The Blagger's Guide To...Feminist Writing

'The angry housewife in me was not alone'

*Granta's 115th edition, The F Word, is published on Thursday, with work from some of Britain's leading writers.

In "Aftermath", Rachel Cusk writes about her divorce, with some startling imagery inspired by her husband's question: "Call yourself a feminist?" In A S Byatt's "No Grls Alod. Insept Mom", she writes about the times in her life when she was "stopped suddenly short by blank, unexpected and obvious reminders of the disadvantages of my sex". Jeanette Winterson uses Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas's affair to "hold a mirror to contemporary romance". A series of events about the F–word begins tomorrow; details are available here: www.granta.com/Events/UK

*According to experts at the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "feminist" preceded the word "feminism". Its first use in a British publication was in 1887 in the Bury & Norwich Post: "The question over which the fight arose was the admission of male delegates, and after a very close vote the Liberalists beat the Feminists." The Athenæum, in 1895, wrote: "Her intellectual evolution and her coquettings with the doctrines of 'feminism' are traced with real humour."

*The concept of "women's rights", however, can be traced back to 1632 – although such rights were not always regarded as something to be encouraged. Many of these ideas became common currency for the first time after the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792. Though Wollstonecraft did not go as far as to argue that women and men were actually equal; merely equal in the eyes of God.

*Sweden, New Jersey, Corsica, the Isle of Man, and Pitcairn Island all allowed some form of women's suffrage before it was allowed in Britain in 1918.

*Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch appeared in 1970, changing the rules of feminist writing at a stroke. According to the book: "The stereotype is the Eternal Feminine. She is the Sexual Object sought by all men, and by all women. She is of neither sex, for she herself has no sex at all. Her value is solely attested by the demand she excites in others. All she must contribute is her existence. She need achieve nothing, for she is the reward of achievement." Greer's most recent articles for this newspaper were on Fabio Capello, Madonna, Heather Mills, and rape.

*Published later this month by Peter Owen Ltd (£14.99), Erin Pizzey's memoir, This Way to the Revolution, recalls how Pizzey became involved in the Women's Liberation Movement of the 1960s, and opened one of the first women's refuges, in Chiswick in 1971. It also describes how she invented the phrase "Margaret Thatcher, milk snatcher", and how she wrote to Thatcher when she became Prime Minister in 1979, receiving a reply saying that Thatcher was "not interested in women's issues". Pizzey was inspired by other feminists at the time, she writes. "I read [Germaine Greer's] 1970 book The Female Eunuch from cover to cover. I also read Betty Friedan's work The Feminine Mystique and was comforted to find that the angry, isolated housewife rampaging in my head was not alone."

*Feminist writing is not dead. Recent feminist publications include Laurie Penny's Meat Market: Female Flesh Under Capitalism; Ellie Levenson's The Noughtie Girl's Guide to Feminism; Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune's Reclaiming the F-Word; Natasha Walter's Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism; and Cordelia Fine's Delusions of Gender.

Arts and Entertainment
Legendary charm: Clive Owen and Keira Knightley in 2004’s ‘King Arthur’
FilmGuy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle the legend
Arts and Entertainment
Corporate affair: The sitcom has become a satire of corporate culture in general

TV review

Broadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: There are some impressive performances by Claire Skinner and Lorraine Ashbourne in Inside No. 9, Nana's Party spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Glastonbury's pyramid stage

Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair

Arts and Entertainment
Ewan McGregor looks set to play Lumiere in the Beauty and the Beast live action remake

Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere

Arts and Entertainment
Charlie feels the lack of food on The Island with Bear Grylls

TV

The Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Arts and Entertainment
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch, in a scene from Avengers: Age Of Ultron
filmReview: A great cast with truly spectacular special effects - but is Ultron a worthy adversaries for our superheroes? spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Ince performing in 2006
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Beth (played by Jo Joyner) in BBC1's Ordinary Lies
tvReview: There’s bound to be a second series, but it needs to be braver spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the presenters of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off 2015

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Harold Ramis' original Groundhog Day film, released in 1993

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Eccleston (centre) plays an ex-policeman in this cliché-riddled thriller

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey looks very serious as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

TV This TV review contains spoilers
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Wiz Khalifa performs on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park in Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury

music

Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars creator George Lucas

film

Arts and Entertainment

music

Arts and Entertainment
A shot from the forthcoming Fast and Furious 7

film

Arts and Entertainment
The new-look Top of the Pops could see Fearne Cotton returns as a host alongside Dermot O'Leary

TV

Arts and Entertainment
The leader of the Church of Scientology David Miscavige

TV

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence