Category: Nasty Women Writers

Writing at its Best: The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw

This book was recommended to me by Amazon. That’s right. It popped up on my kindle as, “you may be interested in,” while purchasing a different book. I found the title compelling so I clicked, then I found the description of the book interesting, so I purchased. I was not disappointed. It has been a long time since I read a collection of short stories I could not put down and wanted to read all over again once I’d finished. Philyaw’s writing is downright addictive.  Philyaw’s voice is powerful and assertive, strong and confident, and also, a bit mischievous,...

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Matilda Joslyn Gage: In Her Name, American (1826-1898)

A few weeks back, I came upon a term I had not heard before, the ‘Matilda Effect’. It’s defined as: a bias against acknowledging the achievements of those women scientists whose work is attributed to their male colleagues (Wikipedia). This term was coined by science historian Margaret W. Rossiter in 1993, in her essay The Matthew Matilda Effect in Science. The Matthew Effect, labeled in 1948 and credited to Robert K Merton, and later to Harriet Zuckerman as well, refers to the way that: eminent scientists will often get more credit than a comparatively unknown researcher, even if their...

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Being Poor While Female in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette (1853)

Nearly eighty years after the publication of Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Villette, Virginia Woolf laments the poverty of women in her classic book, A Room Of One’s Own. In that classic piece is the famous conclusion that “a woman needs money and room of her own if she is to write fiction”(4). But how to attain it in a culture and time in that culture where women were notoriously poor?  Woolf speaks of how she came to having money of her own, five hundred pounds a year, left to her by her aunt “Mary Beton” who “died by a fall...

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Julia Alvarez, Minerva Mirabel and the Embeddedness of Women’s Stories and Identities

My sister, Maria and I began #NastyWomenWriters to amplify the voices of #nastywomen from the past and present who had or were being erased, disappeared or ignored. We wanted to educate #nastywomen about other #nastywomen to draw inspiration from them and realize they were not alone, to understand that feminism has been around for a very long time, that women of all races, classes and religions have been speaking up, fighting to be heard and breaking glass ceilings through all of his-story. Because women’s stories are often erased, forgotten or ignored, we can believe we are the first to...

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Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Slavery and the Haunting that Persists.

Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a novel about the enslavement of Black Americans and its lasting emotional, physical and psychic effects. It takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio right before and after the Civil War. Beloved is the story of Sethe, a woman so strong, she survives the unthinkable, over and over and over again. Beloved is the name of the angry baby girl haunting the home of her younger sister, Denver, and Sethe, the mother who murdered her. The ghost, in her eighteen-month-old, non-physical form has driven everyone else out of the house, including Sethe’s two sons whom she tried...

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