Introduction to Sisterhood and After

Feminist, writer and broadcaster Caitlin Moran introduces the Sisterhood and After website.

Hello browsers. Since becoming North London’s fifth most famous funny feminist, I’ve had loads of people coming up to me and going ‘now I know I’m a feminist, how can I find out more about it?’ and until now all I’ve been able to reply is ‘I dunno, I was brought up on Jilly Cooper novels.’ But now I do know where you should go: it’s here, with the British Library’s Sisterhood and After project, because this is telling you about feminism not as dry academic study but about real women like me and you, and how they changed the world. In the 21st century, feminism is still important because there is still no other word that means women being equal to men. And that’s all that it means: women being equal to men, one of the most important and beautiful ideas we’ve ever had and which has to be protected. I hope any young person who comes to this website and looks at the footage there has the same feeling that I did when I saw this footage, which was looking at those women marching and agitating for change and going ‘That could’ve been me. If I’d been born 40 or 50 years ago, that would’ve been me on that street holding that placard and shouting those things.’ The main change that I hope to see in 30 years’ time is that we eradicate the phrase ‘a pioneering woman’, and I very much hope that by the time my children are my age that we don’t use that phrase anymore because it will seem to be perfectly normal for fifty percent of the people in politics to be a woman, for 50 percent of the women in banking and finance to be women, for 50 percent of the people in business to be women. At the moment, in 2013, pioneering woman is an inspiring thing. I very much hope in 2033 the phrase ‘a pioneering woman’ has become obsolete.

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