Good Morning Feminartsy Community,
This week marks the end of Women’s History Month in the US. What better way to celebrate than with a plethora of books by women to read? After all, March also marks the month of the Wellcome Book Prize shortlist and the Stella Prize shortlist. And this March in particular marks the first time a non-binary transgender author – Akwaeke Emezi for Freshwater – has been nominated for the Women’s Prize in the UK.
And while ‘firsts’ reveal as much about the continued restrictions of a society as they do about “how far we’ve come”, this week has seen a number of impressive firsts for gender diversity and equality. Pauline Ngarmpring is the first transgender candidate to run for parliament in Thailand. And Broadly has released its Gender Spectrum Collection stock photo gallery, opening the possibility of a greater – and more nuanced – representation of non-binary and diverse genders in the media. Perhaps knowledge that gender and sex are non-binary will eventually become commonplace.
Yet the restrictions of patriarchy pull ever tighter. The pay gap persists, human rights abuses against women, and ethnic and sexual minorities remain commonplace across the world (including in Australia), workplaces, cities, and other public spaces remain uncomfortable for bodies that bleed, literally nothing is made for the comfort of vulvas, and non-cis-het men remain responsible for their own safety while travelling.
It’s enough to make you want to scream.
But there are still things to make you smile. Like teenage girls playing with fashion and identity. Or women sharing stories, memories, and culture through food – a surprisingly common theme. Or weekend long reads like the women of advertising, Tibetan warriors, poetry listening, or overcoming gender bias in agriculture – something Jane Alver also wrote about for BroadAgenda.
To get you out of the house, there’s amazing shows from Tracey Moffatt and Katie West on at TarraWarra Museum of Art. And the writing opportunities abound with Overland’s call for writers in residence, the KYD mentorship programme, and the extended closing date for the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize.
Happy Weekend and Happy Reading!