Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Girls Are Powerful

1982, 1985 Sheba Feminist Publishers edition
Edited by Susan Hemings
Girls Are Powerful: Young Women's Writings from Spare Rib
Original price £3.95, purchase price $3.95
Slightly worn paperback

Interesting look at the thoughts of female Brits, ages 7 to 22, in the punk era.  I would've liked to have seen specific dates of publication, and ages of contributors where not clear, especially since I wondered about the controversy over girls wearing trousers to school, which was long settled in the U.S. in 1982.  (Perhaps not in private school though?)  The writers and illustrators (there are some cartoons, unfortunately mostly reprinted too small to read all the captions) also address homophobia, classism, racism, and even ageism, the last in particular among adult feminists.  I found the section on work the most thought-provoking, as working-class teenagers are pressured by their families to get a job (much more than their brothers are) and yet do housework (again, much more than their brothers are), while being exploited by employers because of their age and inexperience.

Editor Hemmings explains that "Spare Rib is a women's liberation magazine," and I assume it's an Adam & Eve pun.  According to this article, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/whatever-happened-to-feminisms-extreme-sects-465970.html , Hemmings "picked her last name from an advert for bread rather than go by the name of her father or ex-husband."  If I did that, I would definitely pick Wonder.

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