‘Meet the most dangerous women in the world’ — Daily Mail
The Dangerous Women Project — Reflections on women, power and identity
We may laugh at the media’s label for women such as Shami Chakrabarti or Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, but behind it lie serious questions about the dynamics, conflicts and power relations with which women live today. The idea that women are dangerous individually or collectively permeates many historical periods, cultures and areas of contemporary life.
But what does it mean for a woman to be dangerous? Who, or what, does she present a danger to? Who gets to say she’s dangerous? Why do they want to say it? Does she consider herself dangerous? Is feminism dangerous? And what do the answers to those questions tell us about societies past and present? About our social and political structures, about our everyday lives, our attitudes and our very identities? Dangerous Women gives fifty wide-ranging perspectives on these questions.
We have welcomed poets, playwrights, artists, academics, journalists, historians, performers and opinion-formers, and indeed anyone with an angle on the theme, to reflect on the danger of females. Speaking from a variety of ages, ethnicities and cultures, we have come together from all over the world to give agency to any woman dismissed for her power, talent or success, trivialised as a threat or condemned for challenging the status quo. We are here to celebrate these women and applaud them for their strength.
In doing so, we have reclaimed the right to be dangerous, and highlighted the power of otherwise dismissed female figures. If you lack female idols, this book is for you. If you want to challenge the narrative that a powerful woman is a threat, this inclusive and diverse book is for you. Dangerous Women is for anyone and everyone who questions how to be dangerous, and indeed what that means.
Contributors include Nicola Sturgeon MSP, broadcaster and journalist Bidisha, playwright Jo Clifford, prize-winning novelist Irenosen Okojie, acclaimed journalist Jean Rafferty, essayist and writer Laura Elizabeth Woollett, novelist and architect Yewande Omotoso, poet and performer Rachel McCrum, prize-winning novelist and poet Claire Askew, celebrated author Nada Awar Jarrar, critic and publisher Laura E. Waddell, BBC comedy writer Jasmine Tonie, writer and editor Annee Lawrence, award-winning poet and translator A.C. Clarke, poet, writer and presenter Mab Jones and feminist historian Chiara Bonfiglioli.
This book is drawn from contributions by people who identify as women and their allies to the Dangerous Women Project, which ran from International Women’s Day 2016 to International Women’s Day 2017. The fifty selections have been revised and updated, and details of almost 350 more pieces from the project are in the book, including my own contribution.
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