Thursday, May 02, 2013

Fifty Shades of Feminism

I was delighted to win a copy of Fifty Shades of Feminism from Virago in a Twitter competition. It's an intriguing collection of essays about feminism from more than 50 women including lawyers, activists, writers, actors and community workers.

Some of the essays are very personal, some are more formal, though there's only one poem in the book and only Jeanette Winterson offers an essay written in an experimental format. The essays cover topics from pornography to the sexist assumptions behind the construction of five written characters in Mandarin Chinese. Some of the essays make direct reference to 50 Shades of Grey, which was after all the book that prompted the writing of this anthology, most of them are however a more general reaction to that genre of writing or are in fact purely statements of where the authors stand on feminism.

It's a thought provoking anthology, though perhaps with some omissions. As the New Statesman review says, there isn't an essay from a transgendered woman. I would also have been interested to read an essay from a femme lesbian about feminist perspectives on femininity. (If that's something you're interested in, I can definitely recommend Femmes of Power, which I reviewed here).

So for a quick overview of where feminism currently stands, this is a good place to start. 

Fifty Shades of Feminism edited by Lisa Appignanesi published by Virago Press.

As ever, coloured text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.

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