Sunday, 4 August 2013

A new kind of Chick Lit

Hello all!

As part of my summer reading, I've revisited a book I read a couple of years ago, Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman. Its a fabulous book....funny, ironic, honest and true.

There is lots of great stuff in this book, but one of my favourite parts is her analogy of sexism in the workplace to Meryl Streep in a film. She writes " These days, sexism is a bit like Meryl Streep, in a new film: sometimes you don't recognise it straightaway. You can be up to 20 minutes in, enjoying all the dinosaurs and the space fights and the homesick Confederate soldiers, before you go, 'Oh my God- under the wig! THAT'S MERYL." I just love this analogy as I have often found that I sometimes only notice that I have been witness to sexism a fair bit of time after the event, such is the acceptable face that sexism sometimes has especially in a male dominated workplace. 

It got me thinking that Moran's book represents a new wave of literature by women for women, in effect chick lit (sorry if this term causes offence) has gone through a reinvention lately.

Another great book I've just started reading is Hadley Freeman's Be Awesome. 

I love the creative and funny titles of the chapters, such as "How to read women's magazines without wanting to grow a penis" or "When to listen to your friends and when not to". Hadley includes a list of awesome women which inspired me to think of my own list, so far I have (in no particular order ladies):

  • Grace Coddington
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Caitlin Moran
  • Victoria Wood

What great women or men would make your list?

Another inspiring and controversial book, is Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. Her book includes some interesting topics for women in business, such as:

  • To sit at the table (i.e. not to be afraid to have your place amongst your male colleagues)
  • The importance of identifying a mentor
  • Don't leave before you leave (a message for working women considering a family)
  • Busting the myth of having it all (that old chestnut)

Here's a taster re Sheryl Sandberg with a  TED talk she did a few years ago before launching her book.

As I started writing this blog, I had MTV playing in the background and I couldn't help but notice Justin Timberlake's new video for his song "Tunnel Vision" which heavily features female nudity - the women are topless throughout compared to Timberlake who is wearing several layers of denim.  The irony is not lost on me! Maybe we still have a far bit more to do!

Till next month,