Back when I was in boarding school, we were treated differently to the boys. For example, while the boys seemed to have the run of the small town we had to jump through several hoops on Sunday to be allowed downtown on Tuesday afternoon. Somehow, we needed to be protected and had fewer rights as a result. The boys had a sense of entitlement and their treatment of the girls was at times abhorrent. I could not repeat the things that happened here.
It seems a small thing but it is a culmination of many small things that have maintained my belief in the importance of feminism. For instance, the job I left when I found out the man doing the same job as me was a whole pay rate above me. I had been fighting that employer for eight years and I had no more fight left in me. Or finding out that my male friends who do manual work earn more than I do with post graduate qualifications – because my qualifications are ‘women’s work’ – that is a caring role. Because caring for someone is less important than driving a truck. Apparently.
Meanwhile, men’s books are more likely to be reviewed than women’s books. In Australia too. People are trying to do something about this, and so I am signing up for the Australian Women Writers Challenge. If you want to sign up for the challenge you can choose one of the following:
- Stella: read 4 – if reviewing, review at least 3
- Miles: read 6 – if reviewing, review at least 4
- Franklin: read 10 – if reviewing, review at least 6
- Create your own challenge: nominate your own goal e.g. “Classics Challenge”.
Just go to the Australian Women Writers Challenge to sign up.
I am worried about over committing my time (writing reviews is time consuming) so I am going to start with the Stella challenge. I already have books in my to be read pile that fit the bill.