I thought it was time to revive my Caron’s Corkers feature to give you a flavour of the good stuff I’ve been reading:
First of all, are you irritated by people referring to themselves as they? That’s a plural isn’t it? Well, read this excellent piece from the Washington Post and learn:
There you go, folks — the history. Now without my Strunk and White sword to fall on, I’d add only that grammar evolution should be bolstered with respect. My friend Jacob is not a pronoun, but a person. And if they want me to refer to them with a gender-neutral pronoun, I will do my best. You should, too.
Laura Bates over at the Guardian writes about why we shouldn’t fear the feminism backlash because it shows that we are winning the arguments:
It might feel like a depressing week for women, but I feel as if these recent reactions against feminism are testament to its increasing momentum – male dominance lashing out because it feels threatened. Just look at Pat Robertson’s famous claim, as Iowa was poised to vote on a constitutional measure to bar sex discrimination in 1992, that feminism is “a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians”.
The similarly hyperbolic backlash of recent times makes this witch feel as if we’re winning.
Sarah Teather writes about her bill stopping revenge evictions also at the Guardian:
The vast majority of landlords look after their properties and arrange repairs when problems arise, but a small percentage of rogue landlords use section 21 to evict tenants in retaliation for them asking their landlord to bring the property up to scratch. In an overheated market, it’s not difficult to re-let the property. Unsanitary and unsafe conditions – such as exposed electrical wiring, severe damp, or serious infestations – are ignored, and those who complain about them left homeless.
The problem is worst where the housing crisis is most acute – 14% of families renting in London have been hit with revenge evictions in the last year alone. The figures for black and minority ethnic renters (10%) and families receiving housing benefit (7%) are also shocking.
More difficult to measure is the fear of revenge eviction, but a study by Shelter found that one in nine renters in London last year was in this position.
The amazing Sarah Brown gives an interview to the All that is Solid blog. She comes across every bit as funny and authentic and bright and clever as she is in real life. And I discovered things about her I didn’t know. We share a passion for Bridget Jones and S Club 7.
Do you find social media useful for activist-y things?
Yes to an extent, it’s good for mobilising, but I think direct action is more effective.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Hunger Games – it’s a kids book but very well written.
What was the last film you saw?
I’m watching The Magicians right now. Although Made in Dagenham is my favourite film 🙂
Do you have a favourite novel?
Will you judge me if I say Bridget Jones’s Diary? No? Well it’s that.
And then Lynne Featherstone on women’s equality in Somalia and how to improve things:
In Somalia, there are no data on domestic violence, but in a place where the prevalence of FGM is so high, we can assume that domestic violence is happening in everyday life.
I asked a group of women at a maternal health clinic whether they had suffered domestic violence. Silence. But when I asked whether they knew any women who had been beaten by their husbands, every one of them put up their hand.
The girls’ club told me that the right to beat one’s wife was a widely accepted social norm. But when I asked whether they felt it was a good social norm, they were vehement in their answer: absolutely not.
It’s through young leaders such as these girls that we can really change the future. If these girls refuse to cut their daughters, the cycle ends. If these girls speak out against domestic violence, it can end too.