Pretty Useless

Why is fragility so valued in women?  Is it simply that helpless dependence makes men feel stronger and more powerful, reinforcing their role as leaders and providers in society?  We learn what is expected of us from toys, books, games and television, what we see in the media, and every social interaction.  In the taleContinue reading “Pretty Useless”

Burnt at the Stake

Recently I read that in the late 19th century, the suffragette Matilda Gage suggested that the persecution of witches had nothing to do with fighting evil or resisting the devil. It was simply entrenched social misogyny, the goal of which was to repress the intellect and influence of women.  Considering the origin of the wordContinue reading “Burnt at the Stake”

She Persisted

 ‘We women persist. Isn’t that our job? Throughout history, we have persisted in our quest for respect, for justice, for equal rights, for suffrage, for education, for enfranchisement, for recognition, for making our voices heard. In the face of violence, of opposition, of ridicule, of belittlement, even of jail time, nevertheless, we have persisted.’ ValerieContinue reading “She Persisted”

So much more to give

Cut your hair short and get the right handbag or you won’t be successful.  How can it still be true in the 21st century that I can’t be taken seriously, whatever my looks and figure?  I’d hoped for more from a Women in Asian Business conference than discussions of the best handbag to get ahead[1]. Continue reading “So much more to give”

Asking for it?

Stay on the path and don’t talk to strangers is the advice from little Red Riding Hood’s mother as she sends her off on another elder care errand, a little basket of cakes dangling from her arm.  Written many centuries ago, you’d hope that times have moved on, with women able to walk unaccompanied inContinue reading “Asking for it?”

Who blazed your trail?

It’s taken a long while for me to feel confident in saying that I’m a feminist.  When I entered the work place as one of the few female mechanical engineers in the UK, I was far more visible than was comfortable and sometimes I had to laugh/accept situations that weren’t as fair as they shouldContinue reading “Who blazed your trail?”

Lock up your daughters

I don’t often get the chance to make my work in situ, but having chosen to fight it out with brambles in the name of art, I found that the best place to work was in the middle of Hampstead Heath.  So I was sitting there, minding my own business, cursing as I got scratchedContinue reading “Lock up your daughters”

Some day my prince will come

When I was a child, I would read fairy tales late into the night by the light on the landing outside my bedroom (unless I was caught that is…).  I despised the insipid heroines waiting patiently for rescue instead identifying with those who used their skills to rescue their brothers or cursed princes by weavingContinue reading “Some day my prince will come”

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