Sexual & gender politics
The Wheeler Centre
Lisa Taddeo: Three Women
'We always talk about daddy issues for women … I think that mommy issues for women is so much bigger, specifically when it comes to desire.'Lisa Taddeo
'With the #MeToo movement right now, we are finally saying what we don't want as a gender,' Lisa Taddeo has said. 'But we are still not talking about what we do want.'
Taddeo's bestselling book, Three Women, is all about what women want. It's a work of immersive non-fiction, telling the intimate true stories of three American women, and of how their sexual desires have been shaped, distorted, fulfilled and exploited.
Described on NPR as 'a work of deep observation, long conversations, and a kind of journalistic alchemy', Three Women took Taddeo eight years to write. She travelled across the country to be near her subjects for months at a time, to learn about their lives and their personal histories.
With its focus on power, judgement, shame and infatuation, the book has become an international bestseller, sparking impassioned discussion and debate. How do we surprise and disturb others – and ourselves – with what we want? How are our desires deeply idiosyncratic and how are they universal?
In this podcast-only conversation – originally slated to be held in May, in partnership with Sydney Writers' Festival – Taddeo discusses these ideas and more with Sophie Black.
Emerging Writers’ Festival 2020 Programme Launch: Digital Nostalgia
We often speak of the internet as the Bad Place, but it’s also vital for many people to access resources and services, entertainment and community – perhaps now more so than ever. From discussion forums and MSN crushes to TikTok choreographies and pandemic meetings and parties on Zoom, online spaces continue to offer a gathering place for when we can’t…
The Wheeler Centre
Rebecca Traister: Good and Mad
Clare Wright, left, and Rebecca Traister, at the Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne — Photo: Emily Harms
‘The stories aren’t simple. They’re nuanced. And it’s our job to insist on that nuance – and not let everything get turned into a t-shirt.’Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister is an American journalist, polemicist and New York Times-bestselling author who writes at the intersection of feminism, politics and culture. Her latest book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, investigates the potential and complexity of women’s anger as a political and social tool – both historically, and in the reinvigorated contemporary women’s movement in the West. How have women’s expressions of emotion been framed to delegitimise or condemn them? How can conflict and tension within and between factions of the women’s movement make the broader collective stronger?
Traister tracks the transformative force of female fury (and its suppression) through abolition, suffrage, temperance; through the labour and civil rights movements, and from now into the future. Are our perspectives on women’s anger changing? How can women use their dissatisfaction to progress their rights?
In April of 2019, Traister joined Clare Wright in conversation at the Athenaeum Theatre.
The Wheeler Centre
Meg Wolitzer: The Female Persuasion
Brodie Lancaster, left, and Meg Wolitzer, right
Meg Wolitzer’s latest novel, The Female Persuasion, is about public pedestals and feminist friction.
Wolitzer herself is a feminist powerhouse who wrote her first novel, Sleepwalking, while still at university. A precocious talent, she was mentored by the famous essayist and screenwriter Nora Ephron.
Today, she’s the author of 12 acclaimed novels, including The Interestings and The Uncoupling. Three of her novels have been adapted to screen, most recently The Wife, starring Glenn Close. Always witty and always wise, Wolitzer’s work is preoccupied with the everyday struggles and successes of American women.
Wolitzer's own career trajectory – from young upstart to prominent novelist and teacher – makes her especially well placed to explore the tensions of intergenerational feminism. Her latest novel, The Female Persuasion, examines ideological purity, mentorship and compromise in the contemporary feminist landscape. It’s Wolitzer at her piercing and satirical best.
Recorded last May in Melbourne, she discusses The Female Persuasion and her incredible career to date with host Brodie Lancaster.
The 2020 Stella Prize Winner in Conversation: Jess Hill
The Stella Prize was founded to elevate the writing of Australian women with an annual $50,000 literary prize. Now in its eighth year, the prize has become a fixture of Australia’s literary culture – driving book sales, sparking book clubs and boosting the careers of many fine local writers.
In a live-streamed event following the prize announcement, 2020 Stella judging…
The 2020 Stella Prize Announcement
The Stella Prize celebrates the excellence of Australian women’s writing with an annual $50,000 prize. Now in its eighth year, the Stella Prize is a fixture of Australia’s literary culture – driving books sales, sparking book clubs and boosting the careers of women writers.
Watch the announcement of the winner of the 2020 Stella Prize – hosted by Patricia Karvelas…
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“Our Crazy, Crazy Pornographic Culture”
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“We are in a crazy, crazy pornographic culture, and for that we need extreme measures, and I can’t think of anything better than radical feminism for that.” During her recent visit to Australia, academic, activist and social critic Dr Gail Dines stirred strong debate with her radical feminist position.
Particularly controversial is her critique of the pervasive influence pornography wields…
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