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A Very BadRep Christmas: Sarah J

2011 December 21

I’ve been asking the team what, if they had to build a sort of Feminist Christmas Grotto, would be under the Christmas tree, in the stocking, or just piled up in a flurry of glitter. Here’s our Sarah J’s stocking!

Photo showing a blue tartan christmas stocking with a red velvet star sewn on, filled with finger puppets of famous women and books. Photo by Sarah J.

She sez:

  • “‘Twas a few days before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except some fabulous feminist finger puppets. What are they up to now, the little scallywags? (Left to right: Good Queen Bess, Sojourner Truth, Virginia Woolf and Frida Kahlo) I got them as a gift, but they’re available from The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild!
  • On the floor beside my stocking (which was made for me by one of my mum’s friends I believe, when I was a tiny one) is the second volume of Linda Medley‘s Castle Waiting, a graphic novel series I urgently commend to any feminist fairytale enthusiasts. It’s explicitly feminist, gentle and genuinely original, with some affectionate jokes at the expense of the fantasy genre, and cracking female characters. Don’t come expecting Angela Carter style sex ‘n’ death fairytale reclamation though. While there is danger lurking, the eponymous castle is a safe haven for the misfit characters.
  • In the stocking itself is another extremely well-judged gift, a copy of Love of Worker Bees by Alexandra Kollontai, published in Russia in 1923. One of the Party faithful, Kollontai explores the tensions between her protagonist’s dedication to the cause of Socialism and her need for personal autonomy, love and sexual fulfilment. One of the most interesting (and moving) aspects of it is her struggle to reconcile the vision of freedom she passionately believes in with the realities of being a woman after the October Revolution. You’ll be unsurprised to hear that some are more equal than others.
  • Next is my trusty copy of Misogynies by Joan Smith, a collection of superb essays on cultural texts which expose the thread of misogyny which runs through the fabric of western culture. A kind of response to Roland Barthes’ famed Mythologies, Smith’s book still has the power to shock, and serves as an excellent eye-opener for those who think it probably isn’t that bad really. The texts in question may be getting on a bit, but sadly things haven’t changed all that much.”

Not long now ’til Christmas! Feel free to share what would be in your own feminist Christmas stocking, and have a very BadRep Christmas…

5 Responses leave one →
  1. December 21, 2011

    I love the finger puppets!!

    • Sarah J permalink*
      December 21, 2011

      They’re so good, aren’t they? Plus they have magnets in their heads so you can stick them on your radiator or your fridge. I have Joan of Arc and Hannah Arendt as well :-)

      • Stephen B permalink
        December 22, 2011

        I absolutely must own a pair of “Freudian Slippers” and the “Here’s looking at Euclid” t-shirt.

  2. Becky Shepherd permalink
    December 21, 2011

    Alexandra Kollontai is superb. ‘A Great Love’ is another beautiful read.

    • Sarah Jackson permalink*
      December 21, 2011

      Ooh I’ll check it out, thanks!

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