The Aftermath of Women’s Writing en de Anna Bijns Lezing

“It’s because you’re a woman, friends said to me. And what did they mean by that, by the word woman? A person hemmed in by regulations, from whose mouth certain things ought not to be heard? Or, a person in whom society has a vested interest, but against whom there is at the same time discrimination, both social and intellectual? One friend said, look at what women are writing these days: pornography and history. Lifestyle pornography, emotional pornography, works of onanistic sentimentality; or else history, for the woman with nothing to sell, who would prefer to avoid the question of life. Life is unsafe, and history is concluded: she can be clever there, and studious; she can wander there for hours, quite free. Oh yes, said my friend – and I forgot to mention children’s books.”

Op donderdag 22 november vond de eerste editie plaats van een nieuw literair fenomeen: de Anna Bijns Lezing. Met deze jaarlijkse lezing wil de Anna Bijns Stichting sprekers voor het voetlicht brengen die een prikkelend en vernieuwend perspectief hebben op de rol van de vrouw in de literatuur, zowel vanuit historisch als hedendaags perspectief. Door gerenommeerde sprekers uit het buitenland uit te nodigen, wil de stichting het nog immer actuele discours rondom ‘vrouwen en literatuur’ in een internationale context plaatsen.

Rachel Cusk hield de eerste Anne Bijns Lezing. Een vertaling van een verkorte versie verscheen 31 november 2012 in NRC Handelsblad. Zie hier haar hele lezing.

De Britse auteur Rachel Cusk bijt met haar lezing The Aftermath of Women’s Writing de spits af. Cusk, die romans schreef als In het land van moedersArlington Park en De Bradshaw-variaties en door het tijdschriftGranta werd verkozen tot een van de twintig beste jonge Britse auteurs van dit moment, stelt in haar oeuvre  taboes rondom vrouw-zijn en man-vrouwverhoudingen op een intelligente, provocerende en genadeloze manier aan de orde. In haar lezing daagt zij vrouwelijke auteurs uit om uit hun comfortzone te stappen en, waar nodig, hun vrouwelijke verworvenheden te laten vallen ten behoeve van een literatuur die ertoe doet.


His Holiness the Dalai Lama pledges support for one billion rising

December 13, 2012


V-Day Campaign Escalates, Draws Support of Thinkers, Writers, Activists, and Celebrities, as Global Day of Action Draws Near

December 13, 2012 – Today V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls, announced that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has publicly expressed his support of V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING campaign.

The ONE BILLION RISING campaign began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than ONE BILLION WOMEN AND GIRLS. On February 14, 2013, V-Day’s 15th anniversary, activists, writers, thinkers, celebrities and women and men across the world will come together to express their outrage, strike, dance, and RISE in defiance of the injustices women suffer, demanding an end at last to violence against women.

On December 8, 2012 His Holiness sent a personally signed note to campaign organizers saying:

I am happy to give my support to the One Billion Rising global campaign against violence against women and girls.

We need to use our common sense, and encourage others to use theirs, to understand what violence towards women and girls entails. There are no circumstances under which such violence can be justified; no benefit can even be achieved by violence. The only certainty is that where there is violence, always and inevitably there is suffering. Understanding that the nature of violence is suffering, leads to a clear understanding its harmfulness and futility.

When an unjust situation demands a strong response, compassion demands not that we accept injustice, but that we stake a stand against it. It does imply that such a stand should be non-violent. However, non-violence is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of self-confidence and courage.

If, on 14th February 2013, one billion people can celebrate and demonstrate against violence against women and girls, while maintaining a calm non-violence attitude themselves, in that indication of strength they will reveal the confidence that comes from having truth and justice on your side.

The Dalai’s Lama’s support is an important milestone in V-Day’s fastest escalating campaign to date. The global movement has gained unprecedented support from hundreds of thousands around the world in the lead up to February 14, 2013. To date:

  • Activists in 177 countries have signed on to take action.
  • Over 13,000 diverse organizations around the globe are involved, including Amnesty International USA, International Rescue Committee, NOW, Human Rights Campaign, and major unions including the AFL-CIO.
  • Actors and V-Day board members Jane Fonda, Rosario Dawson, Donna Karan, Thandie Newton, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington along with Yoko Ono, Jessica Alba, Connie Britton, Kate Clinton, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lawrence, Dylan McDermott, Robert Redford, Lily Tomlin, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Zoe Kravitz supporting the mission by recording PSAs and activating their networks.
  • Governments and politicians around globe including the First Lady of Nepal, the Mayor of Lima, the Los Angeles City Council, British MP Stella Creasy, and many others are joining the campaign.
  • Writers and thinkers including Alice Walker, Adam Hochschild, Naomi Klein, Dr. Denis Mukwege, and Christiane Northrup are raising their voices for ONE BILLION RISING.

Press Contacts: Jen Hirsch:; 646.495.9723 and Susan Celia Swan:; 917.865.6603