While I outlined my desire to read and learn more about the feminist movement of past and present in my post about the book We Were Feminists Once, I do also want to make sure my reading material is wide and varied, as you can’t truly learn about a thing (especially something as socially-charged as feminism) from one view-point only. So I picked up Free Men Free Women with the idea it would give me a wider picture of feminism, one which includes men in the discussion in greater quantities to what I am used to from other feminist writers/ideas.
Even though I have done years of fashion cult reading (particularly of the ’50s – ’70s decades), I still learnt a whole lot of new things from Pivetta’s book, even from my most favourite eras! I think the fact that she is from a European background, rather than UK or US, meant that her research incorporated a much wider scope of material…
I am always interested in reading about current and historical feminist trials and tribulations, as I feel that the underlying message and goals of feminism are wonderful and should be the status quo of the world we live in, however I can also hear the loud voices that oppose anything that looks or smells a bit feminist. Cos those voices are LOUD, and are still in great numbers. So I read and research and try to understand what went wrong, or what part of the picture I haven’t been exposed to yet, to get a better sense of the thing that I’d like to fight for.
While Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls may be a book aimed at the literal young, it is still most definitely a fantastic read for females of all ages! With beautiful artwork by talented women from all over the world, to wondrous and whimsical stories of trail-blazing girls and women from throughout history, it’s a true pleasure to flick through.
Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present by Dr Alison Matthews-David, mixes in-depth historical research and anecdotes with current-day fashion commentary. Some of it flows with the thoughtful conversation of the author, while often delving into graphic and highly-medical examples of all the illnesses and deformities that makers and wearers suffered throughout known textile history. Sometimes my stomach turned a bit, but I pushed through, because no matter how off-putting, knowledge of the terrible is as important (if not more-so) as knowledge of the pleasant.
When conducting research for my Woman Crush post about local fashion designer Barbara Penberthy, I found a quote of hers that came from an intriguing sounding book; The Vote, The Pill and The Demon Drink – A History of Feminist Writing in New Zealand 1869 – 1993. With a heightened interest in all things feminist since the Women’s March in January, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of this book, to gain greater understanding of the feminist history of my home country.