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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

So I’ve not had the time for posting lately and now I feel strangely dissociated from the blog.

But I’ve been thinking about the Friday Hoyden feature, and about how, years ago when I felt that all I read about in studying Critical and Cultural Studies was how fucked up the world was; I kept a list of ‘heroes’ to look at when I felt bleak.

I’m now reading Once Again to Zelda, a book that looks at literary dedications, then traces the story behind the dedication. I love shit like this, full of warm, funny, heartrending stories, stories of laughter and loss and love and pettiness – human stories.

One of the dedications studied is that of For Whom the Bell Tolls – dedicated to  Martha Gellhorn. Gellhorn was married to Hemingway for a while, but she was so much more than ‘Ernest Hemingway’s wife’. Being labelled and viewed as such infuriated Gellhorn, the only of Hemingway’s wives to leave him. (He had four).

This woman (whose story I will go into in the first post in this ‘series’) was astonishingly brave, a writer in her own right, a feminist, an adventuror, and posthumously was again reduced to simply ‘Ernest Hemingway’s life’.

In thinking about this woman, reduced to ‘possession of” status, despite what Hemingway had taken from her, despite all her achievements, despite her flat insistence that she not be so reduced, I thought I’d like to start writing about women forgotten or overlooked, women I wish I’d known about while growing up, and to tell snippets of their stories, stories of courage and fire and spark and humanity, stories of rulebreakers and renegades, stories of forgotten (or ignored) Queens and activists.

And to remember Gellhorn with the respectful hat tip she was not accorded by society in life or in death, I would like to name this the “Martha Gellhorn Wall of Awesome”.

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