Letter: British feminists: over here and underhyped

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Sir: Why is it that American feminists are 'overheated, overhyped and over here' (13 January)? One reason is clear, the British media will not debate in any serious fashion the issues British feminists write about. How often does a book from one of the women's presses get a mention, let alone a review, on the pages of broadsheet newspapers? Rarely, almost never. The uninformed might suppose that there was no feminist debate in this country if they relied solely on the media for information.

Possibly the chaps who run newspapers feel safe promoting American feminists, in the knowledge that they will soon return from whence they came. No chance of them demanding a permanent platform where, God forbid, they might wish to change things.

British feminism is alive and flourishing as the huge sales in women's books attest - it is the newspapers that are out of step. The glitzy media hype of these three women is a cynical marketing exercise which trivialises their writing and is a diversion from the real issues their books discuss.

The issues of white, affluent America are not particularly relevant to British women. Poverty, racism and violence are more pressing concerns, while discussions on fertility, religion, politics, education and the arts would all benefit from a breath of fresh air from feminist thinkers.

The media has long been hopeful that feminism is finished. Ordinary women and men know otherwise. The quiet social revolution that is real feminism continues unabated.

Yours sincerely,

ELISABETH BROOKE

London, W1

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