Mother’s Day is approaching, and to mark the occasion, we are looking at some of the wonderful programmes, facilities and support networks available to women who are also mothers, in Greater Manchester.
We will be joined by Helen Bryce of the Guilty Mothers Club. Helen will be telling us about the workshops and social events her company runs, and how these can help women who are returning to work after maternity leave.
Speaking of the workplace, we will be talking about women in trade unions with writer and researcher, Bernadette Hyland. Bernadette’s books include Northern ReSisters: Conversations with Radical Women, and she co-wrote Dare to be Free: Women in Trade Unions, Past and Present. She writes the popular blog, Lipstick Socialist, commenting on issues including women, class, history and culture, as well as writing for a variety of national newspapers and local magazines. You can read more about Bernadette here.
Bernadette introduced us to Audrey White, who was a manager of a clothes store in Liverpool in 1983, when she was sacked after she challenged a male manager who had been sexually harassing female staff. Audrey was a member of TGWU, but the company refused to recognise or negotiate with the union, so Audrey and members of TGWU picketed the shop every day. Eventually the company caved in and Audrey was reinstated and even paid for the weeks she had lost. It was Audrey’s picketing over male harassment that led to the creation of the rights we as women enjoy today in the workplace.
Bernadette has written an article about Audrey’s case here.
Meanwhile, the Mary Quaile Club will be showing a rare screening of the film, Business as Usual, which is based on Audrey’s story. The screening will take place on Saturday 8 April from 1-4pm at Three Minute Theatre, Afflecks Arcade, 35-39 Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JG. Seating is limited at this theatre, so do book in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also joining us this week will be Naomi Newman, with whom we will be discussing representations of women in graphic novels. Are comic book women real superheroes, or is their representation somehow problematic? Naomi runs a book club for feminist graphic novel enthusiasts, called Paper Girls Book Club. You can find a link to the website here, and to the club’s meet up group here.