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Count Your Blessings: Day 22


Women make up 64% of the world’s illiterate.  Have a look at one of your bookshelves.  Give 10p for each book by a female author.


OK, so I have to begin with a pet grouse of mine... I dislike adjectives being used as nouns, especially when they are prefaced with the definite article.  I know it's a practice of which even Jesus appears guilty ('the poor will always be with you'; though to be pedantic ptokos IS a noun, and the distinction gets lost in translation) but in recent years I have come to appreciate, from some minority groups, how awful it is to be lumped together as an adjective "the disabled", "the disadvantaged" etc.  So 'the illiterate' makes me immediately think "the illiterate what?  cabbage? goldfish? ah... person".  I blame that ministerial college where I trained, it was them what got me into this habit!!  (As an aside, I always find the title "disabled toilet" disconcerting - I'd rather they supplied one that was functional...;-) )


So, back to the point in hand, and actually the little rant illustrates precisely the privilege of being a literate woman, able to determine meaning from squiggles on piece of paper.

As it happens, I am doing this at home, so the book shelves to hand are filled mostly with fiction.  Were I at church, and choosing to look at a shelf of theology books, I expect it would prove a cheaper day!  I have elected to use the top shelf of the bookcase in my living room, knowing, even before I do the count that there are nine Susan Howatch novels, two by Marilyn Robinson and one by Barbara Kingsolver up there...

Ulp!  No less than 21 books on that shelf are written by women, so that's £2.10.  For curiosity, I have picked another shelf where my old engineering text books are located and there is nothing written by a woman... maybe that of itself says something about access to education, gender stereotypes and societal norms?


My Pledge

Today - £2.10

Total - £23.75, three prayers, one rant and one e-petition signed

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