We are living through one of the most unsettling and unstable moments in modern history. The Covid-19 virus was declared a global pandemic on the 11th of March 2020. Since then it has been a downward spiral of panic, stockpiling, misinformation, and a growing sense of unease and uncertainty. It can be easy to sink into a state of despondency. News stories and discussions about the virus are almost inescapable, and this is having a massive impact on our mental health. To top it all off, it has become incredibly important that we stay at home in an effort to quash the spread of the virus. Self-isolation is necessary, and we should all be following the stay at home advice set out by the NHS. I know that self-isolation can feel incredibly lonely, especially if you live by yourself. Borrowing books from our beautiful library is no longer an option, as we are now closed in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. So instead, I have compiled a list of online reading to keep you company through self-isolation. After all, if nothing else, it has never been more heroic to stay at home and read!
Some of Sara Sheridan’s Sheroes by GWL
Some of you may know that Sara Sheridan was set to head an event at GWL talking about her new book ‘Where Are the Women’ earlier this month. Unfortunately, the event had to be postponed – with the hopes of rescheduling in Autumn. Fortunately, you can still read about some of the women commemorated by imaginary monuments in her book right here. The perfect way to celebrate Women’s History Month, while still staying safe inside.
Harpies and Quines and feminist magazines in Scotland by Rachael Alexander
Following on with the theme of Women’s History Month, why not read about the history of one of Scotland’s most recent feminist magazines Harpies and Quines? Rachael Alexander tracks the beginnings and untimely end of the magazine, and how it can teach us about the history of feminism in Scotland. You can find the blog here, on the Gender Equal Media Scotland website – which is home to many other blogs – and, if reading Rachael’s piece inspires you to explore more women’s history, why not take a look at GWL’s collection which you can access online.
Roxane Gay on Her Always Dependable KitchenAid Stand Mixer by Roxane Gay
From women’s history, to baking. One thing that always seems to set my mind at ease is some wholesome baking content. If it’s not Bon Appétit’s amazing YouTube series Gourmet Makes, then it’s Roxane Gay’s desperate attempts to bake croissants, which she documents on her Instagram stories. Here, she writes about her trials and tribulations while explaining how baking (and her trusty KitchenAid!) helps her cope with the difficult times.
Moving Mountains: Visioning Intersectional Feminist Leadership by Adele Patrick
For some feminist inspiration, read about Adele’s experiences undertaking a seven-month Clore Fellowship in 2018/19 here. Adele takes some time reflecting on her contribution to GWL and how she has ‘lived her feminist life’. It is an incredibly thoughtful piece, and a reminder of why we need feminism and more feminist leadership – especially now.
One Week Can Change Everything by Talat Yaqoob
This is the one article I have read about our current circumstance that has (strangely) given me some hope. Talat Yaqoob voices the frustrations many of us have been feeling about the labour market for years; and sets out how this pandemic might actually lead to some much-needed social reform. Read the article here, and hopefully it will inspire a tiny bit of hope for the future.
We all get overwhelmed. How do we deal with it? by Vik Turbine
These are incredibly overwhelming times we are living in. Many people are having to deal with a massive change to their working environment, a loss of work, trying to search for work, or the fear of having to continue to go into work, all while having to deal with the stress of a global pandemic. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed by all of this. In this blog, Vik Turbine talks you through some ways to deal with that overwhelm, while making sure not to normalise it. Read it here for some useful tips.
2020: Hope/Fully Fear/Less by Sue John
I am sure when Sue wrote this, she did not expect a global pandemic to break out. Regardless, her words of hope and encouragement are greatly needed at this time. Here, Sue reflects on the last decade of history at GWL, while inspiring some hope for the future. It seems fit to end this post with the quote Sue begins her piece with:
“To hope is to give yourself to the future – and that commitment to the future is what makes the present inhabitable”. Rebecca Solnit, ‘Hope in the Dark’.