This week's image will be up in the evening today (Friday).
As I've already mentioned, this week has been a bit nuts. For the sake of my sanity, today's post is more in the form of a quick round-up than a properly written piece. I hope you'll enjoy it anyway and find a literary thread to follow somewhere on this page. Reading the following titles would probably make an excellent New Year's resolution. Just something to consider...Read More
Again, due to a family visit, there's some post shuffling going on. I'll be putting up the mid-week post on Thursday this week. If you enjoy the piece on Penelope Fitzgerald, then please check back for more literary star spotting.
Penelope Fitzgerald overcame commonly-held ideas about what constitutes a 'normal' career path. Most people are expected to rise through their chosen field as they age, retiring when they reach their 60s. In contrast, Fitzgerald worked a day job and raised a family first and then created her writing career during the final part of her life. Granted, she became an author, which is light on physical labor and a fairly solitary pursuit. Becoming, say, a construction worker in the twilight years probably wouldn't work so well. Yet, could there be something in her approach?
We talk a lot about "work-life balance" and "having it all". There's amazing pressure on women in their 30s and 40s to both raise a family and build a powerful career. There's a social understanding that if you leave the career too late, it will more than likely be a non-starter.
So, is it a realistic, or even a good, idea to have a family first and a career later? What would have to change culturally, politically and socially to make that a viable option? And could men follow a 'kids first, career later' path as well as, or even instead of, women?
Discuss below in the comments and/or get the conversation out on Twitter with #MatrilineWonders
Once a woman found her calling while stepping into the twilight of her life. A poverty-stricken existence as the wife of an alcoholic, if kind, husband absorbed her energies for decades. Only as her children grew into self-sufficient adults did she finally find it possible to gather her words into books. And then she made up for lost time, publishing three biographies and nine novels in the final twenty-five years of her life. She even left behind a volume of short stories that was released after her death. Yet, long before she focused her talents on the written word, she devoured the ideas, art and culture speeding by. Even while living on a council estate, she somehow managed to snatch visits to art galleries, to study foreign languages and, of course, to read. For what is a writer without a mind saturated in words?Read More
Due to an approaching family visit and holiday gift preparations, I'm afraid I didn't have as much time to write this weekend as I had hoped. As such, I've been able to start, but not finish this week's Once post. Please look for it late in the evening on Monday.
Also, now is a good time to mention that I will be taking a two-week holiday break over Christmas and New Year's. This will partly be to enjoy the season and be with friends and family. However, I will also be taking the opportunity to move the site to another server. Hopefully this won't have much impact on the look and address of Matriline, but will make commenting and content management easier.
Cornelia Sorabji found enormous contrasts between different legal systems when she was at work in the late 19th and early 20th century. For instance, while the British authorities rejected the concept of a female barrister, the Maharajas of India were happy to employ her. Yet, the legal system which she encountered in that role turned out to be wildly inconsistent, with one Maharaja deciding cases based on whether his dog liked the lawyer or not. Today, legal systems between countries still vary widely, each possessing its pros and cons. For public defender Karen Tse, there is one con that is universally unacceptable: torture. Tse is committed to ending torture as an investigative method within her lifetime. And she's made an amazing start.Read More
So, in line with Monday's post on lawyer Cornelia Sorabji, I'm wondering about laws that specifically impact women.
What law do you think could have the greatest power to change women's lives for the better? Is it already in existence, but poorly implemented, or does it not yet exist in its most effective form? This can be a proposed international law or one that you think would be specific to a certain country.
Discuss below in the comments and/or get the conversation out on Twitter with #MatrilineWonders.
Once a woman championed the invisible. Long before she was 'Called to the Bar', she wove her way between law and custom in order to aid the secluded women of India. Born to Indian Christians in Nashik and raised amongst the religious and educational works of her parents in Poona (now Pune), this woman lived in a family that blended Indian heritage with English influences. Her upbringing set a precedent; throughout her life, this woman would live and work between cultures, finding value and harm in each.Read More