of power relations and forces of desire in life narratives of six fin-de-siècle women artists, who are brought together as narrative personae on the theoretical plane of a feminist genealogy. Read the full story

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Urban Youth and Education: Book Launch


Louise Archer, Sumi Hollingworth and Heather Mendick would be delighted if you can join them to celebrate the publication of their book Urban Youth and Education by Open University Press.

On Wednesday 27th October at 5pm: Refreshments from 4:30pm Read the full story

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Gender and Education Association

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