Six women who have lived the last hundred years of British history reveal how their lives have changed since the suffragettes won the right for women (over 30 and who met certain property qualifications) to vote in 1918.
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Hailing from locations spread across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Helena, Olive, Edna, Joyce, Ann and Phyllis - The Century Girls - explain what they saw, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. They look back at times as housewives and working and describe the surroundings they grew up in.
This is a personal account of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in post-Great War Britain and what their day-to-day lives were like and how they changed throughout the following decades.
Only 111 of the 903 Blue Plaques that honour Londoners belong to women. This, despite thousands of truly remarkable women making significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life...
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From politics and social reform to arts, medicine, science, technology and sport, this book celebrates those women whose achievements have largely went unnoticed and explains how their actions, ideas and inventions helped make the world a richer place to live in.
Some of these women went about their lives and worked quietly with courage, conviction, skill and compassion, while others were fearless trailblazers who shattered the status quo of a 'man's world'.
The first collection of its kind, Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought is historically organized and transnational in scope, highlighting key ideas, transformative moments, and feminist conversations across national and cultural borders. Emphasizing feminist cross-talk, transnational collaborations and influences, and cultural differences in context, this anthology heralds a new approach to studying feminist history. Provocations includes engaging, historically significant primary sources by writers of many nationalities in numerous genres from political manifestos to theoretical and cultural analysis to poetry and fiction. These texts range from those of classical antiquity to others composed during the Arab Spring and represent Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, Western Europe, and the United States. Each section begins with an introductory essay that presents central ideas and explores connections among readings, placing them in historical, national, and intellectual contexts and concluding with questions for discussion and reflection.
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'She showed great courage and commitment in reporting from Burma and exemplified my belief that the best journalists are also the nicest' - Aung San Suu Kyi 'One of the most distinguished television journalists of her generation' - Huw Edwards 'Brilliant and indefatigable' - Jeremy Bowen 'She had something you call moral courage and it rubbed off on others' - David Aaronovitch 'She set the standard for bravery in many of the world's nastiest places' - John Fisher Burns, New York Times 'She went to dangerous places to give a voice to people who otherwise would not be heard' - Tony Hall, BBC Director General In 1973, Sue Lloyd-Roberts joined ITN as a news trainee and went on to be one of the UK's first video-journalists to report from the bleak outposts of the Soviet Union. Travelling as a tourist, she also gained access to some of the world's most impenetrable places like China, Tibet and Burma. During her 40-year-long career she witnessed the worst atrocities inflicted on women across the world. But in observing first-hand the war on the female race she also documented their incredible determination to fight back. The War on Women brings to life the inconceivable and dangerous life Sue led. It tells the story of orphan Mary Merritt who, age sixteen, instead of being released from the care of nuns was interned by them in a Magdalen Laundry and forced to work twelve hours a day six days a week, without pay, for over a decade. She gives voice to Maimouna, the woman responsible for taking over her mother's role as the village female circumciser in The Gambia and provides a platform for the 11-year-old Manemma, who was married off in Jaipur at the age of six. From the gender pay gap in Britain to forced marriage in Kashmir and from rape as a weapon of war to honour killings, Sue has examined humankind's history and takes us on a journey to analyse the state of women's lives today. Most importantly she acts as a mouthpiece for the brave ones; the ones who challenge wrongdoing; the ones who show courage no matter how afraid they are; the ones who are combatting violence across the globe; the ones who are fighting back. Sue sadly died in 2015, shortly after writing this book, today she is widely recognised as one of the most acclaimed television journalists of her generation. This book is the small tribute to the full and incredible life she lived and through it these women's voices are still being heard.
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In Out of Time, leading thinker Lynne Segal examines her life and surveys the work and lives of other writers and artists to explore the pleasures and perils of growing old. Following in the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir - who in her mid-fifties mourned 'never again!' and yet was energetically writing in her sixties and seventies - Segal mixes memoir, literature and polemic to examine the inevitable consequences of staying alive. Who is that stranger who stares back from the mirror? What happens to ambition and sexuality? As millions of baby boomers approach their sixth or seventh decade, these questions are becoming increasingly urgent. Must the old always be in conflict with the young? How can we deal with the inevitability of loss and find victory in survival? Brilliant, moving and challenging, Out of Time is an urgent and necessary corrective to the assumptions and taboos that constrain the lives of the aged.
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Why Stories Matter is a powerful critique of the stories that feminists tell about the past four decades of Western feminist theory. Clare Hemmings examines the narratives that make up feminist accounts of recent feminist history, highlights the ethical and political dilemmas raised by these narratives, and offers innovative strategies for transforming them. Drawing on her in-depth analysis of feminist journals, such as Signs, Feminist Review, and Feminist Theory, Hemmings argues that feminists portray the development of Western feminism through narratives of progress, loss, and return. Whether celebrating the move beyond unity or identity, lamenting the demise of a feminist political agenda, or proposing a return to a feminist vision from the past, by advancing these narratives feminists construct a mobile "political grammar" too easily adapted for postfeminist agendas. Hemmings insists that it is not enough for feminist theorists to lament what is most often perceived as the co-optation of feminism in global arenas. They must pay attention to the amenability of their own stories, narrative constructs, and grammatical forms to broader discursive uses of gender and feminism if history is not simply to repeat itself. Since citation practices and the mobilization of affect are central to how the narratives of progress, loss, and return persuade readers to suspend disbelief, they are also potential keys to telling the story of feminism's past, present, and future differently.
When Betty Friedan produced The Feminine Mystique in 1963, she could not have realized how the discovery and debate of her contemporaries' general malaise would shake up society. Victims of a false belief system, these women were following strict social convention by loyally conforming to the pretty image of the magazines, and found themselves forced to seek meaning in their lives only through a family and a home. Friedan's controversial book about these women - and every woman - would ultimately set Second Wave feminism in motion and begin the battle for equality. This groundbreaking and life-changing work remains just as powerful, important and true as it was forty-five years ago, and is essential reading both as a historical document and as a study of women living in a man's world.
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'"Women Who Run With The Wolves" isn't just another book. It is a gift of profound insight, wisdom and love. An oracle from one who knows.' - Alice Walker. In the classic "Women Who Run With The Wolves", Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells us about the 'wild woman', the wise and ageless presence in the female psyche that gives women their creativity, energy and power. For centuries, the 'wild woman' has been repressed by a male-orientated value system which trivialises women's emotions. Using a combination of time-honoured stories and contemporary casework, Estes reveals that the 'wild woman' in us is innately healthy, passionate and wise. Thoughtfully written and compelling in its arguments, "Women Who Run With The Wolves" gives readers a new sense of direction, a self confidence and purpose in their lives.
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Don't miss Meryl Streep as Emmeline Pankhurst in the major motion picture Suffragette. Emmeline Pankhurst was raised in a world that valued men over women. At fourteen she attended her first suffrage meeting and returned home a confirmed suffragist. Throughout her career she endured humiliation, prison, hunger strikes and the repeated frustration of her aims by men in power but she rose to become the guiding light of the Suffragette movement. This is Pankhurst's story, in her own words, of her struggle for equality.
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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.
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'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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"A Room of One's Own", based on a lecture given at Girton College Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics. Woolf's blazing polemic on female creativity, the role of the writer, and the silent fate of Shakespeare's imaginary sister remains a powerful reminder of a woman's need for financial independence and intellectual freedom.
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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.
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Cathy Earnshaw or Jane Eyre? Petrova or Posy? Scarlett or Melanie? Lace or Valley of the Dolls? On a pilgrimage to Wuthering Heights, Samantha Ellis found herself arguing with her best friend about which heroine was best: Jane Eyre or Cathy Earnshaw. She was all for wild, passionate Cathy; but her friend found Cathy silly, a snob, while courageous Jane makes her own way. And that's when Samantha realised that all her life she'd been trying to be Cathy when she should have been trying to be Jane. So she decided to look again at her heroines - the girls, women, books that had shaped her ideas of the world and how to live. Some of them stood up to the scrutiny (she will always love Lizzy Bennet); some of them most decidedly did not (turns out Katy Carr from What Katy Did isn't a carefree rebel, she's a drip). There were revelations (the real heroine of Gone with the Wind? It's Melanie), joyous reunions (Anne of Green Gables), poignant memories (Sylvia Plath) and tearful goodbyes (Lucy Honeychurch). And then there was Jilly Cooper...How To Be A Heroine is Samantha's funny, touching, inspiring exploration of the role of heroines, and our favourite books, in all our lives - and how they change over time, for better or worse, just as we do.
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Throughout the twentieth century and long before, hundreds of determined British women defied the social conventions of their day in order to seek adventure and influence on the world stage. Some became travellers and explorers; others business-owners or buyers; others still devoted their lives to worthy international causes, from anti-slavery and women's suffrage to the League of Nations and world peace. Yet until 1946, no British woman could officially represent her nation abroad. It was only after decades of campaigning and the heroic labours performed by women during the Second World War that diplomatic careers were finally opened to both sexes. Women of the World tells this story of personal and professional struggle against the dramatic backdrop of war, super-power rivalry and global transformation over the last century and a half. From London to Washington, Geneva to Tehran, and in the deserts of Arabia, the souks of Damascus and the hospitals of Sarajevo, resolute women undaunted by intransigent officials and hostile foreign governments proved their worth. Moved by a longing to escape domestic redundancy, to follow in the footsteps of fathers or brothers, to build a more peaceful world, to discover cultures other than their own or simply to serve the nation which denied them full equality, these women were extraordinary individuals fighting prejudice in high places. Drawing on letters, memoirs, personal interviews and government records, these heroines caught up in the larger endeavours of the world's greatest empire are brought vividly to life to enrich our understanding of Britain's global history in modern times.
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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.
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Jacqueline Rose's new book begins with three remarkable women: revolutionary socialist Rosa Luxemburg; German-Jewish painter Charlotte Salomon, persecuted by family tragedy and Nazism; film icon and consummate performer Marilyn Monroe. Together these women have a shared story to tell, as they blaze a trail across some of the most dramatic events of the last century - revolution, totalitarianism, the American dream. Enraged by injustice, they are each in touch with what is most painful about being human, bound together by their willingness to bring the unspeakable to light. Taking the argument into the present are today's women, courageous individuals involved in some of the cruellest realities of our times. Grappling with the reality of honour killing - notably through the stories of Shafilea Ahmed, Fadime Sahindal and Heshu Yones - Rose argues that the work of feminism is far from done. In the final three chapters, she celebrates the work of three brilliant contemporary artists - Esther Shalev-Gerz, Yael Bartana and Therese Oulton - whose work grows out of an unflinching engagement with all that is darkest in the modern world. Women in Dark Times shows us how these visionary women offer a new template for feminism. Taking their stand against the iniquities of our times, they tread a path between public and private pain, confronting us with what we need most urgently, but also often, cannot bear to see.
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During the sex wars of the 1980s, sex-positive feminism entered the adult film industry with a performer support group known as Club 90. Over the next three decades feminism found a home among an influential group of women in pornography. Pornography Feminism: As Powerful as She Wants to Be is a popular history of this unfolding saga told largely through personal interviews along with scholarly works, previous popular histories, and film reviews.
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A personal and powerful essay from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the bestselling author of 'Americanah' and 'Half of a Yellow Sun', based on her 2013 TEDx Talk of the same name. What does "feminism" mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay - adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name - by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of 'Americanah' and 'Half of a Yellow Sun'. With humour and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century - one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviours that marginalise women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences - in the U.S., in her native Nigeria - offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a best-selling novelist, here is one remarkable author's exploration of what it means to be a woman today - and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.
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A landmark in feminist literature, THE WOMEN'S ROOM is a biting social commentary of a world gone silently haywire. Written in the 1970s but with profound resonance today, this is a modern allegory that offers piercing insight into the social norms accepted blindly and revered so completely. 'Today's desperate housewives" eat your heart out! This is the original and still the best, a page-turner that makes you think. Essential reading' Kate Mosse 'They said this book would change lives - and it certainly changed mine' Jenni Murray 'Reading THE WOMEN'S ROOM was an intense and wonderful experience. It is in my DNA' Kirsty Wark 'THE WOMEN'S ROOM took the lid off a seething mass of women's frustrations, resentments and furies; it was about the need to change things from top to bottom; it was a declaration of independence' OBSERVER
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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.
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Shortlisted for The Green Carnation Prize 2014 'This is not a fairytale. This is a story about how sex and money and power police our dreams.' Clear-eyed, witty and irreverent, Laurie Penny is as ruthless in her dissection of modern feminism and class politics as she is in discussing her own experiences in journalism, activism and underground culture. This is a book about poverty and prejudice, online dating and eating disorders, riots in the streets and lies on the television. The backlash is on against sexual freedom for men and women and social justice -- and feminism needs to get braver. Penny speaks for a new feminism that takes no prisoners, a feminism that is about justice and equality, but also about freedom for all. It's about the freedom to be who we are, to love who we choose, to invent new gender roles, and to speak out fiercely against those who would deny us those rights. It is a book that gives the silenced a voice -- a voice that speaks of unspeakable things.
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Sheryl Sandberg s business advice book, "Lean In, " was heralded as a defining moment in attitudes to women in business. But for all its commercial success, it proposed a model of feminism that was individualistic and unthreatening to capital. In her powerful debut work "Lean Out, " acclaimed journalist Dawn Foster unpicks how the purportedly feminist message of Sandberg s book neatly exempts patriarchy, capitalism and business from any responsibility for changing the position of women in contemporary culture. It looks at the rise of a corporate 1% feminism, and at how feminism has been defanged and depoliticised at a time when women have borne the brunt of the financial crash and the gap between rich and poor is widening faster than ever. Surveying business, media, culture and politics, Foster asks whether this trickledown feminism offers any material gain for women collectively, or acts as mere window-dressing PR for the corporations who caused the financial crash. She concludes that leaning out of the corporate model is a more effective way of securing change than leaning in."
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'Bold, brilliant, sharp and funny...it urges women to be less judgemental of each other and of themselves. It's an idea that shouldn't be revolutionary but is.' Elizabeth Day Polly Vernon, Grazia columnist, Times feature writer (hair-flicker, Brazilian-waxer, jeans obsessive, outrageous flirt) presents a brave new perspective on feminism. Drawing on her dedicated, life-long pursuit of hotness - having dismissed many of the rules on 'good' feminism at some point in the early 90s - she'll teach you everything you ever wanted to know about being a feminist when you care about how you look. When part of your brain is constantly monologuing on fashion. When you check out your own reflection in every reflective surface. When your depilation practices are pretty much out of control. When you just really want to be fancied. Hot Feminist is based on a principle of non-judgment (because there's enough already), honesty about how often we mess this up, and empowerment through looks. Part memoir, part road map, it's a rolling, raucous rejection of all those things we're convinced we shouldn't think / wear/ feel/ say/ buy/ want - and a celebration of all the things we can. It is modern feminism, with style, without judgment
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