Sheltered from the rain under the beautiful William Morris Tent, at Wimbledon Bookfest last Saturday, Cathy Newman was welcomed by a full-house, consisting mostly of women, eargerly awaiting to hear the Channel 4 news presenter discuss her new book Bloody Brilliant Women.
(From left-to-right) Lady Wimbledon, Karine Torr from Darling Magazine, Wellness blogger Feel Good Flora Firth and Deputy Editor Jennifer Freitas De Castro.
On what was the start of her book tour Newman discussed the various elements that make her book so well-rounded including the dangers of Love Island; her views on feminism and being a feminist; the benefits for young girls in co-education as well as the pay gap between herself and John Snow.
Yet, her book deserves a deeper unpacking.
2018 marks 100 years since women first won the right to vote, yet, this celebration is not without fault and Newman was not shy in making this point known. The title of the book, a mis-quote from Prime Minister Theresa May’s witty remark on being a ‘bloody difficult woman’, acts to reclaim the disjointed image of women often portrayed by society.
“It is not to say that these women were all saintly,” Newman tells the crowd, “but they were Bloody Brilliant Women.”
Newman’s book focuses on celebrating ‘unsung heroines’ whose singular actions collated to pave the way for incredible events to take place. But what does it take to be a Bloody Brilliant Woman?
As a society we can be very protective and empowering of some women and, yet, there are others who we too quickly cast away. In a way we are almost enabling these polar views to take shape and feeding into them. Why can’t Theresa May be a bloody brilliant woman? Or Melania Trump? Or do the cons too heavily outweight the pros?
Bloody Brilliant Women forces us, as women, to question how we see our own sex and how we legitimize women worthy of our appraisal and support and those who do not. Anyone daring enough would admit truthfully that this way of thinking could completely blow everything out of the water. Representation. Identity. Sexuality. Everything! We only have to be brave enough.
For further information visit www.wimbledonbookfest.org
Written by Jennifer Freitas De Castro
Header image credit: Riley Jack Bullock
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