WOM4N

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Welcome to WOM4N, a month where we at 4th Estate give thanks to our female and feminist writers. Over the next 31 days we’ll be posting some brilliant female focused content including pieces on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of the upcoming (and completely dazzling Beyonce quoted) ‘We Should All Be Feminists’, competitions and blogs on everybody’s favourite girl Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl, and Sali Hughes, our new best friend and straight talking beauty companion. There’ll be some soft (and hard) porn posts on the works of Nicki Gemmell, an exploration of the short story, as well as some delicious and exciting female #Foodfrom4th posts.

We’ll be running giveaways of some of our most inspiring titles from our classic authors Germaine Greer, Penelope Fitzgerald and Hilary Mantel and more, as well as pieces from and about our new generation of women writers; Katherine Heiny (writer of the soon to be published Single, Carefree, Mellow), Hadley Freeman, Laline Paull and cook and food writer Anna Jones.

So keep tuned into WOM4N across October, a month full of pieces to inspire, provoke, move and, ultimately, to celebrate the woman writer.

 

To kick things off, our favourite Ask Lena videos; Lena Dunham, author of Not That Kind of Girl encouraged people far and wide to tweet in questions for her; about life, love, writing, clothes, feminism, sex. You name it, you all asked it.

ASK LENA #2: Plus size

Megan from New York asks:

‘I’m a plus size college student and have struggled with my self-image to the point where, at almost twenty-one, I have never had a boyfriend or been into having a social life. How do I gain more of the confidence that I portray to people?’

Lena reveals, ‘I went through all of college dressing like a lunatic, wearing neon and raving around, and secretly hating myself.’ For Lena, confidence comes from knowing that she’s the best version of herself that she can be – and that doesn’t mean losing thirty pounds. That means taking care of herself and treating herself like ‘precious cargo’.

 

ASK LENA #1: Questionable feminist?

Andrea from New York asks:

I consider myself a feminist. However, when I go out I love wearing ‘booty shorts’, pasties for the nips, even sometimes my prized ‘fuck me I’m famous’ t-shirt. In the words of my male friend, I ‘dress like a hoe’. Can I still be a feminist even if I dress provocatively?

Lena explains that a huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices we might not necessarily make ourselves.  She goes on to argue that although we’re made to feel like our desire to show off our bodies is somehow at odds with our political pursuits, the fact is our political pursuits are the thing that’s allowing us to show off our bodies in an unmolested way. She wraps up with details about her see-through rain dress and encourages us to let our freak flags fly free, like Lena.

 

ASK LENA #5: INSECURE WRITER

‘Was there ever a time, especially as a young, female writer, when you were told to be more serious with your writing, or made to feel insecure about writing from your own life experiences?’

Inevitably, Lena was made to feel that writing about her own experiences, however valid and true they were to life, might have been silly, whimsical or unnecessary. Lena endeavored to return time and time again to the idea that ‘the personal is political’, and steadfastly maintained that ‘by sharing your own stories, you’re essentially performing a kind of activism that’s very important, especially as a women right now. Lena tells us that the interactions she’s had with people who have contacted her off of the back of her work have time and time again proven that her stories, personal or otherwise, are all the more reason to embrace ones insecurities.

 

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