Edinburgh International Book Fest 2013 puts feminism under the spotlight

This article is from 2013

Fifty Shades of Feminism / Where have all the Brave Girls Gone?

Fifty Shades of Feminism and Where Have all the Brave Girls Gone? are 2 shows unscared of the F word

Sometimes, as Tammy Wynette sang, it’s hard to be a woman. And when every week sees a new online controversy about a broadcaster’s sexist remarks, a rape victim being blamed or a politician’s attempts to enforce 1950s sexual mores, it can feel to many young women that it’s never been harder. But decades on from the big upsurge of feminism in the 1970s, what’s changed?

Veteran women’s publishers Virago attempted to start a debate with the anthology Fifty Shades Of Feminism, featuring short essays from 50 well-known women. Co-editor Lisa Apignanesi and contributor Kamila Shamsie join bookfest guest selector Kate Mosse – founder of the Women’s Prize for Fiction – on 20 August to discuss ‘where are we now?’

On 22 August, Mosse joins Australian teen fiction author John Marsden and young British writer Samantha Shannon to ponder: ‘Where have all the brave girls gone?’ They suggest that while children’s books often feature a sparky heroine, boys lead most of the action in young adult fiction. But why?

Both big questions should start lively debates – and maybe even an online controversy.

Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, Feminism: 20 Aug, 3pm, £10 (£8); Brave: 22 Aug, 5pm, £10 (£8).

Fifty Shades of Feminism

Our Guest Selector Kate Mosse is joined by Lisa Appignanesi, co-editor of Fifty Shades of Feminism, and writer and reviewer Kamila Shamsie, to discuss feminism in the 21st century and how it has changed over the past 30 years. We’re no longer burning our bras so is feminism now more an attitude of the mind than a divisive…

Where Have All the Brave Girls Gone?

Why does the role of women change in adventure stories? Stories for children often cast women as heroes yet in adult adventures it’s the male characters which dominate and females are frequently relegated to a supporting role. Kate Mosse is joined by Australian teen fiction author John Marsden, former Children's Laureate…