What a whirlwind year for women.
I mean, I guess.
What a whirlwind year for women.
I’ve heard people describe the #metoo and #timesup movements as “cathartic,” but I’m not sure we’ve moved through the pain to the relief yet. At least, I hope this cultural moment isn’t enough to suffice as “relief.” Too much of the focus of these movements has been on women speaking out as victims. And I suppose the relief is that women are being believed, in most cases, for the first time. In her manifesto, Women & Power, Mary Beard, a scholar of the classics, wrote there are only two exceptions that allowed women to speak in public in the classical world – in defense of household or women’s issues or as victims. In the latter case, the speech amounts to nothing more than the alleged crimes and that often resulted in eternal silencing. Think Philomela in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
What I’m saying is that these movements aren’t enough. And they don’t give me cause to hope for a female president in the imminent future.
But I promised my collaborators at The Wild Detectives I wouldn’t spend this entire essay in a state of despair.
So, let me invite you to Women Galore. A month-long cultural festival that takes the microphone away from men and places it in the hands of women. A month of women speaking in public – about women’s issues, yes, but also about issues that affect everyone. And can we please stop calling them “women’s issues” as though there are people in the world who don’t encounter women? While we’re on the subject, if you even think about calling a book with a female protagonist a “women’s book,” I will ban you from Wild Detectives. That’s something we can do, right, Javi?
Women Galore is entering its third year and we have some incredible things in store. We reconceived the planning model to invite more voices to the table, which allowed us to assemble not only a diverse line-up of internationally renowned authors, who work in a variety of genre from memoir to poetry to novel to essay.
We’ll also tackle topics as bright and colorful as Women in Fashion and as challenging as maternal mortality. We have panels that offer a chance to learn realistic next steps if you’ve been sexually assaulted or harassed and workshops that will help you realize your activism goals. You can learn typography or laugh the night away at a comedy night. Spend your mother’s day re-imaging the Greek goddesses at a unique theater experience, brought to you by some of the minds behind Shakespeare in the Bar. We’ll have a feminist read-in at the bookstore and a screening of the new RBG documentary at The Texas Theatre.
It’s going to be a month worth investing in, so clear your calendars.
Even I can’t be cynical about what we’ve put together this year. For me, the key to this year has been the collaborative effort of a rowdy group of women who’ve met at least once a month since December. We’ve had planning brunches, happy hours, pie and coffee. We’re starting a feminist book club (you’re invited!). I like to say that this is the first year, I believe in the idea that you have to create the city you want to live in. Which is something I’ve seen The Wild Detectives doing since it opened.
Maybe it hasn’t been such a bad year for women. I suppose it’s been a cathartic one for me. Come help us build a feminist city!
List of events:
Mon. Apr. 30, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
The WD Book Club – Red Clocks
Tue. May 1, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Mediating Misogyny: Gender, Technology and Harassment
Book Presentation and Conversation
Wed. May 2, 6p @ Shoals
Wed. May 2, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Inner Moonlight: Lauren Brazeal & Stevie Edwards
Thu. May 3, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Leni Zumas – Red Clocks
Sun. May 6, 11a @ The Wild Detectives
Kids in the Cliff – The Tale of Peter Rabbit
Mon. May 7, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Women Galore’s Book Club – The Argonauts
Tue. May 8, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Shequel Launch Party
Tue. May 8, 8p @ Single Wide
Time of the Monthly
Wed. May 9, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Healthcare Disparity and Maternal Mortality
Thu. May 10, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Yesika Salgado – Corazón
Thu. May 10, 8p @ Dallas Comedy House
Ladies Comedy Night
Sat. May 12, 12p @ The Wild Detectives
Sat. May 12, 5p @ TBD
Women in Dallas Comedy
Happy Hours, Comedy
Sun. May 13, 11a @ The Wild Detectives
Kids in the Cliff – Ursula Nordstrom
Sun. May 13, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
The Goddess Is in the Questions
Mon. May 14, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Let’s Talk about Sex
Tue. May 15, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Women, Sex, Power and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All – Jaclyn Friedman
Wed. May 16, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Knowing Your Rights: Sexual Assault and Harrassment
Thu. May 17, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Carmen Boullosa – How Do We Construct our Voices
Sun. May 19, 4p @ TBD
Women in Architecture & Design Happy Hour
Sun. May 20, 11a @ The Wild Detectives
Kids in the Cliff – An Appreciation of Women Architects
Tue. May 22, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Carolina Chocano: You Play the Girl
Wed. May 23, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Where Race Fits into #TimesUp
Thu. May 24, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
Ijeoma Oluo – So You Want to Talk about Race
Thu. May 24, 5p @ Harkensback
Women in Fashion Happy Hour
Sat. May 26, 12p @ The Better Block
Sat. May 26, 5p @ Texas Theatre
Sat. May 26, 9p @ RBC
Chasquis Presents Chulita Vinyl Club
Sun. May 27, 11a @ The Wild Detectives
Kids in the Cliff – Women of the Skies
Wed. May 30, 7.30p @ The Wild Detectives
The Rise of Female Incarceration in Texas
Lauren Smart is a freelance arts writer –former Arts & Culture Editor at the Dallas Observer– and she also works as an adjunct journalism professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where she teaches arts writing and criticism. The rest of the time she's just a girl with her pup.