Weekend Woman's Hour: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Arooj Aftab, Reclaiming sexist language


Manage episode 294218940 series 1301210
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How possible is it to actually earn a living from sport? The latest BBC Elite British Sportswomen’s Survey found that four out of five elite British sportswomen feel they are not paid enough compared to their male counterparts and more than 60% of UK’s top female athletes make less than £10,000 a year. On the other hand revenue generated by women's sport in the UK is set to grow to £1bn a year by 2030 – up from £350m a year currently – making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the sports industry. The Women’s Sports Trust says the key to unlocking this impressive growth will be the increased visibility of female athletes and teams. Emily Defroand is a Great Britain and England Hockey player, Zarah El-Kudcy is a Trustee at the Women’s Sports Trust and the Head of Commercial partnership development at Formula 1, and Dr Ali Bowes is a senior lecturer in the Sociology of Sport at Nottingham Trent University. Lord Michael Heseltine, who was Deputy Prime Minister in the mid-nineties, says he's had to attend a House of Lords course to do with what's right and what's wrong when it comes to conduct between colleagues, especially between men and women. The training is called "Valuing Everyone". The House of Lords has been very firm about this online course on inappropriate behaviour and prejudice, saying all peers must attend. Lord Heseltine was sent a reminder that he MUST complete it, which seems to have aggravated him a great deal. He’s here, and so is Wera Hobhouse, Lib Dem MP. In the House of Commons, the course isn't mandatory for MPs. Language – and the way we use it – is forever changing. We explore how the word ‘bitch’ and other similar words with a sexist history are being reclaimed and reinvented by women to mean something positive. Chante Joseph is a social media creative and writer. Jacqueline Springer is a Black music and culture journalist. Helen Taylor is an Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Exeter. Why, after decades of social progress is motherhood still so much harder than it needs to be? Why aren't we honest about the realities of being a mother? These are just two of the themes explored in a trio of books about motherhood that have just been published. It's not as if these questions haven't been asked before. There is a rich vein of literature from Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex through to Adrienne Rich's classic study Of Woman Born, Juliet Mitchell's A Women's Estate , Jane Lazarre's The Mother Knot and many more. And many second wave feminists fought hard for the rights of mothers on both sides of the Atlantic. And yet very little, if any progress, has been made according to this new crop of authors. Elaine Glaser is the author of Motherhood: A Manifesto, Pragya Agarwal is the author of (M)otherhood: On the Choices of Being a Woman, and Marina Fogle co-presents the podcast 'As Good As It Gets?' Arooj Aftab is a Pakistani composer, based in Brooklyn. She joins Anita to talk about her music and influences from jazz and Qawwali to Jeff Buckley and Abidi Parveen. She explains how grief has shifted the tone of her music to ‘heavy metal harp’, and discusses her latest album, Vulture Prince, which honours and reimagines centuries-old ghazals, a form of South Asian poetry and music that she grew up listening to with her family. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of novels including 'Purple Hibiscus', 'Half of a Yellow Sun', which won the Orange Prize (now called the Women’s Prize for Fiction), and 'Americanah', which won the US National Book Critics Circle Award. Chimamanda has also delivered two landmark TED Talks: The Danger of A Single Story, and We Should All Be Feminists, which started a worldwide conversation about feminism and was published as a book in 2014. She has now written a more personal book. On 10 June 2020 her father died suddenly in Nigeria. A self-confessed daddy’s girl, she has now remembered her father in a tribute, 'Notes on Grief'. Her mother has since also died. How do you deal with double heartbreak?

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