The Gendered Brain by Nicola Rippon
Do you have a female brain or a male brain? Or is that the wrong question?
Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your sex determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries. But what does this constant gendering mean for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour? And what does it mean for our brains?
Drawing on her work as a professor of cognitive neuroimaging, Gina Rippon unpacks the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments and shows how these messages mould our ideas of ourselves and even shape our brains. Taking us back through centuries of sexism, The Gendered Brain reveals how science has been misinterpreted or misused to ask the wrong questions. Instead of challenging the status quo, we are still bound by outdated stereotypes and assumptions.
By exploring new, cutting-edge neuroscience, Rippon urges us to move beyond a binary view of our brains and instead to see these complex organs as highly individualised, profoundly adaptable, and full of unbounded potential.
Remarkable: Five Women who Dare to Make a Difference by Lyse Doucet
Broadcast in January 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the first time British women won the vote, this fascinating series sees BBC Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet travel across the globe, meeting women from Northern Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Afghanistan and Liberia. She hears reflections from some of the world's most influential women's rights activists, including former presidents, and shares her own experiences of reporting from some of the most troubled regions.
In Belfast Lyse speaks to Monica McWilliams, who was one of only two local women who were at the table during negotiations which led to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. She then travels to Saudi Arabia to meet Madeha Al Ajroush, who battled for 30 years to get women the right to drive.
In 1980, Iceland did something no other nation had done: they elected a female head of state. Lyse Doucet travels to Reykjavik to meet Vigdis Finnbogadottir. Now 87, she was president for exactly sixteen years and remains the longest-serving elected female head of state of any country to date.
Lyse then meets the formidable Shukria Barakzai, Afghanistan's ambassador to Norway. Shukria was one of only a handful of female MPs to speak up for women's rights in Afghanistan, and faced death threats for her views. Finally, Lyse Doucet travels to Liberia to talk to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa.
These inspiring in-depth interviews reveal the behind the scenes stories of key moments in our global history, and show that the victory of 1918 for women in Britain has continued to resonate through the last century.
Originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January 2018 as Her Story Made History.
Producer: Ben Carter
Researcher: Louise Byrne
Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
This book is a call to arms in a new wave of feminism and it proves sexism is endemic – socially, politically, and economically. But women won't stand for it. The Everyday Sexism Project is grounded in reality; packed with substance, validity, and integrity and it shows that women will no longer tolerate a society that ignores the dangers and endless effects of sexism.
In 2012 after being sexually harassed on London public transport Laura Bates, a young journalist, started a project called Everyday Sexism to collect stories for a piece she was writing on the issue. Astounded by the response she received and the wide range of stories that came pouring in from all over the world, she quickly realised that the situation was far worse than she'd initially thought. Enough was enough. From being leered at and wolf-whistled on the street, to aggravation in the work place and serious sexual assault, it was clear that sexism had been normalised. Bates decided it was time for change.
This bold, jaunty, and ultimately intelligent book is the first to give a collective voice to the protest against sexism. This game-changing book is a juggernaut of stories, often shocking, sometimes amusing, and always poignant - it is a must-listen for every inquisitive, no-nonsense modern woman. Welcome to the fourth wave of feminism.
Not that Bad : Dispatches from Rape Culture by Roxane Gay
Edited and with an introduction by Roxane Gay, the New York Times bestselling and deeply beloved author of Bad Feminist and Hunger, this anthology of first-person essays tackles rape, assault, and harassment head-on.
In this valuable and timely anthology, cultural critic and bestselling author Roxane Gay collects original and previously published pieces that address what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence and aggression they face, and where sexual-abuse survivors are 'routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied' for speaking out.
Highlighting the stories of well-known actors, writers and experts, as well as new voices being published for the first time, Not That Bad covers a wide range of topics and experiences, from an exploration of the rape epidemic embedded in the refugee crisis to first-person accounts of child molestation and street harrassment.
Often deeply personal and always unflinchingly honest, this provocative collection both reflects the world we live in and offers a call to arms insisting that 'not that bad' must no longer be good enough.
Rage Becomes Her by Sorya Chemaly
How many women cry when angry because we've held it in for so long? How many discover that anger turned inward is depression? Soraya Chemaly's Rage Becomes Her will be good for women. After all, women have a lot to be angry about.' GLORIA STEINEM
Women are angry, and it isn't hard to figure out why. We are underpaid, overworked, thwarted and diminished. The assertive among us are labelled bitches, while the expressive among us are considered shrill. We are told to stand down when we have an opinion and to calm down when we are fired up. And when we somehow manage to put one high heel-battered foot in front of the other despite all of this, we're asked if it would kill us to smile.
We are mad as hell, and that's completely okay. Because contrary to the endless barrage of self-help rhetoric about anger management and letting go, the reality is that our rage is the most important resource we have as women, a force for creation rather than destruction, our sharpest tool against both personal and political oppression. Anger is not what gets in our way, it is our way. All we need to do is own it.
This is a pitch perfect, engaging, and accessible credo written by one of today’s most influential feminists. Analysing female anger as it relates to topics like self-worth, objectification, pain, care, fear, silence, and denial, Soraya illuminates how and why we repress our anger, revealing the harm that this causes, and helping us recognise the liberating power of owning our anger and marshalling it as a vital tool for positive change.
Just as Quiet brought about a new embrace of introversion, Rage Becomes Her will bring about an embrace of feminine anger that will leave women feeling liberated, inspired and connected to an entire universe of women who are no longer interested in making nice.