Gender Studies Books
A vehement attack on the latest pseudo-scientific claims about the differences between the sexes. Sex discrimination is supposedly a distant memory. Yet popular books, magazines and even scientific articles increasingly defend inequalities by citing immutable biological differences between the male and female brain. That's the reason, we're told, that there are so few women in science and engineering, so few men in the laundry room - different brains are just better suited to different things. Drawing on the latest research in developmental psychology, neuroscience, and social psychology, Delusions of Gender powerfully rebuts these claims, showing how old myths, dressed up in new scientific finery, are helping perpetuate the sexist status quo. Cordelia Fine, 'a cognitive neuroscientist with a sharp sense of humour and an intelligent sense of reality' (The Times) reveals the mind's remarkable plasticity, shows how profoundly culture influences the way we think about ourselves and, ultimately, exposes just how much of what we consider 'hardwired' is actually malleable. This startling, original and witty book shows the surprising extent to which boys and girls, men and women are made - and not born, empowering us to break free of the supposed predestination of our sex chromosomes.
- RRP £8.99
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Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form. This book comes with an introduction by Natalie Haynes. When this book was first published in 1949 it was to outrage and scandal. Never before had the case for female liberty been so forcefully and successfully argued. De Beauvoir's belief that 'One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman' switched on light bulbs in the heads of a generation of women and began a fight for greater equality and economic independence. These pages contain the key passages of the book that changed perceptions of women forever.
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'If Caitlin Moran's How To Be A Woman is the fun-filled manual for female survival in the 21st century, everyday sexism is its more politicised sister' (Independent on Sunday). After experiencing a series of escalating sexist incidents, Laura Bates started the everyday sexism project and has gone on to write 'a pioneering analysis of modern day misogyny' (Telegraph). After an astounding response from the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, the project quickly became one of the biggest social media success stories of the internet. From being harassed and wolf-whistled at on the street, to discrimination in the workplace and serious sexual assault, it is clear that sexism had become normalised. But Bates inspires women to lead a real change and writes this 'extremely powerful book that could, and should, win hearts and minds right across the spectrum' (Financial Times). Often shocking, sometimes amusing and always poignant, everyday sexism is a protest against inequality and a manifesto for change. It's 'a game-changing book, a must-read for every woman' (Cosmopolitan). 'Admirable and culturally transferable. "A storm is coming," writes Bates. After reading this book you'll hope so' (Independent). Welcome to the fourth wave of feminism.
- RRP £10.00
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Men are brilliant. Being a man is brilliant. Seriously, it is. Except for penile dysmorphia, circumcision, paying the bill, becoming a weekend father, critics who've been hating on us for, well, pretty much fifty years - oh, and those pesky early deaths. Fortunately, Peter Lloyd is here to tackle the controversial topics in this fearless - and frequently hilarious - bloke bible. Part blistering polemic, part politically incorrect road map for the modern man, Stand By Your Manhood answers the burning questions facing the brotherhood today: Should we fund the first date? Are we sexist if we enjoy pornography? Is penis size a political issue? And do feminists secretly hate us? Frank, funny and long overdue, this is the book men everywhere have been waiting for.
- RRP £16.99
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This is Vintage Feminism: classic feminist texts in short form with a new introduction by the author. Every day, women around the world are confronted with a dilemma - how to look. In a society embroiled in a cult of female beauty and youthfulness, pressure on women to conform physically is constant and all-pervading. In this shortened edition you will find the essence of Wolf's groundbreaking book. It is a radical, gripping and frank expose of the tyranny of the beauty myth, its oppressive function and the destructive obsession it engenders.
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Take a funny and illuminating tour of the female body with award-winning comedian Sara Pascoe. Women have so much going on, what with boobs and jealousy and menstruating and broodiness and sex and infidelity and pubes and wombs and jobs and memories and emotions and the past and the future and themselves and each other. Here's a book that deals with all of it. Sara Pascoe has joked about feminity and sexuality on stage and screen but now she has a book to talk about it all for a bit longer. Animal combines autobiography and evolutionary history to create a funny, fascinating insight into the forces that mould and affect modern women. Animal is entertaining and informative, personal and universal - silly about lots of things and serious about some. It's a laugh-out-loud investigation to help us understand and forgive our animal urges and insecurities.
- RRP £12.99
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Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In is a massive cultural phenomenon and its title has become an instant catchphrase for empowering women. The book soared to the top of bestseller lists internationally, igniting global conversations about women and ambition. Sandberg packed theatres, dominated opinion pages, appeared on every major television show and on the cover of Time magazine, and sparked ferocious debate about women and leadership. Ask most women whether they have the right to equality at work and the answer will be a resounding yes, but ask the same women whether they'd feel confident asking for a raise, a promotion, or equal pay, and some reticence creeps in. The statistics, although an improvement on previous decades, are certainly not in women's favour - of 197 heads of state, only twenty-two are women. Women hold just 20 percent of seats in parliaments globally, and in the world of big business, a meagre eighteen of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg - Facebook COO and one of Fortune magazine's Most Powerful Women in Business - draws on her own experience of working in some of the world's most successful businesses and looks at what women can do to help themselves, and make the small changes in their life that can effect change on a more universal scale.
- RRP £9.99
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It's a good time to be a woman: we have the vote and the Pill, and we haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. However, a few nagging questions do remain...Why are we supposed to get Brazilians? Should we use Botox? Do men secretly hate us? And why does everyone ask you when you're going to have a baby? Part memoir, part rant, Caitlin answers the questions that every modern woman is asking.
- RRP £8.99
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The Bronte story has been written many times but rarely as compellingly as by the Brontes themselves. In this selection of letters and autobiographical fragments we hear the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, their brother, Branwell, and their father, the Reverend Patrick Bronte. We share in their progress over the years: the exuberant childhood, absorbed in wild, imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as, one by one, Branwell, Emily and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in London literary society and, finally, found an all too brief happiness in marriage to her father's curate. Juliet Barker, author of the highly acclaimed biography The Brontes has used her unrivalled knowledge of the family to select extracts from letters and manuscripts, many of which are appearing here in print for the first time. Charlotte was a letter-writer of supreme ability, ranging from facetious notes and homely gossip to carefully composed pages of literary criticism and, most movingly of all, elegiac tributes to her beloved brother and sisters. Emily and Anne remain tantalizingly evasive. Very few of their letters are extant. Emily's are mere businesslike notes, though these have been supplemented by her more revealing diary papers; Anne's letters are equally frustrating, but only because their quality makes us regret their paucity. Branwell emerges as distinctly as Charlotte from his letters. Whether trying to impress William Wordsworth with his literary abilities, showing off to his artistic friends or finally coming to terms with a life of failed ambition, his character is laid bare on every page. The Reverend Patrick Bronte's devotion to his children and passionate advocacy of liberal causes are equally well illustrated in what can only be a small selection from his voluminous correspondence. The Bronte letters are supplemented by extracts from other contemporary sources, which allow us to see the family as their friends and acquaintances saw them. A brief narrative text guides the reader through the letters and sets them in context. By allowing the Brontes to tell their own story, Juliet Barker has not only produced an innovative form of biography but also given us the unique privilege of participating intimately in the lives of one of the most famous and best-loved families of English literature.
- RRP £25.00
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Kathleen Hey spent the war years helping her sister and brother-in-law run a grocery shop in the Yorkshire town of Dewsbury. From July 1941 to July 1946 she kept a diary for the Mass-Observation project, recording the thoughts and concerns of the people who used the shop. What makes Kathleen's account such a vivid and compelling read is the immediacy of her writing. People were pulling together on the surface ('Bert has painted the V-sign on the shop door...', she writes) but there are plenty of tensions underneath. The shortage of food and the extreme difficulty of obtaining it is a constant thread, which dominates conversation in the town, more so even than the danger of bombardment and the war itself. Sometimes events take a comic turn. A lack of onions provokes outrage among her customers, and Kathleen writes, 'I believe they think we have secret onion orgies at night and use them all up.' The Brooke Bond tea rep complains that tea need not be rationed at all if supply ships were not filled with 'useless goods' such as Corn Flakes, and there is a long-running saga about the non-arrival of Smedley's peas. Among the chorus of voices she brings us, Kathleen herself shines through as a strong and engaging woman who refuses to give in to doubts or misery and who maintains her keen sense of humour even under the most trying conditions.A vibrant addition to our records of the Second World War, the power of her diary lies in its juxtaposition of the everyday and the extraordinary, the homely and the universal, small town life and the wartime upheavals of a nation.
- RRP £7.99
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We have reached a tricky crossroads in modern women's lives and our collective daughters are bearing the brunt of some intolerable pressures. Although feminism has made great strides forward since our mothers' and grandmothers' day, many of the key issues - equality of pay, equality in the home, representation at senior level in the private, public and political sectors - remain to be tackled. Casual sexism in the media and in everyday life is still rife and our daughters face a host of new difficulties as they are bombarded by images of unrealistically skinny airbrushed supermodels, celebrity role-models who depend on their looks and partners for status, and by competitive social media. The likes of Natasha Walter and Katie Roiphe deal with feminism from an adult point of view, but our daughters need to be prepared for stresses that are coming into play now as early as pre-school. This is a manifesto for every mother who has ever had to comfort a daughter who doesn't feel 'pretty', for every young woman who out-performs her male peers professionally and wonders why she is still not taken seriously, and for anyone interested in the world we are making for the next generation.
- RRP £9.99
'I once believed that we only had to put in place the conditions for equality for the remnants of old-fashioned sexism in our culture to wither away. I am ready to admit that I was wrong.' Empowerment, liberation, choice. Once the watchwords of feminism, these terms have now been co-opted by a society that sells women an airbrushed, highly sexualised and increasingly narrow vision of femininity. Drawing on a wealth of research and personal interviews, LIVING DOLLS is a straight-talking, passionate and important book that makes us look afresh at women and girls, at sexism and femininity - today.
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Sampat Pal was married at twelve, essentially illiterate. Today she leads a vigilante group fighting for women's rights: the Pink Gang. When Sheelu was arrested for stealing from a powerful politician, she was sure that she would be forced to accept a prison sentence, not least because she alleged that she had been abused b y a man in the politician's household. But then Sampat Pal heard word of the charges, and the formidable commander of the pink-sari-wearing, pink-baton-wielding, 20,000-strong 'Pink Gang' decided to shake things up. In the story of Sampat Pal and the Pink Gang's fight for Sheelu, as well as others facing injustice and oppression, Amana Fontanella-Khan delivers a riveting portrait of women grabbing fate with their own hands - and winning back their lives.
- RRP £8.99
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Rebecca Solnit's essay 'Men Explain Things to Me' has become a touchstone of the feminist movement, inspired the term 'mansplaining', and established Solnit as one of the leading feminist thinkers of our time - one who has inspired everyone from radical activists to Beyonce Knowles. Collected here in print for the first time is the essay itself, along with the best of Solnit's feminist writings. From rape culture to mansplaining, from French sex scandals to marriage and the nuclear family, from Virginia Woolf to colonialism, these essays are a fierce and incisive exploration of the issues that a patriarchal culture will not necessarily acknowledge as 'issues' at all. With grace and energy, and in the most exquisite and inviting of prose, Rebecca Solnit proves herself a vital leading figure of the feminist movement and a radical, humane thinker.
- RRP £12.99
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From the author of the groundbreaking, international bestseller "The Female Brain" comes the eagerly awaited follow-up which demystifies the intricacies of the male brain. Did you know that the male brain: is a lean, mean problem-solving machine that uses analytical brain structures, not emotional ones, to find solutions; thrives under competition, instinctively plays rough, and is obsessed with rank and hierarchy; has an area for sexual pursuit that is 2.5 times larger than that of the female brain, consuming him with sexual fantasies about female body parts; and much, much more. As Dr Louann Brizendine's impeccably researched, irresistible guide follows the male brain through every phase of life, from infancy to adulthood, it unlocks many secrets and offers fascinating insights into a range of subjects, including emotional intimacy, anger, aggression and winning. It also provides answers to many baffling questions and exposes the often shocking gulf that exists between the sexes.
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'Pink is my favourite colour. I used to say my favourite colour was black to be cool, but it is pink - all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I'm not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.' In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of colour (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture. Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny and sincere look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
- RRP £13.99
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Is this a man's world? Bright, bold pictograms from Yang Liu revisit the roles, relationships and age-old cliches of male and female experience. Imagine a setting in which a man wearing a dress might be as habitual as a woman in trousers. Where a woman exposing herself in public wasn't sexy, but as creepy as a male flasher. Where professional status and success presented the same prospects for both sexes. In this first in a new series for TASCHEN, leading graphic designer Yang Liu tackles one of the hottest, and one of the oldest, topics of all: he and she. Drawing on the experiences, challenges and many perspectives on men and women she has encountered in her own life, Yang Liu distils the vast, swirling question of gender to bold, binary pictograms. Dealing with a whole host of situations from the bedroom to the boardroom, Yang Liu's designs are as simple and accessible in their presentation as they are infinite in the associations, evocations and responses they elicit. Combining age-old stereotypes with topical discrepancies, this fresh approach to the roles and relationships of men and women is above all an effort to synthesize a notoriously thorny issue into a fun and refreshing graphic form, and so to lighten and enlighten our mutual understanding and tolerance.
- RRP £10.00
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South Asian diasporas can be considered transcultural legacies of colonialism, while constituting transcultural forms of postcolonial reality in today's globalised world. The main focus of investigation here is South Asian women's fiction, where diverse forms of identity negotiation undertaken by the protagonists in a number of contemporary novels (from the 1990s to the early 2000s) are read as transgressions. The themes of early gendered experiences of South Asian indentured labour migration, female genealogies and transmissions of cultural heritages down female lines, as well as negotiations of patriarchal violence, are read using a framework culled from postcolonial and feminist criticism. The literary representations of South Asian diasporic female experience in these texts are forms of commentary and critique by contemporary South Asian diasporic women writers. Hence these novels can be viewed as feminist strategies of textual creativity with distinct political aims of presenting transformative narratives addressing the tensions of diaspora and patriarchy. This book is intended to contribute to the current spectrum of academic work being done in diaspora studies, in that it brings together the concepts of diaspora, transculturality, contemporary women's writing and transnational feminist critical approaches to bear on South Asian women's diasporic literature. Contrary to the celebratory notion of the concept in much theory, transculturality, as represented in these texts, is fraught with ambivalence.
- RRP £47.99
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This lavish publication celebrates the gentlemans search for the perfect sartorial detail, the ideal accessory, or beautiful gift for a loved one. Presented through the eyes of a connoisseur looking for quality and bepoke goods in Londons key stylistic historic periods, it tells the stories of the personalities, shop-keepers and mastercraftsmen who have animated the business of luxury goods for centuries. The book is arranged chronologically in six chapters, each followed by three or four profiles of British luxury marques. A reference section presents the London gentlemans social world, from the shopping arcades to classic hotels and the members clubs and antiquarians in between. This is the perfect book for the man who has everything.
- RRP £45.00
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Working between the 1960s and early 1990s, the artists profiled in this compendium represent a broad cross section of L.A.'s art scene. With nearly 400 illustrations and ten essays, this volume presents histories of artistic experimentation and reveals networks of collaboration and exchange that resulted in some of the most intriguing art of late 20th-century America. From "mail art" to the rise of Chicano, gay, and feminist print media; the formation of alternative spaces to punk music and performance; fashion culture to the AIDS crisis-the artists and works featured here comprise a boundary-pushing network of voices and talents.
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Sixty inspirational women, from many walks of life. All have changed the world in a variety of fields. Among them are politicians and artists, journalists and teachers, engineers and campaigners, fire fighters and film stars. Together they form an arresting gallery of portraits, each one illustrated with original photography by Brigitte Lacombe. Some have led their professions; some have broken new ground for women; some have inspired changes through relentless endeavour. All were chosen for their ambitions and achievements and all tell their stories in their own words. For girls, it can be hard to identify role models in our society. This book will help and inspire women everywhere to realize their hopes and ambitions.
- RRP £35.00
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Loulou de la Falaise was one of the most important women in the history of twentieth century fashion. Born in England into a family of aesthetes with a father who was a count and a mother, Maxine, who was a tornado of artistic flamboyance, Loulou's Bohemian spirit coupled with her unerring sense of style brought her to the attention of Yves Saint Laurent. She became his muse, and the rest is history. Working alongside him, pushing and prodding the troubled genius to the next collection, and the next, and the next, she was indispensable to him in Paris, in Tangier, in New York - in short wherever he went. In Loulou & Yves, Christopher Petkanas assembles almost every important figure in twentieth century fashion and art to tell her story: Andre Leon Talley, Hamish Bowles, Grace Coddington, Ines de la Fressange, Betty Catroux, Suzy Menkes, Ricardo Bofill, Robert Mapplethorpe, John Richardson, Yves St. Laurent, and Loulou herself. Just as George Plimpton evoked Edie Sedgewick in his brilliant oral biography Edie, Petkanas brings all of these people together for a cocktail party that swirls around one of the most brilliant women the fashion world has ever known. No one interested in fashion, style, or the high-flying gossip of the twentieth century will want to miss this endless feast called Loulou & Yves.
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Since the inception of photography as an art form nearly 200 years ago, women have played an important role in the development of the genre, often pushing boundaries and defying social convention. This comprehensive volume features sixty of the most important women photographers. Each artist is profiled in spreads featuring splendid reproductions of their key works and an in-depth overview of their careers and contributions to the art of photography. Biographical information for each subject and a contextual essay focusing on the impact of women in the history of the medium makes this an excellent illustrated reference.
- RRP £29.99
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`Your letters are a great pleasure. I lap them down with breakfast and they do me more good than tonics, blood capsules or iron jelloids' Lytton Strachey Dora Carrington was considered an outsider to Bloomsbury, but she lived right at its heart. Known only by her surname, she was the star of her year at the Slade School of Fine Art, but never achieved the fame her early career promised. For over a decade she was the companion of homosexual writer Lytton Strachey, and killed herself, stricken without him, when he died in 1932. She was also a prolific and exuberant correspondent. Carrington was not consciously a pioneer or a feminist, but in her determination to live life according to her own nature - especially in relation to her work, her passionate friendships and her fluid attitude to sex, gender and sexuality - she fought battles that remain familiar and urgent today. She was friends with the greatest minds of the day and her correspondence stars a roster of fascinating characters - Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Rosamund Lehmann, Maynard Keynes to name but a few. Carrington's Letters introduces the maverick artist and compelling personality to a new generation for the first time with fresh correspondence never before published. Unmediated, passionate, startlingly honest and very playful, reading Carrington's letters is like having her whisper in your ear and embrace you gleefully.
- RRP £30.00
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