Words and women
Feminist Open Forum marks International Women’s Day tonight with readings from Catherine Cullen, Claire Kilroy, Medbh McGuckian, Eilis Ni Dhuibhne and Enda Wyley among others at the Central Hotel tonight at 7.30 p.m. Billed as a “celebration of women’s writing”, the event raises the question of whether identifying writers by their gender is even helpful or necessary in this day and age. After all, A.S. Byatt has rejected any identification of herself as a “woman writer”, publicly denouncing the women-only Orange Prize in Britain as sexist, and refusing to have her novels ever submitted for consideration for the prize. “What is it about being a woman that is particularly under threat, in need of attention, or indeed distinctive from being a man when it comes to picking up a pen?” Alain De Botton famously asked when the prize was first established. Anyone care to answer?