Feminist Sunday is a weekly roundup of all the articles/threads/news/discoveries that include or are about women which have caught my attention and/or interest.
Reading has been a difficult one for me this week. Often when I become fixated on something (for example, my journey to becoming as plastic-free as is possible living in a developing country) I tend to get a bit burnt out and overwhelmed by information. For that reason I decided to give Plastic Free by Beth Terry a short pause as I reflect on how I can make my choices and decisions here in Malé that reflect the values I find most important. Although Instagram can be a double-edged sword at times, I have found it a useful resource particularly when coming across other eco-conscious people who don’t have the luxury of living near bulk food stores or zero-waste shops. As Zero Waste PH from the Philippines asked in a post earlier this week, ‘How can we be more mindful and not just go through the day in a rush buying plastic left and right?’ I think this mindfulness, questioning what we need and what we don’t need – our power as consumers – is important to remember. It will be impossible for me, and for many people, to eliminate plastic entirely and even to recycle when the proper infrastructures just aren’t in place or non-existent, but being as conscious a consumer as I can be is all I can strive for right now.
For a bit of light relief I decided to start Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi after a student reminded me of it when bringing a copy into class last week. A fantasy-driven tale of maji’s and diviners, Adeyemi’s debut young adult novel brings out the teenaged-reader in me and highlights the need for more diversity in popular fiction.
Here are some of the bookish/feminist related articles I’ve been reading this week from the web:
- I’ve just discovered this brilliant column on The Paris Review website entitled ‘Feminize Your Canon’ which explores the lives of underrated and underread female authors. First up, Violette Leduc was a protegée of Simon de Beauvoir’s and her life inspired and influenced de Beauvoir’s chapters on lesbianism in The Second Sex. She remained largely unnoticed until the publication of La Bâtarde in 1964, but by then she found that her success had come too late in life. Feminize Your Canon: Violette Leduc.
- For Women In Translation month here’s a beautiful poem on the Modern Poetry In Translation website – ‘The Rape of Silence’ by Kätlin Kaldmaa.
- It’s Women In Translation Month and You Can Celebrate By Reading These 5 Books From Japan, Egypt, Poland, And Beyond.
- It was a huge blow to hear that senators in Argentina rejected the bill to legalise abortion earlier this week, but as Argentinian writer and novelist, Claudia Piñeiro optimistically states, ‘We are standing in a better place and will not take a step back. The cultural battle is won and the path forward is clear’: Argentina’s women have not been beaten on abortion – change will come.
- Following the disgusting comments Boris Johnson made earlier in the week in a column in the Daily Telegraph, Sayeeda Warsi explains why what he said is indefensible: Boris Johnson’s contempt for Muslim women is part of a dangerous pattern.
- What does it mean to be a Muslim woman? by Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan on The Brown Hijabi in response to being interviewed by the above-mentioned Sayeeda Warsi whose complicity in structural violence by being a Conservative party member is problematic.
- Writer and spoken-word performer, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, has also put together a short video on the Guardian website following the Gal-dem Weekend Magazine takeover yesterday – ‘One person can matter’: five ways to fight for your cause.
- Female scientists launch campaign to debunk gender ‘facts’ – this is just brilliant and a book I’ll be adding to my wishlist!
- ‘As a 61-year-old woman who has observed her own life, as well as that of a daughter, stepdaughter, and daughter-in-law, I’ve come to believe that, as women, we wait too long to be confident in ourselves and what we have to say’ – One Year After Charlottesville, My Daughter, Heather Heyer, Was Killed in Charlottesville Fighting Against Hate. Now It’s My Fight Too. A really powerful piece by Susan Bro, the mother of Heather Heyer who died a year ago in Charlottesville after James Alex Fields Jr plowed a car into a protest countering the Unite the Right rally.