Saturday, August 12, 2006

I'm Quite Impressed

With THIS. I am a bit of an SVU fan; I adore Mariska Hargitay's character Olivia Benson. My daughter and I have loved the show since it started, probably because Olivia is so powerful, (and powerful women are so unusual in TV these days) and she gets to kick ass! As feminist role models for young women go, she's not too shabby.

I was even more impressed when I looked at her website and found the link to Joyful Heart Organisation. It's probably not for everyone; it doesn't come across as radical, but it feels SAFE.

I like it. I like the intention behind it. It's working for me at this moment and I intend to hang around there for a while.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I've Been Tagged!

Woohoo!! Spotted Elephant picked me. I NEVER get picked for anything, so thanks!

On the other hand, this is really HARD.

1. One book that changed your life?

I credit Alice Walker's The Color Purple with my finding feminism. At 16 years old I was at home with a new baby and no idea of where my life was going to go. I was really scared and not very well. I had PPD and didn't know it. Reading The Color Purple showed me new possibilities. It showed me how to be strong in the face of oppression and violence. I looked for other feminist books because I wanted more of the same thing. That book started me on a journey to where I am today and I am grateful for that. I met Alice Walker many years later, when she came to Manchester on a book tour. I queued to see her and when I got to the head of the line I felt faint and dizzy. I mumbled "Thankyou" and she smiled and said "yes". She took my breath away.

2. One book you have read more than once?

Well that has to be Anne of Green Gables. I read it and read it and read it. It is a cure for EVERY ill and misery that I have. Since I was old enough to read it I have longed to go to PEI. I made it in 1999 and again in 2001. Just to see where L M Montgomery lived was amazing. I even brave flying to get there! I have moved on to Montgomery's journals now and they fill me with love and sadness. She too had serious depression and anxiety, and I somehow knew this about her all along.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard. I don't think its in print anymore. Its an account of Scott's doomed Terra Nova expedition as told by one of the team members. It is a dreadful, sad story and it would make me feel a bit better while I waited to be rescued. No island could be THAT bad!

4. One book that made you laugh?

Strange Heaven by Lynn Coady. I hooted at several points when I read this and it remains on of my favourites when I need a pick-me-up. Here's a bit:

"What Stinks?"
"Nothing Stinks Mumma." Albert, gentle.
"Is that Bridey C?"
"Then she's what stinks."
Mumma, is that nice?"
Margaret P would look on in honest wonder. "I'm not saying it to be nice, Albert. Can't you smell it? Something needs to be done."


5. One book that made you cry?

Gaining Ground by Joan Barfoot. The story of a woman who leaves her husband and children after realising that they are just not what she really wanted. Living with them is killing her and she uproots herself and goes away to a small cottage in the country. She learns to do without and becomes self-sufficient and content until one day her daughter comes looking for her, needing answers. It is just wonderful and I sob every time I read it. Don't let that put you off! read it and be inspired!

6. One book you wish had been written?

A Directory of Feminist and Women Friendly Businesses. I want a plumber that won't disparage me and a bank that lends money exclusively to women who need to start their own businesses and a doctor who doesn't judge and a mechanic with a vagina and a chocolate shop with free sweets for fat radical feminists. So there.

7. One book you wish had never been written?

Bridget sodding Jones' Diary. What a heap of shit. And all my non-feminist acquaintances and relatives think I'll LOVE IT!! "Because you like women's lib stuff right? Well this is great!" No. It isn't.

8. One book you are currently reading?

Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros. Short story collection by one of my favourite writers. One of the stories is called "My Lucy Friend Who Smells Like Corn" How could anyone resist that? Get all of her books and read them. Yum.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

Those Bones Are Not My Child by Toni Cade Bambara. This is a sad little tale but I'll share it. I bought this book two years ago to read when I was on holiday. The day after I arrived, my 18 year old nephew hanged himself, so I came home. I still can't bring myself to touch the book. I will one day. I hope.

10. Now tag five people!!

I tag:

Yawning Lion at Feh-Muh-Nist
Ms Jared at Sinister Girl (and Ms Jared's Mum!)
Pippi at Villa Villekulla
Alyx at Mad Sheila Musings