International Women’s Day (8th of March) is fast approaching and – to honour it – The Joy Club will be celebrating women in the arts throughout the month of March.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. Their emphasis on equity – as distinct from equality – forges a path towards a more inclusive society where a truer sense of equality can be achieved. Equity demands more than a one-size-fits-all equal opportunity, it demands a society that tailors itself to meet the needs of all.
A brief history of women in the arts
From the Ancient Greek poet, Sappho, to early 20th century modernist Virginia Woolf, women have made significant contributions to literary culture throughout history. Yet still the literary canon contains only a smattering of female writers: Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Angela Carter, Margaret Attwood and Sylvia Plath are a couple of names that may spring to mind. This is not due to a lack of literary talent on womankind’s part, but is down to the simple fact that – until quite recently – women were not permitted within the cultural sphere.
Whilst the sophisticated Victorian woman was encouraged to take up sketching, to learn instruments and to be thoroughly versed in poetry, they were not themselves expected to make contributions to art, music or literature. Instead, their talents were judged upon how accurately they could replicate art produced, composed or written by men.
Even today, people struggle to name more than a handful of historical female painters or classical composers.
How you can get involved
Throughout March, we will host a special selection of events that recognise and celebrate women’s contributions to public life throughout history. There will be a lecture on Mary Wollstonecraft – a woman who devoted much of her life to furthering women’s right to be educated (as well as raising the great, aforementioned literary mind Mary Shelley). The efforts of older women in feminism will also be uncovered in an expert-led talk boldly entitled ‘Let us dare to be militant.’
All of this and more will be happening at The Joy Club throughout March as we pay homage to women and all of the contributions they have made to the culture and society we know today.
Celebrate women in the arts with us by taking a look at our calendar of 100+ live online events…