Friday, March 20, 2009

Reader's Writes: Who Do You Think You Are?

I got this invitation to join the paternal family facebook group.

I didn’t think much of it, other than, wasn’t it a bit strange looking up other family members you’d never met when you were in your fifties? If they were significant to you, wouldn’t you know them already?

In no time at all, there was a family tree and there I was in all my glory with my original paternal family name that I changed over thirty years ago to my own name, linked neatly to the husband I’d ditched soon after.

A note appears from the founder of the family facebook group.

Apparently, we’re all coming out of our cocoons.

I thought I’d been living my own life all these years.

I didn’t realize I was just waiting for the call of patriarchy.


Reader's Writes is a new section of the blog where you can get involved. Got something to say immediately? Feminist stress to get off your chest? Maybe we can help, drop Charlotte an email

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

First WI at a university

A student at Goldsmith's university, London UK, has set up the first WI at a university. News article here or you can listen to an interview on radio4 woman's hour feature.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Images of Black Women Film Festival

The Images of Black Women Film Festival has returned for the fifth year running and is bringing another swathe of amazing films, including a fantastic looking documentary about afro styling at the Black Beauty Hair Awards, Afro Saxon, a wake up call about child soldiers, Johnny Mad Dog and something of a blockbuster, The Secret Life of Bees.

The festival, celebrating African decent women in cinema, takes place from 27th - 29th March at the Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn.

Check out some trailers and buy tickets at the festival website, and if anyone goes and wants to send in a review of the festival now might be the time to get your writing into Issue 8, published later this year.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Women's Howler

Dear Subtext readers, are you big fans of radio 4's Women's Hour? I sure am, I listen to it on the BBC iPlayer all the time because I think it gives an interesting round up of what's generally bubbling around the newspapers.

This week though they tackled something which had my left eye twitching away as I audibly huffed and puffed alone in the living room - women paying for sex. This is a subject that I'd already seen raise its head on the BBC news website and though I haven't caught any further talk about it yet, I'm sure I will. It's something that I can only see as another ploy in the attempt to normalise the selling of sex and the objectification of women, and now men, in society - and I ain't happy about it. I don't support exploitation because someone the same sex as me thinks it's ok - alright, "Jane".

Anyway, I want to look at the way Andrew, the male prostitute and author was treated on Women's hour, particularly in the Women's Hour Newsletter (Oh, Come On. Someone else must be signed up to it?!) Jenni Murry took the reigns on the radio, talking to a woman who'd bought the services of a man for her sexual wants and to the male prostitute. In her post summary Jenni writes,

No prizes for guessing what you really want to know from me this week. What did the male escort I spoke to on Wednesday actually look like? Tallish, mouseyish and absolutely not a Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig - consequently, as my mother would have put it, 'hardly worth bothering dragging your old bones to the bottom of our street for' and certainly not one of whom she might have enthused, 'well I wouldn't mind finding his boots under my bed.'

It didn't cross my mind during the interview, to me it really was about an issue not whether or not I would want to fuck a prostitute or escort that I'd cold called if he was "ugly". The radio show irritated me (not least because some woman tried to insinuate that anyone who didn't support the commodification of sexuality and prostitution was blind to a woman's right to say Yes) but the dismissive tone which eradicated any prostitutes option to be a real person or anything other than a sex object irked me more.

Listen again here
- you have until Wednesday


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Birds Eye View Film Festival

The always fabulous Birds Eye View film festival opens tonight heralding 7 days of film based fun and frolics as well as lots of learning, networking and partying.

Catch the latest and hottest short films from emerging women filmmakers here and abroad, and don't miss once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to hear direct from Afghan women filmmakers, director of stunning Indian doc Goddesses, and one of the pioneering producers of Nigerian Nollywood.

This year our retrospective focus is Screen Seductrices: Vamps, Vixons and Femme Fatales - where cinema's earliest sex symbols, including Louise Brooks and Greta Garbo, vamp it up to specially commissioned live musical accompaniment from the likes of Bishi and Natalie Clein.

Special events include a Sex on Screen Debate, a director's masterclass with Mary Harron (American Psycho), a Last Laugh Comedy Event celebrating our recent comedy feature film initiative with Warp X, and of course the Closing Night Awards Party - with an amazing line up of live acts & DJs.

Once again we give you a glimpse of things to come at our innovation strand, featuring music videos, fashion films and incredible new dance-meets-motion-capture project from film/game designer Katie Ellwood.

As ever, we are also doing our bit to equip the next generation of Campions, Coppolas and Chadhas as we bring together an unbeatable line-up of the nation's top film training organisations (including BAFTA, Shooting People, and Script Factory), to host a series of brain-bending

Let us know what you think if you attend any events and we'll include the best of your commentary in a special women and film section in Subtext Issue 8.