Feminism Book Club - The Equality Illusion by Kat Banyard - 14 April 2010 9pm

(103 Posts)
Molesworth Thu 08-Apr-10 16:12:47

Thought I'd set the thread up ready for next week

Link to book on Amazon

Synopsis

Today it is widely believed that feminism has achieved its aims, and that women and men have achieved equality. This, quite simply, is an illusion.

Women working full time in the UK are paid on average seventeen per cent less than men. Domestic violence causes more death and disability among women aged sixteen to forty-four than cancer or traffic accidents. Of parliamentary seats across the globe, only fifteen per cent are held by women and fewer than twenty per cent of UK MPs are women. The number of men paying for sex acts doubled during the 1990s in the UK. From body image to work to education to violence to sex, women in the twenty-first century are still on an unequal footing with men.

In The Equality Illusion, campaigner Kat Banyard has written an alarm call, arguing passionately that feminism is one of the most urgent and relevant social justice campaigns today.

Structuring the book around a normal day, Banyard sets out the major issues for twenty-first-century feminism and explores how they are woven into our everyday lives. She also challenges how we think about choice and empowerment - ideas that have been so successfully co-opted by both the beauty industry and the sex industry - and argues against the notion that biology is at the heart of most gender inequality.

Banyard draws on her own campaigning experience as well as academic research and dozens of her own interviews and case studies. The book also includes information on how to get involved in grassroots action and a list of resources.

(www.faber.co.uk/work/equality-illusion/9780571246267/)

Author Website

blinder Thu 08-Apr-10 17:00:12

Marking my place

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 08-Apr-10 21:18:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ItNeverRainsBut Fri 09-Apr-10 23:32:42

Marking my place too.

wukter Fri 09-Apr-10 23:49:47

marking too.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Tue 13-Apr-10 14:38:23

Finished it yesterday, looking forward to this tomorrow.

tummytime Wed 14-Apr-10 11:55:16

Hoping to join in. 9pm is a bit late for me though grin

SkaterGrrrrl Wed 14-Apr-10 16:35:45

Bah too late for this but would like to join the next one.

Can we do feminist themed fiction (I'm thinking of A Thousand Splendid Suns) or -given that there is already a fiction MN bookclub - stick to more factual books?

blinder Wed 14-Apr-10 18:56:07

interview with Kat Banyard that she tweeted yesterday...

dittany Wed 14-Apr-10 19:19:49

Good for her spelling it out. Looking forward to reading this thread.

dittany Wed 14-Apr-10 19:24:57

LOL at Julie Burchill's review:

"I love this book! Name-calling, finger-pointing and factually fascinating, it seems set to throw a giant spanner into the plans of man-pleasers, woman-haters and other assorted sad-sack seat-sniffers who put around the lie that feminism is no longer needed." Julie Burchill, Writer

God I used to love JB when she was at the Guardian winding up the liberals.

Molesworth Wed 14-Apr-10 20:49:53

Love that Julie Burchill quote grin

<arrives early to arrange beanbags>

ahundredtimes Wed 14-Apr-10 20:52:08

Haven't read it, but will look forward to reading this thread. I went to a talk she and Natasha Walter gave recently. She was really articulate and passionate and impressive.

blinder Wed 14-Apr-10 20:54:46

and another link for link-fans - this is feminista, Kat Banyard's feminist collective.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 14-Apr-10 21:01:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Molesworth Wed 14-Apr-10 21:02:04

Right, I'm sorted with a cup of tea and raring to go <clueless about how book clubs actually function but thinking it can't be that hard>

That event must've been good 100x, where was it? I listened to KB on a podcast of a roundtable discussion at the RSA for Int Women's Day - she was excellent on that too

blinder Wed 14-Apr-10 21:03:20

My main problem with this book club is that I so whole-heartedly agreed with the book. I can't really think of anything to say about it.

Except, isn't it saddening to see the truth of the situation in black and white?

Molesworth Wed 14-Apr-10 21:05:28

That statistic about South Africa is one of the most shocking things I've ever read

Not sure where to start either! Overall impressions? Particular stand-out chapters? Weak points/criticisms?

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 14-Apr-10 21:06:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blinder Wed 14-Apr-10 21:07:57

Well as a starting point I'd like to proffer this quote from her interview the other day:

''What it means to be a man today is the central issue for Banyard.

"Feminism is about saying the way we construct masculinity is wrong and has been wrong for a very long time," she says. "Either you say the violence men perpetrate against women is natural or it's because our notion of what it means to be a man is horribly wrong."

She continues: "In a world where there wasn't masculinity and femininity, one on top of the other ... you wouldn't have prostitution because sexually conquering a woman wouldn't make you feel more of a man."

I think this is why I became a feminist. It was so clear to me that we have constructed men all wrong and that we were suffering from it.

Molesworth Wed 14-Apr-10 21:08:37

I think it's great that a book like this has been published by a mainstream publisher in paperback at a reasonable price, but is it just preaching to the converted or do you think this is the sort of thing that will win doubters over?

Actually I do agree that it would be a good book to give to a teenager to read

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 14-Apr-10 21:09:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Molesworth Wed 14-Apr-10 21:13:59

blinder, I thought the section in the final chapter about men's involvement with feminism was excellent: I wasn't aware of the White Ribbon campaign, and just found it immensely heartening to hear about men involved in feminist activism. Just going on the discussions we've had about feminism on MN over the last few weeks it feels like hard work to convince other women that feminism is still needed (which I find immensely depressing tbh). I hadn't really thought of the whole 'get men involved' issue. I suppose I made an (erroneous?) assumption that if it's hard to convince women, then it'll be even harder to convince men confused

Molesworth Wed 14-Apr-10 21:16:08

Oh yeah SGM, I also noticed that same point being made on the burqa thread re: high heels. Massive fuss is made about the niqab, but no-one thinks twice about 5 inch stilettos!

LeninGrad Wed 14-Apr-10 21:16:13

FYI, Kat has tweeted that she's reading this now.

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