A Woman’s Place

I am delighted and honoured to be speaking at A Woman’s Place is Back in Town in London on 20 May. Venue TBC, but details and booking are here. Book soon to avoid disappointment. A Woman’s Place is a terrific organisation fighting for women’s rights. I share their conviction that sex and gender are different entities. I am extremely concerned by the idea that people can ‘feel’ as if they are a woman and therefore ‘identify’ as such, which is used to justify allowing natal born men access to women-only spaces such as changing rooms, toilets and refuges. As a historian, I also refute the idea that being a woman is a feeling. It is not a feeling innate to some people and denied to others. Being a woman is a lived experience. Natal women face particular oppressions because of our actual and potential role as mother. It is that experience that I write about, not least my forthcoming biography of Shelagh Delaney. I would not have been able to write that book about a working-class woman playwright, let alone find a publisher for it, without generations of feminists struggling to ensure that women’s experiences are taken seriously. Of course we’re very far from winning that fight, and   I’m therefore very appreciative of the excellent work that A Woman’s Place does

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