Posts Tagged ‘women’s studies’

I’m giving away a bunch of books and I want YOU to have them

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

UPDATE: guys, these books here in the photo? These aren’t the books I’m giving away — this is just a pic off Flickr! Scroll down for the full list in the blog text!

Things I'm Reading Thursday...

So guys, I’m likely moving house soon (VERY EXCITING), and between us, Lovely Boyfriend and I own at least a metric ton of books (really. I think this might be quite an accurate figure). Once I own a book, I am generally extremely loath to part with it again (hence the metric ton thing), but the prospect of carrying all the books we currently own down five flights of stairs and all the way across town has forced me to seriously consider the creaking, slightly-bowed problems that are my various bookshelves.

The list below is only a tiny fraction of my book collection, but it’s also only phase one: when my PhD thesis is finally finished, I’ll likely have a load more academic tomes and textbooks to offload. However, what little there is here I am throwing open to you lot before just sending it all to the charity shop. Would you like a free book? A bunch of free books? If you can come and collect them from Tollcross, they’re yours. Have a browse:


GONE, SORRY!The Invisible Mender by Sarah McGuire (Cape)
GONE, SORRY!Looking Through Letterboxes by Caroline Bird (Carcanet)
Trouble Came To The Turnip by Caroline Bird (Carcanet)
Orphaned Latitudes by Gerard Rudolf (Red Squirrel Press)
GONE, SORRY!Cascade Experiment by Alice Fulton (Norton)
GONE, SORRY!Sensual Math by Alice Fulton (Norton)
On Purpose by Nick Laird (Faber)
Not In These Shoes by Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch (Picador)
The Janus Hour by Anne Stewart (Oversteps Books)
GONE, SORRY!Lyric/Anti-Lyric: Essays on Contemporary Poetry by Douglas Barbour
The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America by David Whyte


The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (Oxford World’s Classics)
Wieland: Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist by Charles Brockden Brown (Oxford World’s Classics)
GONE, SORRY!Wetlands by Charlotte Roche (hardback)
GONE, SORRY!Ten Women Who Shook The World by Sylvia Brownrigg
The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos


GONE, SORRY!Wallflower at the Orgy by Nora Ephron
GONE, SORRY!Complete Prose by Woody Allen
GONE, SORRY!Mothers by Daughters edited by Joanna Goldsworthy (Virago)
The Bastard on the Couch edited by Daniel Jones

Women’s Studies/Feminism and Literary Criticism

Dropped Threads: What We Aren’t Told edited by Carol Shields and Marjory Anderson (2001)
GONE, SORRY!Flux: women on sex, work, love, kids and life in a half-changed world edited by Peggy Orenstein (2000)
Men Writing The Feminine: Literature, Theory and the Question of Genders edited by Thais E Morgan (1994)
GONE, SORRY!Is The Future Female?: Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism Lynne Segal (1987)
GONE, SORRY!The Female Gaze: Women as Viewers of Popular Culture edited by Lorraine Gamman and Margaret Marshment (1988)*
The Fragile Male by Ben Greenstein**
Critical Approaches to Literature by David Daiches (hardback) (1956)


The Best of Cosmopolitan: The 70s and 80s (I know, wtf? I can’t remember when I bought it or why the hell.)
A Handbook of Games and Simulation Exercises edited by GI Gibbs (inexplicably, given to me by my parents, who’ve had it in their book collection — which makes mine look PUNY — since 1974, when it was published. Fascinating if you’re interested in the education system of 1960 & 70s Britain, I’m sure.)

I also have a bunch of 12″ spoken word LPs if you’re interested — mostly ‘great poets’ (Hardy, Pound, Robert Graves) and a few random kitsch things I bought on whims in thrift shops (an LP of the juicier scenes from Dracula, for example, and an LP of a totally trippy reading of Alice in Wonderland). Totally let me know if you’re into weird-literature-on-vinyl!

*Just to show what a small world Edinburgh is: I just noticed that this book has “Hannah McGill, Christmas 1994″ biro-d into the front flyleaf. It became mine via an Edinburgh charity shop.
**OK, this is a book by a Men’s Rights Activist, which I bought because I, stupidly, wanted to hate-read it. Thankfully, I never got round to it, but it looks HEINOUS.

Finally, NB: I haven’t actually read some of these books, so if you ask for a review first, I only might be able to provide one.

Drop a comment in the comments box or email claire[at] to let me know if you’d like any of these!

You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at] I reply as swiftly as I can!

Things I Love Thursday #59

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

child nightmare

A bit of a heavy post this week, perhaps. But what I’m loving right now is activism.

If you’ve been paying attention to the links in my Procrastination Station posts, you might have got the general gist that I’m a bit of a feminist. You’ll certainly have got that gist if you follow my Twitter. If you’ve been my Facebook friend for a while, you might also have seen one or two angry feminist rants up there, too. Maybe — if you’re a real die-hard fan of mine — you’ve even spotted out my little-used feminist/political blog, Girl Poems. And yes, it’s true — I am a feminist, and more than just a little bit.

It’s happened quickly. Had you asked me two years ago, I’d have said HELL YES I AM A FEMINIST, but I wouldn’t really have been able to tell you all that much about why. At that point, I hadn’t really woken up to the massive discrimination that still comes with identifying as female. Then I had my “click” moment: I watched Jean Kilbourne’s “Killing Us Softly 3.”

As the women on my training weekend this past weekend (which I’ll talk about in a moment) pointed out, when you get your “click” moment, it’s like coming out of the Matrix. You start seeing misogyny and discrimination everywhere. You start realising that things you say and do — things you’ve always said and done — are really not cool. You see that you have friends — really good friends — who are part of the problem. You get really, really, really angry. And other people get really, really, really angry with you.

Over the past two years, since watching Jean Kilbourne, I’ve kind of done a DIY women’s studies degree in my spare bedroom. As well as teaching and reading for my PhD, I’ve also amalgamated a pretty huge collection of academic feminism textbooks, pop feminist polemics, women’s anthologies and women’s studies tomes, and read them hungrily. I follow more feminist/political blogs than I do poetry and writing ones. I’m no longer lazy about this stuff — as well as identifying as feminist I am also trying really hard to be a good trans ally, to rid my students’ (and, sometimes, my colleagues’) vocabulary of homophobic language like “that’s so gay”, and I’m also trying extremely hard to stop being ableist (I’ve only recently realised how gross my use of the word “lame” to mean “rubbish” really is). In terms of the kind of feminist I am? I want intersectionality so badly. I try as hard as I can to check my white, cis, able-bodied privilege, though I’ll admit, sometimes fail. And I am way, way pro-sex (ask me some time about my plan to kick the shit out of the sex industry’s status quo. Seriously).

Twitter has become my safe space. I post anything I like there, and I’m generous with my use of the ‘block’ button. I’ve also built up a sweet network of feminist Twit-buddies of all genders, which is really nice. But I’ve still felt bad about not doing enough. Not talking about this stuff enough. Not trying hard enough to exercise change. Not explaining myself properly. Not really making a difference.

So this past weekend, I went along to Scottish Women’s Aid’s all-weekend “Stop” training. The “Stop” campaign, or Together We Can Stop It, is about recognising that domestic abuse affects everyone, but that — as one of my training-mates put it — we can all affect it right back. It is designed to spread the message that domestic abuse is disturbingly prevalent, and that it’s so not OK, as well as aiming to provide everyone everywhere with workable ways to tackle the problem. The training weekend took me and seven other smart, angry young feminists and taught us how to become Community Champions: we’re now qualified to go out into the local community and help SWA and the “Stop” campaign to spread the message.

The training was a truly amazing, eye-opening and inspiring experience for me. Because I’ve taught myself all this women’s studies stuff, I’ve never been in a space before where everyone just ‘got’ it. There was no mansplaining, no ‘explain yourself to me!’, no ‘what about the men?!’, no arguments about how you can’t be feminist if you’re white and Western, or if you like sex, or if you’re straight, or if you’re a trans woman, or blah blah blah blah. There was no ’stop being hysterical!’, or ‘nobody really cares about this!’, or ‘it’s just a joke, lighten up!’ No one in the room said anything was ’so gay’ or referred to another person as ‘a total retard’ or suggested that ‘girls who dress slutty ask for it.’ There were no rape jokes; no one wanted to whine that Julian Assange or Roman Polanski are awesome, stand-up guys and so great at what they do and therefore everyone should forget about the fact that they raped women and hey who says they even did it I mean these stupid women make shit up all the time. I’m wary of using this word because I know it makes some people queasy (feminists included), but it felt like sisterhood.

There were a lot of opposing views in the room. We talked about tons of issues around and outside domestic abuse including intersectionality, classism and general feminist stuff. We had heated discussions. We disagreed about things. But we all got it, we were all working towards a common goal: to make women’s lives, which are so often hard and frightening and downright depressing, better. In two days I learned so much about women, about feminism, about society, about activism and about myself. It was utterly fantastic.

Now, come to my comment thread and ask ‘what about the men?!’ I dare you.

Honourable mentions: Bare Hands Poetry. Thanks a million for taking one of my poems, loves! // Working on editing together Creatrix. So many great submissions, so many difficult decisions. Watch this space for a post about it. // Being in a play! OMG! Come and see me at the Traverse, in “Dear Glasgow.” // The second printing of my book has landed — let me know if you want to buy one! // Real Foods. Greatest grocery store ever // The lovely Lovely Boyfriend. Better than all the other boyfriends combined.

What are you loving this week?


You can also visit Read This Press for more poetry (and typewriter paraphernalia!). Alternatively, check out Edinburgh Vintage, our sister site. If you want to get in touch you can follow OneNightStanzas on Twitter, or email claire[at] I reply as swiftly as I can!

(Photo credit)


Procrastination Station #103

Friday, April 6th, 2012


Links I’ve read and liked.

Jonathan Franzen, who is already a millionaire, can make more money for saying Edith Wharton was ugly than I will make working fifty hours a week for the next six months. I am trying to make sense of all of that at once and you know what, it doesn’t fucking work. Every writer I care about, every writer I know, is better and more important and more ambitious than Jonathan Franzen.

If you read nothing else this week, read The Rejectionist on Jonathan Franzen, anger, and why Lionel Shriver should shut the hell up already.

A tiny poem by Mr Harry Giles over at a handful of stones.

“The shots girl walked around in a dress that contorted like a short question.” A great story up at ThoughtCatalog.

“Try not to sound like such a special snowflake, it’s very offputting!”
Constructive creative writing criticism: U R DOIN IT WRONG.

I really liked Michael D Conley’s poem up at Words Dance this week.

ONS favourite Stephen Nelson (who I recently mistook for a chocolate badger — it’s true!) has a new blog devoted to tiny, three-word poems. It’s awesome.

The City Lights Bookstore blog did some fab stuff to celebrate Women’s History Month (March). Just a selection of their posts included introductions to the work of Diane Di Prima, Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde.

I love Caustic Cover Critic, and in particular their “outing” of lazy publishers who use the same old, same old stock images. Check out bendy neck girl, lady in the rain and, weirdest, naked woman in the road.

Leonardo shows up at fancy dinner even though he is a stinky poor and Kate Winslet’s mom hates him: “My mother looked at him like an insect—a dangerous insect that must be squished quickly.” After dinner, Leonardo says, “Time for me to go row with the other slaves!” Again with the slave thing. YOU GUYS ARE HELLA NOT SLAVES. PLEASE READ A BOOK.

Funniest review of Titanic ever at Jezebel.

The story of a woman who had to have four babies before she could accept feminism. This is fascinating, honest and lovely.

One of the best posts I’ve read so far on the whole Samantha Brick débacle.

You might see a scone at a trendy, locally-owned coffee shop and wonder about whether or not the sugar in the scone was harvested primarily by men or women. And that if it was harvested by women, whether or not that should be considered a triumph for gender equality because women should be breadwinners, too, damnit, or that it’s evidence that women are always being exploited? Or if by questioning the importance of the identity of the farmer, you’re just reenforcing society’s obsession with the gender binary.

Also from ThoughtCatalog: five reasons why you shouldn’t major in Women’s Studies. Oh, and five reasons why you should.

A pretty cool Robert Frost tattoo.

Obligatory happy Friday KITTEN GIF!

…oh alright, go on then. Have another.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything in the poem, but I could listen to her voice for hours.

I know I’ve posted this before, but again — it never gets old. THE SNARK. Love it.

Any fellow hoopers out there? I am just-starting-out and utterly crap, but this makes me feel better.

And speaking of which: best song to hoop to ever? Probably.

Have a great weekend!


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