Blog, Women's History

Stand We At Last

Stand We At Last Zoe Fairbairns   The following excerpts are published with the permission of Zoe Fairbairns. They provide an insight into the two sisters’ different approach to life. In particular, their expectations of men, marriage and spinsterhood and their…

Continue Reading

Biography, Event, Politics, Women's History


If we look at the justification offered for the all-male priesthood, we find an example of this circular reasoning. The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, which, published in 2007, has the Church’s imprimatur, i.e. official declaration that the document is ‘free from moral or doctrinal error, says this:

The Catholic church ordains only baptised men because Jesus chose men, not women, to be his Apostles…for this reason the church is bound by Jesus’s choice to ordain only men. [3]

By this analogy it might be argued that since Jesus only chose Jews to be his apostles, only Jews can be Catholic priests. But Catholics don’t exclude non-Jews from their priesthood, so why should they exclude non-men?

Biography, Event, Politics, Women's History


Some people (it was argued) are obviously not terrorists: newborn babies for example. And nuns. Nuns are mild, gentle people who wouldn’t say boo to a goose, let alone blow up a plane. They can be safely waved through after only the most cursory of searches. That was the view of one of the speakers.

But somebody else thought nuns should be regarded as prime suspects, because what could be more fundamentalist than a nun? Nuns believe so strongly in the truth of their religion that they dedicate their whole lives to it. They live in like-minded communities, and spend many hours in rituals of religious devotion, serving a god who, they believe, has a special mission for them – their vocation. A god who, if they follow their vocation obediently will reward them with eternal bliss, but who, if they don’t, may send them to hell.

Politics, Source, Women's History

Feminist Historical Novels: An important contribution to writing women into history

Each writer has used historical fiction in a way that undermines the control of women’s reading. They have produced work that, while ostensibly is safe because it is ‘women’s fiction’, questions women’s place in history. Historical novels have had a mixed reception, not all of it respectful. Again, such a reputation has added to the advantages a feminist writer can enjoy in her writing history. Each writer has written her history inspired by women’s role, actions, feelings and aspirations.