Born OTD in 1962, American author, journalist and feminist, Naomi Wolf. Wolf posits the idea of an “iron-maiden,” an intrinsically unattainable standard that is then used to punish women physically and psychologically for their failure to achieve and conform to it. Wolf criticized the fashion and beauty industries as exploitative of women, but added that the beauty myth extended into all areas of human functioning

Wolf writes that women should have “the choice to do whatever we want with our faces and bodies without being … More

Why are we so obsessed by the pursuit of happiness? With new ways to measure contentment we are told that we have a right to individual joy. But at what cost? In an age of increasing individualism, we have never been more alone and miserable. But what if the true nature of happiness can only be found in others?

In Radical Happiness, leading feminist thinker Lynne Segal believes that we have lost the art of radical happiness the art … More

Born OTD in 1931, Nawal El Saadawi, Egyptian feminist writer, activist, physician, & psychiatrist. She has written many books on the subject of women in Islam, paying particular attention to the practice of female genital mutilation in her society. This powerful non-fiction account of the oppression of women in the Muslim world remains as shocking today as when it was first published, more than a quarter of a century ago.

Her experiences working as a doctor in villages around Egypt, witnessing prostitution, honour killings and sexual abuse, including female circumcision, … More

Born OTD in 1932, American poet, novelist, and short-story writer, Sylvia Plath. The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath’s only novel. Renowned for its intensity and outstandingly vivid prose, it broke existing boundaries between fiction and reality and helped to make Plath an enduring feminist icon. It was published under a pseudonym a few weeks before the author’s suicide.

It is a fine novel, as bitter and remorseless as her last poems …The world in which the events of … More

In February 1900 a group of men representing trade unionists, socialists, Fabians & Marxists gathered in London to make another attempt at establishing an organisation capable of getting working-class men elected to Parliament. The body they set up was the Labour Representation Committee; 6 years later when 29 of its candidates were elected to the House of Commons it changed its name to the Labour Party. No women took part in that first meeting, but several watched from the public gallery.

Throughout Labour’s history, even in its earliest years, women were present in the room, but they were not always recorded … More

Unrestrained by convention, lion-hearted and free, Eleanor Marx (1855-98) was an exceptional woman. She pioneered the theatre of Henrik Ibsen. She was the first woman to lead the British dock workers’ and gas workers’ trades unions. For years she worked tirelessly for her father, Karl Marx, as personal secretary and researcher. Later she edited many of his key political works, and laid the foundations for his biography.

But foremost among her achievements was her pioneering feminism. For her, sexual equality was a necessary precondition for a just … More

Haraway’s `A Cyborg Manifesto’ is a key postmodern text and is widely taught in many disciplines as one of the first texts to embrace technology from a leftist and feminist perspective using the metaphor of the cyborg to champion socialist, postmodern, and anti-identitarian politics.

Until Haraway’s work, few feminists had turned to theorizing science and technology and thus her work quite literally changed the … More

Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military.

While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal … More

English feminist Mary Wollstonecraft & author Mary Shelley were mother & daughter, yet these two extraordinary women never knew one another. Nevertheless, their passionate & pioneering lives remained closely intertwined, their choices, dreams & tragedies eerily similar.

Both women became famous writers & wrote books that changed literary history, had passionate relationships with several men, were single … More