We haven’t done this for a while, but when we get together as a group we always talk about the current things that have us hooked. So we have decided to bring back ‘GAZELLA Loves’ and a semi-regular update on some things that currently have us inspired or intrigued…
Reading; ‘Fake’, Stephanie Wood
I’ve never online dated, since my husband and I have been dating since before sliced bread. But, bloody hell, how do you know who is behind the keyboard? How easy is it to see and believe only what you want to see and believe. This is the heart-wrenching tale of Stephanie Wood’s online love, which turned into a real life love, which turned out to be a complete and utter lie. A story about a master manipulator — a true narcissist, told by a journalist who was fooled. The voice of a thousand smart women who were equally fooled, behind her. It’s both an essay on love and on psychology. With just the right amount of musing on both, mixed in with the timeline of how a man convinced Wood of his high-flying life and her position in it. And, of course, it’s a story about women, the patriarchy, feminism and capitalism. And how as women we are sold a dream that convinces us that we only deserve what we are given and nothing more.
Verdict: Read in one sitting over a wine or a few pots of tea. You’ll be hooked. D
Music ‘This Woman’s Work’ Kate Bush
Binging Firefly Lane on Netflix, one of the later episodes ends with a crescendo of sadness and this song from Kate Bush. I’ve been a Kate Bush fan since dancing to Wuthering Heights as a teen at ballet. The song was written for the movie She’s Having a Baby (1988), which I haven’t seen – not a Kevin Bacon fan tbh. Kevin Bacon’s character Jake is awaiting news of his wife’s crisis childbirth (Elizabeth McGovern).Bush wrote it with the film sequence, which had already been shot. Needless to say, there’s a montage. The song is a stunning celebration of women, childbirth and the vocals of Kate Bush. The beautiful opening line; ‘Pray God you can cope, I stand outside this woman’s work.’ A celebration. A feature on my lockdown 3.0 playlist.
Verdict: Quintessential ‘80s Kate Bush and dancing around the living room is a given. D
Reading, ‘Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male Power’, Ijeoma Oluo
I’m not going to lie. Close to 40% of the pages of this book are dog eared. The rest furiously under-lined. There was so much frantic underlining in bed whilst reading this book, I think my husband thought something was wrong with me. If I can define one thing I learnt whilst reading this book, it is how white and patriarchal my feminism is, and how much better I can do to be inclusive and equitable. One of my favourite lines in relation to women in the workplace goes like this, ‘Women are ignored at best, treated like hostile intruders or sex objects at worst. After many decades of struggle we are still so far away from gender equity that we can’t even see it.’ Feels. Whilst the point of view is distinctly American, it was also a fascinating take on the formation of the US, it’s politics and how that influences the intensely patriarchal society there. However, the history and discourse in our two countries is not dissimilar and much of the analysis is relatable here. I’d like to say essential reading for everyone, but even if every woman read it, we’d be infinitely better off. Oluo writes so cuttingly that I found each page was like an irresistible love letter, directed straight to my soul. I would say that it’s one of the defining feminist texts I’ve read in my quest for improving my knowledge and in striving to be critical of myself.
Verdict: Should be read with sharpened pencil handy. And don’t be shy with the dog ears. 10/10. D
Watching; Knock the House Down
A documentary by Rachel Lears 1 hour 26 mins available on Netflix
We always love an underdog fight and this movie doesn’t disappoint. AOC’s story is a powerful one and it highlights so many parts of the political lives of women and that their successes are built on the backs of the many women who don’t make it. This movie shows a path but also the incredible challenge women face. You will be cheering from the couch!
Verdict: 5 stars. S