Women’s issues aren’t only defending at the Assembly: a sharp tong can play a determining role. Because of it, The Circular asked Mary Kenny, an Irish author, journalist, and famous feminist her favourite list of feminist books with her comments.
The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir, 1949
Mary Kenny: Classic foundation text. She’s not right about everything (chromosome research hadn’t been established in her time, so I can’t agree with her opening statement: “One is not born a woman…” – biologically, most females are born female), but her insights are striking and significant just the same.
Free women Free men, Plagia Camille, 2018
Mary Kenny: Sex, Gender and Feminism. A very combative writer, but again, a brilliant intellectual, with a strong libertarian message. She is also capable of cognitive paradox. She favours absolute free choice on abortion, and yet she also recognises the pro-life position as coherent and having the “high moral ground”.
Mary Kenny: A very fine historical account of the background of the (British) women’s movement – education was the first goal, hard fought for. (Nursing, too, was an important milestone. Florence Nightingale matters.) Cambridge didn’t grant women degree diplomas until 1948. (But Dublin was admitting women to study medicine in the 1870s – first in the [then] the UK to do so. Paris was also very progressive about women doctors.)