‘Reclaiming The F Word’ Book Released

Just a quick post to say HURRAY! for the release of new book Reclaiming The F Word. I went along to the release party last night and had an absolutely fantastic time celebrating the book and celebrating the (very vibrant and very much alive!) UK feminist movement with plenty of other feminists who were in attendance, filling up the rather swanky surroundings of The University Women’s Club.

Co-written by Kristen Aune (who co-founded the London Third Wave group) and Catherine Redfern (founder of the brilliant feminist site The F-Word), Reclaiming The F Word ‘reveals the seven vital issues at stake for today’s feminists, unveils the beginnings of a fresh and diverse wave of feminism, and calls a new generation back to action.’

The release of this book follows on from Natasha Walter’s Living Dolls and Kat Banyard’s The Equality Illusion, released earlier this year – showing that 2010 is a great year for British feminist publications!

I’ve already begun reading the book (I just couldn’t wait to get started!) and I have already found it inspiring (the first chapter on Liberated Bodies has already sparked plenty of ideas for blog posts!), illuminating and positive. Something I have really enjoyed so far is how the book doesn’t ever wallow in all the depressing effects the Patriarchy has on society (which would be pretty damn easy to do). Instead, Reclaiming  The F Word is structured around the raising of feminist concerns, explains them clearly, and then goes on to tell the reader what feminists are already doing to counter these things. It even has a handy little  ’Take Action’ box-out at the end of each chapter so that readers can get involved in activism, if they feel so inclined.

I also love how it is the voices of today’s self-defined feminists that create the back-bone of the book. For Reclaiming The F Word nearly 1,300 British feminists were surveyed, and it is their voices – so vital and so current – that are invoked to back up the points that are made within its pages.  Add to that a sprinkling of quotes from zines, blogs and even pop-songs and this book becomes more of an inclusive portrayal of a whole movement, rather than a stale and sterile observation made from the outside looking in. It’s very much saying to readers; ‘Come on in, the water’s lovely!’

Co-author, Catherine Redfern, has given a really insightful interview about the book to grassrootsfeminism.net which you must read here… and here’s the place to head to straight after to snap up your copy!

By: Sarah Barnes, 04.06.2010 | Comments (0)
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Feminists in good Company

When I’m in dire need of a magazine fix, I currently find myself consistently drawn to Company Magazine. In a world without Borders (No Bust! No Bitch! No Nylon!), Company is one of the few mainstream mags out there that gives me food for thought rather than just pictures of shoes. So, between picking up the latest issue and actually reading it, I was interested to read Holly Combe’s take on the magazine, and its blossoming interest in feminism, over on the F Word.

Okay, so the image of a burning bra doesn’t exactly add credibility to the feminism piece (can we get over this myth, please?!) but I was still absolutely ecstatic to read an article in a women’s glossy that was putting forward the point that feminism is still relevant to women’s lives today. It was great to see Catherine Redfern (F Word founder) interviewed, as well as Jess McCabe (F Word editor) and Anna van Heeswijk (of Object) being profiled as women to watch.

Not only that, but we also got mini interviews with Spare Rib co-founder Marsha Rowe and Pamflet co-creator Anna-Marie Fitzgerald. AND  there was a distinctly sisterly initiative from Company themselves; a campaign called Pay It Forward that encouraged women to compliment their friends in order to boost body confidence.

Speaking of body confidence, this month’s issue of Company just happens to be the annual Model-Free issue (which I have written about previously) where all photo-shoots feature Company readers rather than professional models. The women all looked fantastic, and the variety of women chosen was fabulously diverse (something I’d been keeping my fingers crossed for!).

All in all, I was really happy to see such positive promotion of feminist thoughts in Company this month. Of course, Feminism is never going to be perfectly portrayed in any media… but, surely, that’s because Feminism means all things to all people. We can only express our own truth as we see it. Despite the clumsy ‘they’re not all man-haters’ lines, this issue of Company provided an easy and accessible insight into the UK Feminist movement today… and I really hope some young women will be motivated to discover more about feminism because of it.

By: Sarah Barnes, 27.04.2010 | Comments (1)
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