Month: June 2011

The Gender of Children’s Literature

Children’s literature suffers from a double level of gender inequality: structurally – in the publishing and writing of children’s books – and internally, at a narrative level. And paradoxically enough, they seem to pull the medium in opposite directions, the former being female-centred, the latter beneficial to males. Continue reading

We are all ‘real women’

The media likes to tell us that there is such a thing as ‘real women’. In truth all of these people are real women:

• Tall women, short women and average height women.
• Larger women, average sized women and very slim women.
• Disabled women and able-bodied women.
• Black women, Asian women, Caucasian women, mixed race women, Latin-American women and any other race in the whole world that has a female population.
• Gay women, bisexual women, self-identifying women.

The list goes on and on… Continue reading

To Diet or not to Diet?

At the beginning of last term I decided to organise an event to mark No Diet Day (6th of May) in Cambridge. I decided to do so for a wide range of reasons, some of which I’d like to share now with those who couldn’t make it but who are nevertheless intrigued (N.b. today, when I’m typing this article is Anti-Child Labour day, another day which I think should be publicly marked in Cambridge. Oh well.). Anyway, please check it for yourself or believe me that when you Google the word “diet”, one of the first pages that come up will include a “diet personality quiz”. No kidding. My question is then: can diets, like the kind of clothes we wear, the books we read or the way we spend our free time characterise us? So it would seem, at least according to this wonderful digital gem, which suggests that diet can become not only a habit but also part of our personality. Hah. Who would have thought so? Continue reading

Why the vampire craze is bad news for feminism

That is the question that has plagued the mind of most teenage boys and young men, baffled parents and young women disturbed by their own sexual desires.

We all know about the vampire craze. The other day I was in a book shop that had a vampire section; no joke! Vampires are everywhere, I’m sure I don’t need to list the obvious culprits like True Blood, Vampire Diaries, Being Human and the most obvious culprit Twilight. Continue reading

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