Home truths send American feel-good feminists packing

feminist writing in this country: the academic. by far the most flourishirw.

and the polemic. of which there isn't much home-grown these days. Much

! feminist theory has spiralled off into a

world in which ‘female corporeal

specificity" has replaced ‘being a woman‘. All the adjectives that routinely attach themselves to ‘feminist‘ assume a polemical. wholly

ccitain stance: ‘feisty‘. ‘lierce'. l 'formidable' . . . You're supposed to

. blast off. coruscating all trees and :

j defericelcss males within miles. I fit ' into neither: as a journalist I think my

, job is to ask questions.

I hope that my book is pan of a newer pragmatism. allied to a w ariness of sweeping statements and grand theories. a suspicion of general

diagnoses and remedies for the ills of society necessary because of the t untidy btit persistent realities they

Scottish journalist Sue always leave out. We are learning that

- - there are few straiglitforw'ard answers Innc‘s ‘15 tonnnl‘smonk’d and progress is not guaranteed. We are

IO Wl‘llC it bOOk on 908 beginning to see how either/orthinking fmninisnl in response [0 V stops us recognising a more complex i position. the I'CCCIH WiWC Oi Theories of ‘backlash' and i fCIniniSIS from] : ‘genderquake'. foi'examplc. seem to me to sw'ec i iast the contradictorv the Us Who have been 7 experienceiilieveryday life in a '

hogging [he Incdia. What rhetorical flourish. ‘The last decade has

seen a powerful counter-assault on

WOlllCIi IdCCd lll‘C \mmcnrg rights. a backlash. an attempt answer. Feel-good feminism sells; new ways the old tensions between love pI—agnuulc solutions not i m {cu-net the handful of the small and being serious about women is too and work. This is the complex mix of grand Ihcorics‘ She argues. hard-won victories that the feminist worthy. It ‘s not Just because we re not change and continuin With which we t. g ,mficmcm did ,mnugc m w," tor glamorous (some of us are, some of trs now must deal. ‘lt‘s still a man‘s world. eh Sue." said w'omen.‘ w rote American author Susan i“'C'l‘l) 0" mill WCTC asking 50”” 0f “‘3 “33130 I want ‘0 33)’ IOUdl)’ the man {mm Radio “cyclqu palm“ in “mum/1 in [993 True. but same old questions about violence and journalism. Beginning the research. I complacently. Er. yes and no. In the whether that has meant reversal is “(W-WWWK and '0‘" Pa)“ Brim" "m the response that how 00”“ I. as a past week or so. as I've been in the highly debatable; there has also been . . mch journalle lake 0“ SUCh big strange role of interviewed rather than f progress. there has been change. Feel'goml tem'msm sells; issues? But journalism good interviewer. I've learnt that even after 5 But then. when Naomi Wolf declares being serious about women is journalism anyway - makCS SPOCC for writing 337 pages you're not really f this ‘the era of the genderquake' in too worthy, Bfitish feminist big qucsuons and doesn't have ‘0 supposed to answer 'yes and no‘. i which ‘the meaning of being a woman writers are less accept Simple answers. Perhaps Shades of grey are not in fashion; is changed forever". and when Helen - ironically because Of my CU”ch “33h complexity is dismissed as dithering. l Wilkinson tin a repoii for the New Left because the_ql.lest!ons hPme' course in sound-bites and ajournalisin I've learnt that I've written a rather think tank Demos) claims that we are grown femlmsm '5 aSK'ng Chamcwmw by “mle (mention Spam complicated book about some very living through ‘an historic change in come uncomfortably close to it has left "‘3 "liming my "3‘19 "10m 1‘ complicated things - social change. i the relations between men and women' home.’ is one 0f the {CW 8Pace8 1‘3" Wm" how we see women. education. family I want to cry. hang on a minute! What allows you ‘0 go 0"! “I‘d 33" QUCSIiOn-‘v policy. post-industrial working life. the about low pay and unequal pay. job l‘C'lllms‘l “film's “"0 105$ PUhllSth [111k [0 PCOPIc “ml intermgalc economy _ but I gull Should be “mg m ; \cgrcgmmn‘ dmncmc violencc‘ because the questions home-grown information and statistics. and describe sum it up in a sentence. I am supposed l unwanted pregnancies. the sex radical Women‘s VOlCCS are scarcely What You find hOPCfUHY in an Open“ [0 be able [0 my ~ycs' n has got helm- mdumy-i heard in these debates and certainly minded way which creates the space for for women. 01‘ ‘nO‘ it hilSn'l. The fact i .l/ukmg [I Work was Conunisgioncd as not with the attention given to the John the reader to agree. disagree and add that both are true is too tricky for l a response to criticism of British Redwoods of this world. I‘ve written questions oftheir own. I hope you do. comprehension. If I could say it in a publishers for only promoting the work “hm” Work and DOWN)" ilbOUl Ch”de Mil/(mg ll WW" thw'h Chung? and sentence | would have. 0r glmml-oug American feminists with and families and relationships, and Challenge in the 90.9 is published by There are two traditions of non-fiction | big hair. I do think there is a case to Strength and anleVC'WSS l” leing in Chan“ & Windlle (1’ [12-99- W government structures and the retrospective exhibition drawn from the freedom

possibility of a Scottish parliament. three festivals' archives. there is an opportunity for the arts to

manlfeSto commltment ; raise their profile.‘ Contact Salvo on whammy Alum-“Y lmcmauom‘” fivc‘momh

()1 3| 228 3888 for further details. _ . Freedom Festival kicks off at the Kings Scottish AIDS Monitor has been forced Theatre. Glasgow on 10 September

Ans organisations are being asked to

$233383 if‘éilfélillcpgfilmh Arts Nifty Fifty “’ "‘“‘ “W”. "“ ‘3'.““g0‘v 0”“ “"d with a gala by Lobby. as the first stage in producinu SUN-)0” services-(mer- Stmth-Clydc musicmns inc'uding cami Kidd mid ‘manifesto for the arts in Scotland' c Edinburgh‘s three festivals film Beg'imal comm” sw'tCth "8 AIDS Tommy Smi'h' With Class-ma] mus'c . W- , , , ) I f. ' - , , - . , - , . _. '. . tundlng ‘0 3'“)th group. PhilCC West from James MacMillan and the Scottish

“h a GWUJ' Eltumn dUL With “10 "mm‘mon‘u ‘md Fr'm?“ ‘lnnounud earlier this year SAM h'ld tried to kee Ci ' b i O ‘l 'stra The festival is n9)“ Clghlcc" lllonlh3~ 3111"" PlanS ‘0 am" a box Office record'brcakmg three the Glasgow operation which ran a p ' thjnd fdrto 1rib-Ii yht C'Lses ofartists Wildth manlfcsm [0 CilCh 0f the "111i" weeks mm they Wi” jm" forces next prison counselling service and an AIDS StronhZW beeii inirprisoned because‘of POlltlcal Panic-9 1" [he hope 0‘ Year forf‘JO‘m 50'“ anmversary education roadshow, for several months their work. and a Freedom Exhibition encouraging them to make a formal celebration. So far the plans are sketchy Since Strmhclydc announced M will run from 99 September for the electoral commitment to thearts. ‘The but they do have a logo with the slogan decision. It continues to Open"; in ; remainder of (In, festival at Kelvingrove by Robinson~ linked to new local con~m u )"h r I. f H now the main AIDS servrce provrder in ' contemporary artists including three

- P W" Prof")$8 5 or a the Glasgow area. i from Nonhern Ireland.

The List 8-21 Sept 1995 5