Queering recognition: Exploring ‘corrective rape’ and black lesbian sexuality in a local and transnational context, By Dr. Nadine Lake

The post-apartheid political and social landscape has provided researchers, scholars and readers with an opportunity to reconceptualise the LGBTQ+ category in public culture. My PhD titled ‘Corrective rape and black lesbian sexualities in contemporary South African cultural texts’ (2017) explored the category ‘black lesbian’ through mainstream and counter-discourses identified in South African print media (2003-2014), literature, and visual activism. ‘Corrective rape’, i.e. the rape of lesbian women by heterosexual men to ‘correct’ or ‘cure’ lesbian sexuality, emerged as a prominent concern in South Africa in 2003. The Independent on Saturday[1] newspaper reported on the staggering number of lesbians …

Unreported History: the National Convention for the Defence of the Civic Rights of Women, October 1903, By Dr. Maureen Wright.

Unreported History: the National Convention for the Defence of the Civic Rights of Women, October 1903

©Dr. Maureen Wright, University of Chichester, founder and lead of Women’s Political Rights,  www.womenspoliticalrights.uk

It might be fair to say that for many women’s suffrage scholars October 1903 is a date best known for the founding of the militant Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) by Emmeline Pankhurst. However, just a week later, in Holborn Town Hall, an event took place which was equally as significant to the British campaign for Votes for Women. Mrs Pankhurst chose not to attend this event, but over …

‘There is a good deal of uncertainty as to how the women will vote’: The 1918 General Election in Birmingham

100 years ago, on 14 December 1918, women in Britain went to the polls to vote in a General Election for the first time. Just ten months after the Representation of the People Act had awarded the franchise to some women (those over thirty, who met a property qualification), the newly-expanded electorate cast their first ballots. As part of my doctoral research, I have been investigating how women in and around Birmingham reacted to the extension of the franchise. In this election, the city and surrounding districts saw three women stand as parliamentary candidates: Margery Corbett Ashby, Liberal candidate for …

War Widows and the controversy over Remembrance Sunday services at the Cenotaph (1972-1982), by Dr Janis Lomas

Remembrance Sunday has a particular significance this year as it marks the centenary of the First World War armistice, yet few remember the First and Second World War widows who following the foundation of the War Widows’ Association (WWA) in 1971 campaigned to be allowed to take part in remembrance activities held at the Cenotaph in London. War widows’ pension was introduced in 1914, but this campaigning organisation gave widows a voice.

Widows found their exclusion from the Cenotaph Service of Remembrance particularly hurtful.  This exclusion had come about, as Adrian Gregory points out, when the Armistice Day commemorations …


Part 2

Women and writing

Robin Joyce


The Wife by Meg Wolitzer

Review with no spoilers, originally published on Good Reads.

Robin Joyce

The Wife is an excellent novel with which to assess one’s own moral compass. As a feminist, I appreciate the way in which the stark differences between the acceptance of male writers’ behaviour and successes and the few accolades associated with women’s writing are drawn. Some of the development and description of the characters, women and men, is quite cruel – deservedly so. In particular, male writers are shown as inflated egos with a penchant for …