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Showing posts from December, 2019

Christmas Lessons from Little Women

It seems like the perfect time for this post, for a number of reasons:
1. The very first word in the book is “Christmas”. 2. It shows a completely different kind of celebration to the excessively commercialised one we’re used to. 3. “My sisters and I remember that winter”… when we first saw Gillian Armstrong’s adaptation with Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon, as the winter in which watching this film became a new festive tradition. Which is why… 4.…we are VERY excited about Greta Gerwig’s adaptation, out in cinemas on Christmas Day in the US, and Boxing Day in the UK!
I loved reading about the March sisters while I was growing up, although many readers find Louisa May Alcott’s writing too preachy or just not to their taste. While I get that, I also think there are a lot of things in Little Women that are still relevant, both to us as individuals and as a society today.
With the year drawing to an end, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at some of those things, as we take stock …

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves: “Herland”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This week I watched Liz Bonnin’shard-hitting BBC documentaryMeat: A Threat To Our Planet?–  which exposed the impact of the meat industry on the planet, in all its grubby greed and bleakness. It felt like the backstory to some dystopian reality, but it’s only in recent years that this issue has begun to be picked up and amplified on mainstream media with some urgency, so I was surprised to find that people had been thinking about the logical consequences of industrial meat farming over a hundred years ago.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s utopian novel Herland, is on the surface a feminist novel: published in 1915, it imagines an all-female society in a hidden land where men were wiped out by a natural disaster 2000 years previously. However it also seems to be, in part at least, a response to global ethical, social and environmental issues that are still very current today, such as overpopulation, competition for resources, animal cruelty – as well as gender inequality.
The book follows th…