The sonographer was prodding my belly.
He grabbed a different ultrasound. ‘She’s using the wrong one,’ he said irritably of his colleague, standing next to him – who presumably had a name, and one that he knew.
Apparently the link to feminine pink or boyish blue – and associated life choices – starts in the womb, already established while my foetus was still gulping down amniotic fluid in preparation for breathing.
‘If you mean boy or girl,’ I said, with as much stiff dignity as I could muster, on my back, smeared in cold gel, with the sonographer’s hand resting casually on my crotch, ‘then yes, I would like to know.’ After more prodding, her sex was revealed: it was a girl!
Growing a girl, while I work on this feminism edition, brought the issues into sharper focus. It’s the world I have experienced as a woman in my lifetime and it’s the one that awaits her too. I wonder, how will she navigate the vagaries of consent? Persistent inequality?
But while concerned about what she’ll be up against, I have also been impressed by the fantastic women whose work is likely to make the world that bit more equal by the time she starts to make her way in it.
We were lucky to be able to draw on the expertise and experience of all-round internationalist feminist, the writer Hannah Pool, who has acted as Contributing Editor for this edition.
Women are celebrated throughout this magazine – Mixed Media reviews solely female authors and filmmakers, and this month we’ve elected to highlight Yemeni political activist Tawakkol Karman in Agenda. We are also excited to welcome comedian Kate Smurthwaite, who has a beef with cupcakes.
Hazel Healy for the New Internationalist co-operative.
Women’s rights has got its mojo back – and not a minute too soon. Hazel Healy takes stock of the challenges ahead.
They cut a dash in the crowded hall: a gang of secondary-school girls in head scarves and bright red capes, which were emblazoned with faces of their heroes – Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou.
The girls, visitors from Mulberry school in Tower Hamlets, were taking part in Women of the World (WOW) festival earlier this year. They listened to 16-year-old education activist Malala Yousafzai and presented their own views on why feminism is more relevant than ever. ‘We are standin...
What can different generations of feminists learn from one another? Leading Indian grassroots activist and author, 68-year-old Kamla Bhasin, connects with 16-year-old Londoner Lilinaz Evans, co-founder of the Twitter Youth Feminist Army. Facilitated by Hannah Pool.
The TV cameras have long departed, but four years after the earthquake, Haiti remains a country in crisis. Brian Fitzpatrick and Michael Norby report from Port-au-Prince on how hunger and violence rule the roost in a situation nearing boiling point.
Andrew Smith speaks to Nicholas Gilby, author, campaigner and winner of a landmark case against the British government.