WOM4N: Elizabeth J. Church

• Mar 6, 2018 •

As part of our month-wide celebration of women’s writing, 4th Estate will be bringing you exclusive written pieces from our fantastic authors. We presented them with a selection of questions to choose from, and the responses we’ve had have been hugely inspiring. We can’t wait to share them all with you.

Today we bring you Elizabeth J. Church, author of The Atomic Weight of Love and All The Beautiful Girls (out 5th April).

4th: What do you hope is different for the women in your family in 50 years’ time?

EJC: I’m going to speak to what I hope is different for ALL women, world-wide, in far less than 50 years’ time.  As little as two years ago, I had the temerity to believe that American women had achieved certain freedoms, that those basic rights were now a given and could not be threatened.  Recent political history in the United States has taught me how naïve I was, because the causes I marched for in the early 70s, the battles that I thought had been won, are now in flux.

And so, in the very near future, I hope that women are not perceived as a threat (and thus in need of denigration and control), simply because they govern their own bodies, their sexuality, their own healthcare choices.  I’d like to see women’s intelligence and fortitude – their creativity and humor and beauty and courage – celebrated, rather than feared.  I’d like to see women achieve their full potential without first having to tolerate unwanted sexual advances or jump through umpteen trumped up hoops.

I’d like for women to be able to walk alone without fear, to go to the grocery store after dark and cross a parking lot without having to exercise hypervigilance.  I’d like for women to be able, should their car break down by the side of the road, to accept an offer of help without worrying that they are vulnerable to kidnap, rape, murder, and brutalization.  And I’d like for women to be safe in their own homes, with their partners – not to have to fear verbal and physical assault.

Perhaps it comes down to this:  I’d like to see women truly, honestly respected.

Find out more about WOM4N, a month wide celebration of women’s writing at 4th Estate.

What does it mean to be a woman in 2018? Angela Saini responds.

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