Good Morning Feminartsy Community,
Last Sunday was Mother’s Day, and whatever your feelings about the day, mothers, or motherhood, that second Sunday in May is a good annual reminder that we do not speak enough about the experiences of those who give birth. For many, birth is a traumatic experience. And depending on your race or class, it can be a death sentence. And while motherhood is a well-worn horror trope, we don’t speak enough about the experiences of children of less-than-ideal mothers. Which is not to jump on the mother-bashing bandwagon, but to suggest that sharing all aspects of motherhood can only make life better. Whatever your experience of/with/as a mother, it’s unlikely you’re alone.
From one end of the experience to the other, Candice Pires argues in the Guardian that it’s never been a better time to parent girls. Girls are certainly having a pop culture moment. From sport and other physical activity. To film and television. To renewed standards of speech and behaviour. Girls are being taken more seriously.
But that doesn’t mean we’re any closer to a utopian vision of gender equality (or gender fluidity). In the lead up to the election this weekend, both of the major political parties have demonstrated how far they have to go in tackling questions of equality. And the experience of women whose bodies do not adhere to rigid – and largely unattainable – standards of feminine perfection are still considered fair game. And being a woman in public can still be lethal.
But gender news isn’t all bad this week. Those who have ever cringed or rolled their eyes at the depiction of lesbian sex on film can take comfort in the news that intimacy consultants are becoming more and more common. And a fun reminder this week that behind every great man…
For your weekend entertainment, we have long-form journalism podcasts, the collected works of women in spycraft, a profile on the late writer, activist, and artist Kathy Acker, and an essay on the spectre of motherhood in Doris Lessing’s work.
Happy Weekend and Happy Reading,