No-platforming Smurthwaite: unspeakable females by @sarahditum

Cross-posted from: The Paperhouse
Originally published: 04.02.15

The spaces that women can occupy are small and easily shrunk. For example, talk to a female comic and she’s likely to tell you that her job is substantially harder for being female.

Promoters are reluctant to book female comedians, because they assume audiences will be sexist and stay away (or because they impute their own sexism to the audience); audiences heckle more viciously and more explicitly, because a woman talking is still an offence against what women are supposed to be; and touring is essentially incompatible with the constant work expected of a mother, which means female comics with children have to negotiate career breaks and long absences from home in a way that male comics can generally avoid. TV panel shows are boys’ clubs – there have been some moves to improve the balance, but the default is still to book a single woman at best and then let the men talk over her – which means women comedians struggle to get the kind of recognition that shifts tickets.

Read more No-platforming Smurthwaite: unspeakable females by @sarahditum

Philomel must lose her tongue to-day: Memory, Memorial, and the Emptiness of Women’s Speech by @LucyAllenFWR

Cross-posted from: Reading Medieval Books
Originally published: 31.05.15

A few weeks ago, I read a beautiful piece by Sarah Ditum. She explores the ways in which women’s work – partly because it is inherently open-ended, needed to be done over and over – is dismissed, ignored, excluded from historical memorial. Drawing on a parallel history of women’s art, lacemaking and broderie anglaise, which create objects literally ‘spun around nothing’, she sets up a shockingly poignant contrast between the image of frivolous vanity and the reality of relentless, thankless labour. Ditum’s post was written in response to the news that the 2005 memorial to the women of World War II had been defaced, and so she explains how she found herself having to explain to her son why women weren’t originally included on the main memorial itself: 
Read more Philomel must lose her tongue to-day: Memory, Memorial, and the Emptiness of Women’s Speech by @LucyAllenFWR