One of my absolute favourite conversations (please note that, for the purposes of this blog-post, italics equals sarcasm) to partake in often starts with the question; “So, if women are equal to men, how come there are no good female guitarists/chefs/artists/comedians…?”
If you’re one of those people who’s quite open about being a bit on the feminist side, you will most likely feel my pain. There you are, down the pub with a relatively new aquaintance, and the conversation will veer towards what you got up to over the weekend; “I burned my bra to symbolise my rejection of patriarchal beauty standards*” you’ll say. “Aha!” They’ll counter, “A feminist, eh? So, if women are equal to men, how come…?”
It’s hard to educate someone who seems to have a Masters in Derailing For Dummies (not that it’s your job to educate them, naturally), but it’s even harder when you find yourself asking “Hang on, how come there aren’t any…? That doesn’t seem right.”
Which explains my excitement at the news that The ICA are staging a discussion next week around women novelists. Best-selling author and co-founder of the Orange Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse will be amongst those debating why, in an industry dominated by women, it is still the men who often win accolades for their penmanship.
It looks set to be a lively debate, with such questions being bandied about as;
What gets reviewed and by whom? What gets read and by whom? What is regarded as significant and event-worthy – and by whom? And why are we still having these conversations in 2011?
Yes! Why indeed? Perhaps if all us feminist types buy a couple of tickets each and take along our feisty pub aquaintances, we can put at least one of these ever-so enjoyable conversations to bed this year! Wouldn’t that be a turn up for the books?
Novel Women takes place at 7pm in The ICA theatre on Wednesday the 16th February. Tickets range from £10-£12. Book your place and find all the details you’ll need here.
*I know, I know. This tale of 7os feminist fury is a myth and never actually happened. Still, didn’t stop me doing it on Sunday evening ;PBy: Sarah Barnes, 11.02.2011 | Comments (2)