wu_button2So after yesterday’s post it seems a bit surprising to be writing about another challenge, but this one looks too good to resist. Women Unbound runs from 1 November 2009 until 30 November 2010 and involves reading both fiction and non-fiction from the field of women’s studies.

I’m aiming for Bluestocking (at least five books including at least two non-fiction) but hoping to hit Suffragette (at least eight books including at least three non-fiction) and I’m almost certainly going to be reading only non-fiction, partly because I don’t read enough of it anyway, but mostly because I’m not sure what actually constitutes a feminist novel.

My proposed booklist is (in no particular order):

So there we have it. Not surprisingly from me, lots of sixteenth century related biographies buried in there, bit of literary stuff as well, tiny wee bit of politics, in fact a pretty reasonable spread which even I with my poor record should be able to get through in a year. Not holding my breath though.

And there is a start-up meme:

1. What does feminism mean to you? Does it have to do with the work sphere? The social sphere? How you dress? How you act?  Crumbs, where to start? Well, I was born at the beginning of 1962 so by the time I was a teenager there had been huge changes in the expectations I (and my parents) had for my future compared to what my mother (who was born in 1941)  could expect. I think feminism has to relate to all of the above and totally and utterly revolves around choice. There are no right answers for women (as there aren’t for men, to be fair). You have to do what’s best for you and your own personal situation, and should be allowed to do so without criticism.  If only.

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?  I definitely do consider myself a feminist and have done so for over thirty years (and lord just typing that makes me feel pretty ancient). I blame Virginia Woolf and A Room of One’s Own which I read just after I started university at the end of the 1970s. But it’s important to me that being a feminist doesn’t mean you can’t do the fashion thing ( as one look at my shoe and handbag collection will testify) and a sense of humour is an absolute necessity.

3. What do you consider the biggest obstacle women face in the world today?  Has that obstacle changed over time, or does it basically remain the same? I think this very much depends on what part of the world you are living in. In my bit of western Europe it’s about choice and things like body image and the expectations we put on young women in particular as a society. Elsewhere it’s the fundamentals of access to the democratic process, access to education; really basic stuff which some of us take for granted.