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Famous feminist quotes from inspirational women to empower you on International Women's Day

Famous feminist quotes from inspirational women to empower you on International Women's Day

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On International Women’s Day we recognise the power of women, from those who have broken glass ceilings to the unseen labours of millions around the world. Feminists all across the globe continue to fight for gender equality and champion female excellence.
From Laverne Cox to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, here’s some words that’ll keep you fighting the good fight on International Women’s day – and for the years to come. 1. “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back. “
Michelle Obama, speaking at the DNC (Getty Images) 2. “You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?…Your life belongs to you and you alone.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, from Half of a Yellow Sun 3. “When we stand for something, we’re unhinged. When we’re too good there’s something wrong with us. And if we get angry, we’re hysterical or irrational or just being crazy… So if they want to call you crazy? Fine. Show them what crazy can do .’
Serena Williams, speaking in a 2018 Nike advertisement 4. “This is what most girls are taught—that we should be slender and small. We should not take up space. We should be seen and not heard, and if we are seen, we should be pleasing to men, acceptable to society. And most women know this, that we are supposed to disappear, but it’s something that needs to be said, loudly, over and over again, so that we can resist surrendering to what is expected of us.”
Roxane Gay , from Hunger 5. “I am a person of color, working-class, born to a single mother, but I stand before you tonight an artist, an actress and a sister and a daughter, and I believe that it is important to name the multiple parts of my identity because I am not just one thing , and neither are you”
Laverne Cox, speaking to university students in 2015 (Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows) 6. “I identify more with who I feel myself to be than what I look like. Either way, am I obliged to entertain you with my appearance?”
Carrie Fisher 7. “Even if you find yourself standing alone, speak up. Even if people get mad at you, speak up. It’s not our job to stay silent so that others can stay comfortable. Use your voice to shape the world or others will shape it for us.”
Olivia Munn, in the wake of standing up to film bosses after they cast a registered sex offender in The Predator 8. “No black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much’. Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough.”
Bell hooks, from remembered rapture: the writer at work 9. “The idea that a woman can be as powerful as a man is something that our society can’t deal with. But I am as powerful as a man and it drives them crazy.”
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, speaking to The New Yorker in 2019 (Getty Images) 10. “ We are now a force , and you are nothing.”
Athlete Aly Raisman speaking to Larry Nassar, who was charged with sexually abusing her and multiple underage female athletes 11. “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men. There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women .”
Malala Yousafzai (Getty Images) 12. ” Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
Ruth Bader Ginsberg 13. “What’s interesting is that I hear a lot of people saying, when talking about girls‘ empowerment and women as well, you’ll often hear people saying, ‘You’re helping them find their voices’, I fundamentally disagree with that. Women don’t need to find their voice. They need to feel empowered to use it and people need to be encouraged to listen.”
Meghan Markle (PA) 14. “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
Maya Angelou 15. “For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up. Their time is up.”
Oprah Winfrey accepting the Cecil B. de Mille Award at the Golden Globes, 2018 16. “You want me to be a tragic backdrop so that you can appear to be illuminated, so that people can say ‘Wow, isn’t he so terribly brave to love a girl who is so obviously sad?’ You think I’ll be the dark sky so you can be the star? I’ll swallow you whole.”
Warsan Shire 17. “ We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies. That decision is ours and ours alone.”
Jennifer Aniston, in her personal essay for the Huffington Post about her choice to have children or not (REUTERS) 18. “How absurd that you minimize female self-respect and self-worth by saying someone should stay in a toxic relationship… I am not a babysitter or a mother and no woman should feel that they need to be…Shaming/blaming women for a man’s inability to keep his sh*t together is a very major problem.”
Ariana Grande, responding to a fan who held her responsible for an ex-boyfriend’s DUI charge 19. “Feminism is about giving women choice . It’s not a stick with which to beat other women with. It’s about freedom. It’s about liberation. It’s about equality. I really don’t know what my tits have to do with it.”
Emma Watson, speaking to The Guardian in 2017 (Getty Images) 20. “Feminism has fought no wars. It has killed no opponents. It has set up no concentration camps, starved no enemies, practiced no cruelties. Its battles have been for education, for the vote, for better working conditions…for safety on the streets…for child care, for social welfare…for rape crisis centers, women’s refuges, reforms in the law. If someone says, ‘Oh, I’m not a feminist,’ I ask, ‘Why, what’s your problem?’”
Dale Spender, from Man Made Language Icon/Gallery 10 books every feminist should read 1/11 10 books every feminist should read Shutterstock / Vadim Georgiev 2/11 10 books every feminist should read Set in the near future, Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel follows the story of Offred, a young handmaid to a powerful commander, who is a lynchpin in a totalitarian Christian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. What unfolds is a story of female subjugation at the hands of a male dictatorship, and the desperate hope of a young woman who clings to the memories of her former life and identity. As unpleasant as it is brilliant, this cruel and bone-chilling story will stay with your for the rest of your life – not just because it’s terrifying, but because it’s terrifyingly possible. 3/11 10 books every feminist should read Adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 49-page call to arms asks the question ‘what does ‘feminism’ mean today?’ Drawing on her own experiences, she aims her literary harpoon at discrimination, and the institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world. So important, is her essay, that every 16-year-old in Sweden will receive a copy to read as part of a new government initiative. “My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better,’” writes Adichie in the essay. “All of us, women and men, must do better.” 4/11 10 books every feminist should read Britain’s funniest feminist’s memoir helps women who are ‘too knackered and confused’ to work out if they are a women’s rights advocate (i.e the vast majority of us) to easily figure it all out. Less a glossy manifesto on women’s rights a more an honest attempt to decode what it means to be female, this book is a great read for anyone who’s intimidated or confused by the shifting parameters that define feminism. While no stone is left unturned – from bikini waxing and plastic surgery to objectification and Katie Price – the crux of the book’s argument essentially boils down to this quote: “Put your hand in your pants. a) Do you have a vagina? and b) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.” 5/11 10 books every feminist should read Ever had something ‘mansplained’ to you? Then you’ll want to know about this book. Rebecca Solnit’s essay ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ is credited with kickstarting the term – radically addressing the issues that a patriarchal culture may not deem as ‘issues’ at all. Exploring everything from rape culture to the nuclear family, Solnit’s prose reminds us of the basic right we all should have to a voice and an opinion. 6/11 10 books every feminist should read This Pulitzer-winning novel is set in Georgia in the 1930s and looks at the racism and sexism facing Celie, our heroine, as a black woman at the time. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. A violent and explicit insight into the issues facing African-American women in the US, this book is a surprisingly uplifting and comforting reminder that strength can be found even in the most tragic conditions. 7/11 10 books every feminist should read In these witty and intelligent essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of the evolution of modern woman – from the writer’s own experience with growing up to the wider popular culture influences that subtly define what it means to be a woman in today’s society. Bad Feminist should sit on every informed reader’s bookshelf – a sharp, biting and hilarious look at the ways in which our consumption shapes the person who we are. 8/11 10 books every feminist should read This young adult novel is a brilliant starting point for teenagers who are interested in the topic of feminism. It is set in a future dystopian world in which everyone is turned “Pretty” by extreme cosmetic surgery upon reaching age 16. We meet our heroine Tally Youngblood, who rebels against society’s enforced conformity, after her newfound friends Shay and David show her the downsides to becoming a “Pretty”. This is a brilliant read for any young reader, or indeed fully fledged adult, who is beginning to question the meaning of beauty, identity and individuality in the age of vanity and social media. 9/11 10 books every feminist should read No feminist should go without reading French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir’s ground breaking study of women. Perhaps the most extensive and enduring feminist book, The Second Sex is at once a work of anthropology and sociology, of biology and psychoanalysis – a book that will make you question the worth of the woman in 2016 just as much as it did upon its release in 1949. 10/11 10 books every feminist should read When Germaine Greer penned the Female Eunuch in the early 1970s, a woman’s role in society was still set by male expectations. While women were expected to work and be educated, they were still paid less than men for the same men, and were encouraged to marry and become housewives. The Female Eunuch called on women to reject their traditional roles in the home, and explore ways to break out of the mould that society had imposed on them. It also encouraged women to question the power of traditional authority figures and to explore their own sexuality. 11/11 10 books every feminist should read The American dream suburb of Stepford, Connecticut, has perfect houses, perfect lives, and perfect wives. This satirical thriller concerns Joanna Eberhart, a photographer and young mother who begins to suspect that the frighteningly submissive housewives in her new idyllic neighborhood may be robots created by their husbands. At once a psychological nightmare and a terrifying commentary on a media-driven society that values the pursuit of youth and beauty at all costs, The Stepford Wives will make you rethink the societal pressure to settle down, get a husband and ‘have it all’. 1/11 10 books every feminist should read Shutterstock / Vadim Georgiev 2/11 10 books every feminist should read Set in the near future, Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel follows the story of Offred, a young handmaid to a powerful commander, who is a lynchpin in a totalitarian Christian theocracy which has overthrown the United States government. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. What unfolds is a story of female subjugation at the hands of a male dictatorship, and the desperate hope of a young woman who clings to the memories of her former life and identity. As unpleasant as it is brilliant, this cruel and bone-chilling story will stay with your for the rest of your life – not just because it’s terrifying, but because it’s terrifyingly possible. 3/11 10 books every feminist should read Adapted from her much-viewed TEDx talk of the same name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 49-page call to arms asks the question ‘what does ‘feminism’ mean today?’ Drawing on her own experiences, she aims her literary harpoon at discrimination, and the institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world. So important, is her essay, that every 16-year-old in Sweden will receive a copy to read as part of a new government initiative. “My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, we must do better,’” writes Adichie in the essay. “All of us, women and men, must do better.” 4/11 10 books every feminist should read Britain’s funniest feminist’s memoir helps women who are ‘too knackered and confused’ to work out if they are a women’s rights advocate (i.e the vast majority of us) to easily figure it all out. Less a glossy manifesto on women’s rights a more an honest attempt to decode what it means to be female, this book is a great read for anyone who’s intimidated or confused by the shifting parameters that define feminism. While no stone is left unturned – from bikini waxing and plastic surgery to objectification and Katie Price – the crux of the book’s argument essentially boils down to this quote: “Put your hand in your pants. a) Do you have a vagina? and b) Do you want to be in charge of it? If you said ‘yes’ to both, then congratulations! You’re a feminist.” 5/11 10 books every feminist should read Ever had something ‘mansplained’ to you? Then you’ll want to know about this book. Rebecca Solnit’s essay ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ is credited with kickstarting the term – radically addressing the issues that a patriarchal culture may not deem as ‘issues’ at all. Exploring everything from rape culture to the nuclear family, Solnit’s prose reminds us of the basic right we all should have to a voice and an opinion. 6/11 10 books every feminist should read This Pulitzer-winning novel is set in Georgia in the 1930s and looks at the racism and sexism facing Celie, our heroine, as a black woman at the time. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. A violent and explicit insight into the issues facing African-American women in the US, this book is a surprisingly uplifting and comforting reminder that strength can be found even in the most tragic conditions. 7/11 10 books every feminist should read In these witty and intelligent essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of the evolution of modern woman – from the writer’s own experience with growing up to the wider popular culture influences that subtly define what it means to be a woman in today’s society. Bad Feminist should sit on every informed reader’s bookshelf – a sharp, biting and hilarious look at the ways in which our consumption shapes the person who we are. 8/11 10 books every feminist should read This young adult novel is a brilliant starting point for teenagers who are interested in the topic of feminism. It is set in a future dystopian world in which everyone is turned “Pretty” by extreme cosmetic surgery upon reaching age 16. We meet our heroine Tally Youngblood, who rebels against society’s enforced conformity, after her newfound friends Shay and David show her the downsides to becoming a “Pretty”. This is a brilliant read for any young reader, or indeed fully fledged adult, who is beginning to question the meaning of beauty, identity and individuality in the age of vanity and social media. 9/11 10 books every feminist should read No feminist should go without reading French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir’s ground breaking study of women. Perhaps the most extensive and enduring feminist book, The Second Sex is at once a work of anthropology and sociology, of biology and psychoanalysis – a book that will make you question the worth of the woman in 2016 just as much as it did upon its release in 1949. 10/11 10 books every feminist should read When Germaine Greer penned the Female Eunuch in the early 1970s, a woman’s role in society was still set by male expectations. While women were expected to work and be educated, they were still paid less than men for the same men, and were encouraged to marry and become housewives. The Female Eunuch called on women to reject their traditional roles in the home, and explore ways to break out of the mould that society had imposed on them. It also encouraged women to question the power of traditional authority figures and to explore their own sexuality. 11/11 10 books every feminist should read The American dream suburb of Stepford, Connecticut, has perfect houses, perfect lives, and perfect wives. This satirical thriller concerns Joanna Eberhart, a photographer and young mother who begins to suspect that the frighteningly submissive housewives in her new idyllic neighborhood may be robots created by their husbands. At once a psychological nightmare and a terrifying commentary on a media-driven society that values the pursuit of youth and beauty at all costs, The Stepford Wives will make you rethink the societal pressure to settle down, get a husband and ‘have it all’.

Robert Crumb: ‘I am no longer a slave to a raging libido’ | Books

The controversial artist talks about his latest exhibition, how his feelings on Trump have changed and why he has stopped drawing women. Robert Crumb has always been known as the bad boy of the comics world. He has filled sketchbooks with smutty drawings of women , made offensive remarks and still manages to show at a top New York art gallery with fans waiting for an autograph .
Robert Crumb: ‘I was born weird’ Read more
Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes, Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R Crumb is his latest exhibition, which runs until 19 April at David Zwirner gallery in New York. Showcasing old comic books from the 1960s to sketchbooks, a cartoon about Donald Trump and a portrait of Stormy Daniels, it traces Crumb’s path as pervert in chief – which marks the end of an era .
Because Crumb has stopped drawing women.
The Philadelphia-born artist was a key figure in the counterculture movement in San Francisco during the sexual revolution and has now decided to stop showcasing the female form. Perhaps it was the result of the #MeToo movement?
“I don’t even look at women any more,” said Crumb in New York. “I try not to even think about women any more. It helps that I’m now 75 years old and am no longer a slave to a raging libido.”
It’s a marked difference from a time when his work was typified by thick-thighed pin-up women and even in his 2016 series Art & Beauty, he featured a bathroom mirror selfie of a 21-year-old model who voluntarily emailed him nudes.
“When I was young, I was just obsessed with sexual desire, fantasizing about sex, masturbation, trying to figure out how to get laid. It was awful,” said Crumb. “Fortunately for me, I found a way to express this inner turbulence in my comics, otherwise I might’ve ended up in jail or in a mental institution. No exaggeration. I’m better now. I worked it all out somehow. Success and the love of real women helped me a lot. Aline really saved my dismal ass.”
He’s referring to Aline Kominsky-Crumb , his wife of 41 years, a cartoonist in her own right and collaborator . But not everything has changed since the Summer of Love. While pointing out the pretty portraits of his wife, Crumb reveals his other lovers, too.
“There are a lot of drawings in this show of other women I’ve been involved with intimately, both before and during my relationship with Aline,” said Crumb. “We have a kind of ‘open marriage’, bohemian artists and libertines that we are.”
Spread from R Crumb, Sketchbook, 1971. Photograph: Kerry McFate/Courtesy the artist, Paul Morris and David Zwirner
This exhibition, curated by Robert Storr, focuses on Crumb’s sketchbooks from the 1970s. There are drawings of acrobatic women with Kardashian-sized rear ends, sleazy businessmen smiling behind cigars and one sketch of a rabbit man slapping a woman across the face. Another has a woman with the words “Sex Object” floating above her head. When asked to elaborate, Crumb doesn’t recall drawing it.
“I’m sure I must’ve used the term ironically, a sort of self-accusation,” he ponders. “Yes, I’m guilty of looking at women as ‘sex objects’, I’ve done it thousands of times over the course of my life. I could not help it. The sight of a woman with a large ass and strong legs instantly electrified me. It was not something I could stop myself from feeling. I could only stop myself from acting on it, and therein lies Freud’s Civilizations and its Discontents .”
Crumb’s superwoman-esque drawings were not always meant to empower. “When I was young, I had a lot of anger towards women, as well as towards men and toward human society in general,” he says. “I vented my feelings in my artwork, in my comics. I was crazy enough not to think about the consequences too much.”
But things changed when Crumb received criticism. “I became more self-conscious and inhibited,” he said. “Finally, it became nearly impossible to draw anything that might be offensive to someone out there, and that’s where I’m at today.”
But there is life after sketchbooks, for Crumb. “So yeah, I don’t draw much any more,” he said. “It’s all right. A lot of ink has gone under the bridge. It’s enough.”
For decades, Crumb carried a sketchbook with him everywhere he went, something he learned from Leonardo da Vinci. It was the 1970s, a time when he drew religiously.
“I drew from life, from photos and from my imagination,” said Crumb. “I also used them as diaries, filling many pages just with text; long rambling self-reflections. I was socially alienated and had a lot of time on my hands.”
Stormy Daniels by Robert Crumb. Photograph: Kerry McFate/David Zwirner Gallery
Alongside the sketchbooks on view, the exhibit features Crumb’s Zap magazine covers, his famed Mr Natural, which was critical to the underground comix movement of the 1960s. There are also his Self-Loathing Comics from the 1990s, drawings of Artie Shaw, a strip based on Philip K Dick and a rejected New Yorker cover of a queer couple from 2009 .
Crumb’s comics have often been a critique of modern society, with waves of nihilism to sarcasm and disillusionment, not to mention drug hallucinations and the ongoing battle between 9-5ers and bohemians, many of which were his core readership in the 1960s and 1970s.
Some have called Crumb’s comics a comment on the American condition , but they’re also a snapshot into his personal outlook. His sketchbook subjects ranged from friends to girlfriends, strangers in public places and people based on magazine photos. “Sometimes just types,” he said. “Made up in my head.”
There’s also issues of HUP, a self-proclaimed “comic for modern guys”, including one issue from 1989 where he flushes Trump down the toilet after reading Trump’s book, Art of the Deal, which Crumb found offensive .
“My opinion of Donald Trump has changed a bit since I did that strip about him in 1989,” said Crumb. “Back then, I think I gave him a little too much credit for possessing a bit of class and sophistication. I now have a lower opinion of him than I did then. I now perceive a certain low, thuggish quality in his character, a guy who can say with a totally straight face: ‘Where’s my fuckin’ money? I want my fuckin’ money!’ It’s a Quote: from Bob Woodward’s book Fear .”
When asked if he feels misunderstood, he said only if his audience thinks he believes everything he draws.
“I only feel ‘misunderstood’ when people react to my work as if I were advocating the things I drew; the crazy, violent sex images, the racist images,” he said. “I think they’re not getting it. I did not draw those images with the intention to hurt anyone or insult anyone, with the exception of the very few times I did strips making fun of specific individuals, like Donald Trump.”
Crumb suggests it’s up to the audience to decide. “I’m just a crazy artist. I can’t be held to account for what I draw,” he said. “Personally, I don’t think they had a bad influence on people. I don’t think it works that way. Conning people, deceiving people, that is what is harmful to them.”
Topics Robert Crumb Art interviews

Superdrug launches amazing health and beauty sale and prices start from 1p

SPEND A PENNY Superdrug launches amazing health and beauty sale and prices start from 1p
Bargain hunters have spotted tubes of teeth whitening toothpaste on sale for 1p and face scrub for 40p By Hollie Borland, Senior Digital Consumer Reporter 8th March 2019, 12:12 pm Updated: 8th March 2019, 12:16 pm BEAUTY boffins can pick up a bargain from Superdrug after shoppers have spotted items selling for as little as 1p.
The beauty chain has dropped prices across a range of different products, including hair ties, moisturisers and face scrubs. Some items in Superdrug have been reduced to just 1p
The bargains were spotted by an eagle-eyed shopper on Latest, Deals, Extereme Couponing & Bargains Facebook group.
Alongside photos of what’s in the sale, Megan Smith wrote: “Some absolute steals in Superdrug today! Missed some of the best deals but some items were down to just 1p!”
One of the best deals was on a tube of White Glo toothpaste which costs a penny in the sale.
Normally, it costs £4.19 and even though it’s been reduced to £1.98 online, you can save a huge £4.18 by shopping in store. 5 Another shopper spotted Superdrug’s face scrub for me for 40p each, so bought 27 of them
Another bargain is on a button mirror which now only costs 5p, while a tub of leafy and lovely hand lotion costs just 25p.
One happy customer even posted on the group about how they’d picked up 27 tubes of Superdrug’s own brand men’s exfoliating facial scrub for 40p each.
Grace on Twitter write: “Gals get yourself to Superdrug if you wan a super soft tanning mitt. Bondi sands on is 1p “
Bargain hunters have also been sharing their spoils on the Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK group. 5 One shopper managed to pickup a a tanning mitt for a penny
A customer on the Winchester store found that kids Garnier Ambre Solair factor 50 sun lotion is also down to 35p each, which costs £4.50 if you order it via the website.
It appears that much of what’s on sale is left over Christmas stock so we’re assuming that the products will be vary from store to store.
We’re waiting for Superdrug to let us know when the sale is going to end, but it’s likely to be while stocks last. MOST READ IN MONEY Amazon Easter 2019 sale – when is it and what are the best deals? CHEAP AS CHOC Here’s how to get £10 worth of Cadbury chocolate in time for Easter SWEET TREAT Costa’s Spring Easter menu includes warm cheese scones and crispy rice cakes HOME MAKER Meet the 30-year-old who built a £1.5million property empire from scratch MONEY TROUBLES A quarter of people have lied about money to friends and family CHEERS TO THAT Morrisons is selling 1litre bottles of Baileys for £12
This is what happened with the highly anticipated Boots up to 70 per cent off sale .
If is the case, then you might want to head to your nearest store sooner rather than later as some of the best deals are bound to be snapped up fast.
Another bargain beauty buy is a new powder foundation from Primark that is just like one from Bare Minerals .
If you’re in desperate need of updating your make up bag, then here’s a way you can do it for free by getting your hands on samples. We tested Superdrug’s £99 botox and the results are impressive!
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It's now likely we will never leave the EU. This is how it will work

It’s now likely we will never leave the EU. This is how it will work
Parliament faces a choice between May’s deal and delaying our departure, possibly for ever Click to followThe Independent Voices
It says something about the unknowability of history that, this late in the day, the nation is poised between two such different paths. In the past few weeks I have alternated between thinking Theresa May is likely to get her Brexit deal through parliament and that we will never leave the EU.
This weekend I think the most likely outcome is that we will stay. I had thought the prime minister unlikely to win the vote on her deal on Tuesday, and nothing happened this week to change that assessment.
Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, returned from Brussels empty handed, and May travelled all the way to Grimsby to say nothing new, except to plead with EU leaders to help her. We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.
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The prime minister may travel to Brussels on Sunday or Monday. There will be a legally binding document of some kind. There may even be a completely coincidental announcement that extra spending on schools and hospitals in Northern Ireland will continue after the expiry of the Conservative Party’s two-year deal with the DUP in June.
The DUP may decide at the last moment to support the deal. But even then the prime minister needs another 106 MPs who voted against the deal last time to change sides. That means, for example, 73 Conservatives and 33 Labour. Those are what nowadays are called “challenging” targets. Shape Britain Before Brexit: Northern Ireland Show all 12 Britain Before Brexit: Northern Ireland 1/12 Derry, Londonderry A garage door displaying unionism, bolted shut, like a visual representation of Brexit Britain, locked to outsiders, safeguarding what’s inside Richard Morgan/The Independent 2/12 Derry, Londonderry Rossville Street, the site of Bloody Sunday, where messages demand a severance with England. From this perspective, Britain is England in sheep’s clothing, the real empire, the centre of colonial power Richard Morgan/The Independent 3/12 Bangor A political message in paint not yet dry, still forming, setting, adjusting, or in old paint finally eroding, melting away Richard Morgan/The Independent 4/12 Bangor Moral judgement frames a residential view. The message seeks to make everybody involved in the religious narrative: those who don’t believe are those most in debt Richard Morgan/The Independent 5/12 Castlerock The beach is sparse and almost empty, but covered in footprints. The shower is designed to wash off sand, and a mysterious border cuts a divide through the same sand Richard Morgan/The Independent 6/12 Belfast Two attempts to affect and care for the body. One stimulated by vanity and social norms and narratives of beauty, the other by a need to keep warm in the winter night Richard Morgan/The Independent 7/12 Belfast The gate to an unclaimed piece of land, where nothing is being built, where no project is in the making, where a sign demands the creation of something new Richard Morgan/The Independent 8/12 Derry, Londonderry Under a motorway bridge a woman’s face stares, auburn and red-lipped, her skin tattooed with support for the IRA and a message of hostility to advocates of the Social Investment Fund Richard Morgan/The Independent 9/12 Derry, Londonderry The Fountain Murals, where the curbs and the lampposts are painted the red, white, and blue of the Union Flag. A boy walks past in the same colours, fitting the scene, camouflaged Richard Morgan/The Independent 10/12 Coleraine A public slandering by the football fields, for all to see or ignore. I wonder if it’s for the police or for the community Richard Morgan/The Independent 11/12 Belfast A tattoo parlour, where the artist has downed tools, momentarily, bringing poise to the scene, which looks like a place of mourning, not a site of creation Richard Morgan/The Independent 12/12 Derry, Londonderry A barrier of grey protects the contents of this shop, guarding it from the streets outside, but it cannot conceal it completely, and the colours of lust and desire and temptation cut through Richard Morgan/The Independent 1/12 Derry, Londonderry A garage door displaying unionism, bolted shut, like a visual representation of Brexit Britain, locked to outsiders, safeguarding what’s inside Richard Morgan/The Independent 2/12 Derry, Londonderry Rossville Street, the site of Bloody Sunday, where messages demand a severance with England. From this perspective, Britain is England in sheep’s clothing, the real empire, the centre of colonial power Richard Morgan/The Independent 3/12 Bangor A political message in paint not yet dry, still forming, setting, adjusting, or in old paint finally eroding, melting away Richard Morgan/The Independent 4/12 Bangor Moral judgement frames a residential view. The message seeks to make everybody involved in the religious narrative: those who don’t believe are those most in debt Richard Morgan/The Independent 5/12 Castlerock The beach is sparse and almost empty, but covered in footprints. The shower is designed to wash off sand, and a mysterious border cuts a divide through the same sand Richard Morgan/The Independent 6/12 Belfast Two attempts to affect and care for the body. One stimulated by vanity and social norms and narratives of beauty, the other by a need to keep warm in the winter night Richard Morgan/The Independent 7/12 Belfast The gate to an unclaimed piece of land, where nothing is being built, where no project is in the making, where a sign demands the creation of something new Richard Morgan/The Independent 8/12 Derry, Londonderry Under a motorway bridge a woman’s face stares, auburn and red-lipped, her skin tattooed with support for the IRA and a message of hostility to advocates of the Social Investment Fund Richard Morgan/The Independent 9/12 Derry, Londonderry The Fountain Murals, where the curbs and the lampposts are painted the red, white, and blue of the Union Flag. A boy walks past in the same colours, fitting the scene, camouflaged Richard Morgan/The Independent 10/12 Coleraine A public slandering by the football fields, for all to see or ignore. I wonder if it’s for the police or for the community Richard Morgan/The Independent 11/12 Belfast A tattoo parlour, where the artist has downed tools, momentarily, bringing poise to the scene, which looks like a place of mourning, not a site of creation Richard Morgan/The Independent 12/12 Derry, Londonderry A barrier of grey protects the contents of this shop, guarding it from the streets outside, but it cannot conceal it completely, and the colours of lust and desire and temptation cut through Richard Morgan/The Independent
Theresa May is paying the price for saying different things to different audiences. In Grimsby on Friday she was still trying to scare Labour MPs into voting for her deal by saying it was better than a no-deal Brexit. In the next sentence, she was trying to scare Tory MPs by saying the alternative to her deal was that “we delay Brexit and carry on arguing about it, both amongst ourselves and with the EU”.
Naturally, Labour MPs hear the message intended for Tories, and vice versa. Labour MPs think, “Why should we vote for the deal when we could delay Brexit, possibly for ever?” And Tory MPs think, “No-deal Brexit is what my local association wants.”
Not only is May’s two-faced message counter-productive, however, it is wrong. She has already in effect ruled out leaving the EU without an agreement. Some of the no-deal Brexiteers have been slow to appreciate the significance of her statement on 26 February. She promised a vote in the Commons and said: “So the UK will only leave without a deal on 29 March if there is explicit consent in this house for that outcome.”
Such consent could not conceivably be forthcoming: there is a large majority in the House of Commons against a no-deal Brexit. This majority would prevail even if May were to split her cabinet and government by trying to whip her MPs to vote for a no-deal Brexit, which she will not.
If, therefore, the Brexit deal is defeated on Tuesday, the Commons will vote against a no-deal exit on Wednesday and will then move on to a third vote, on the question of whether the prime minister should ask the EU27 for more time. It is possible that MPs might vote against all three options, but there are only two capable of gaining a majority. Even if it takes repeated votes, parliament will have to decide either to leave with the deal or to delay Brexit.
If MPs vote for delay, Theresa May has undertaken to act on it. I think the EU27 would agree to extend the deadline, although we cannot be sure for how long or on what terms.
If we never leave the EU, that is how it will happen. After Brexit has been delayed once, parliament will face essentially the same choice two, three, nine or 21 months later. Once we have delayed long enough, a new referendum will be a possibility.
Some Conservative MPs think we could have a short delay and then leave without a deal in June. They are not paying attention. Parliament won’t vote for it now and it won’t vote for it then. Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent Minds
Other Tory MPs take a harder line. For them, the prime minister’s deal is not Brexit. It is “Remain by another name”. It would be worse than staying in the EU. They don’t want ever to leave on those terms.
Personally, I think delaying Brexit would be a bad decision, because the prime minister’s deal is a sensible compromise that respects the referendum and keeps us close to the EU economy. I think Tory no-dealers are fanatics who would rather destroy what they have worked for than accept any impurity or compromise. And I think most Labour MPs who vote against the deal are breaking promises they made to honour the referendum.
But if you want to stay in the EU, these MPs are your friends and deserve credit and high praise.
We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.
At The Independent , no one tells us what to write. That’s why, in an era of political lies and Brexit bias, more readers are turning to an independent source. Subscribe from just 15p a day for extra exclusives, events and ebooks – all with no ads.

Ninety and out to shock: meet the first Oscar nominated female director | Film | The Guardian

The Italian film-maker Lina Wertmüller broke ground when she was Oscar nominated for Seven Beauties, but her films were never calculated to win mainstream appeal. L ina Wertmüller’s first job in film was to scout out interesting faces for Federico Fellini. The Italian master was at the height of his success; she was an ambitious young puppeteer more interested in snatching her own location footage than honouring the duties of an assistant director. “I was the worst assistant, but that was overlooked because I was likable,” she says.
The film was 8½ , the tale of a fecklessly promiscuous director abandoned by his muse. It wasn’t long before Wertmüller had cast her own mother and her card circle of elegant socialites, who went on to be fleetingly immortalised playing canasta on a beach, in the 1963 film listed by Sight & Sound as the 10th greatest of all time .
By the end of that year, Wertmüller had made her directorial debut with I basilischi (The Lizards) – about three aimless youths in a sleepy southern Italian town – and embarked on her own lifelong pursuit of faces, bodies and dialects that could not easily be sourced from Cinecittà (Italy’s central studios).
Now aged 90, Wertmüller is about to arrive in London, on screen if not in person, as the first star of a new strand at London’s Barbican celebrating neglected film-makers. Four of her films will be featured in the month-long season , alongside a perky documentary about her life directed by her protege and assistant Valerio Ruiz . It is Ruiz who greets me at her apartment, perched two storeys up a winding staircase around the corner from the Piazza del Popolo in central Rome.
The door opens on two lifesized cloth dummies – featureless apart from their carefully tailored genitals – which sprawl across a bench in the entrance hall. Wertmüller is reclined on a chaise longue, a diminutive figure in her trademark white-framed glasses, with glossy scarlet toenails peeping out from a loose black robe. She shifts enough to allow me a perch on the end next to her feet, but is clearly not going to be separated from the two props that will dominate the next hour: an ashtray, into which she taps the ash from a steady stream of cigarettes, and an antique telephone, which she answers at length, each of the several times it rings.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Wertmüller (on right) on the set of Seven Beauties in 1975, with her star Giancarlo Giannini. Photograph: Medusa/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock
Her attention is focused beadily outwards: “And where did you grow up?” she parries, in answer to a question about her early life. “How tall are you?” she demands later, creating the alarming impression that I might be being sized up as an extra for her next film. When I tell her I have spent the last week immersed in her work, which I found impressive but also deeply shocking, she takes a deep drag on her cigarette and gives the first of many exaggerated shrugs.
The four films that will be shown in the retrospective were released in an intense bout of creativity in the early 1970s, culminating in Seven Beauties , which won four Oscar nominations in 1977, making Wertmüller the first woman to receive a best director nomination (it wasn’t until 1994 that Jane Campion joined her, for The Piano). Her Oscar nominations (she also received a nod for best screenplay) opened the door to a brief affair with American cinema. In the documentary, Behind the White Glasses , her lead actor, Giancarlo Giannini , recalls strolling together through New York’s Times Square beneath billboards for four of their films.
With their polemical ardour, their gross-out caricatures – usually of women – and their frequent outbursts of sexual violence, it is hard to imagine such films even being made today, let alone screened in Times Square. But just as important, at the time, was their social specificity. Three of the Barbican quartet deal directly with the stand-off between socialism, fascism and crime in mid-century Italy. Though Wertmüller was a socialist, she was too shrewd, cynical or capricious (depending on your perspective) to suggest that the gordian knot could ever be untangled.
In the most overtly comic of them, 1972s The Seduction of Mimi , a young activist is forced to leave his home in Sicily after voting against the mafia in the naive belief that the ballot would be secret. In 1973’s lingerie-tastic Love and Anarchy , an accidental anarchist hides out in a brothel and falls in love with a prostitute, while waiting to assassinate Mussolini. In the grimly comedic Seven Beauties, a young Neapolitan hoodlum (nicknamed “Settebellezze” – seven beauties – because of his disfiguring freckles) ends up in a Nazi concentration camp after deserting the army to which he has been conscripted after a series of mishaps prompted by the accidental shooting of his sister’s wealthy sugar-daddy.
In all three, Giannini plays variations on a hapless everyman. In each, Wertmüller (who wrote all her screenplays) immerses him in scenes of breathtaking sexual abuse – most shockingly in Seven Beauties, in which he rapes a straitjacketed woman in a mental hospital before being forced into sex with a grotesque Nazi camp commandant.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Pasqualino ( Giancarlo Gianini, left) about to receive the attentions of the Nazi camp commandant in Seven Beauties. Photograph: Medusa/Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock
All three also feature cameos from one of Wertmüller’s most striking outsider actors, Elena Fiore , who made her debut in The Seduction of Mimi as a middle-aged Sicilian housewife, her colossal, dimpled buttocks filmed in unforgiving closeup, as if through Mimi’s horrified eyes, as she succumbs to his cynical advances. When I suggest that it must have been pretty brave for an actor to agree to such unsisterly camerawork, the director gives another of her histrionic shrugs, and says: “I am looking for a reality that deforms the body.”
So who is Lina Wertmüller and what drives her “deforming” vision? Archangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Eigg Spañol von Braueich – to give her full birth name – was born into a wealthy family with a lineage that stretched back to Switzerland, via a couple of generations in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.
Those bare facts, she suggests, explain two things: first, her attachment to the south of Italy, even though she has spent much of her life in Rome. And, second and more playfully, her predilection for long titles (the Italian title of Love and Anarchy is Film d’amore e d’anarchia, ovvero: stamattina alle 10, in via dei Fiori, nella nota casa di tolleranza … ). They combine into an aristocratic disdain for petty conventions dictated from the powerhouses of the north. “The titles were also perhaps a joke at the expense of my producers, who had to fit them on a billboard.”
Expelled from multiple convent schools, Wertmüller abandoned her studies at 16 for a drama college, where she became immersed in the Stanislavski tradition. One childhood friend went on to marry the actor Marcello Mastroianni, thereby manoeuvering Wertmüller’s introduction to Fellini. In between, she immersed herself in popular theatre and worked for a travelling puppet troupe. “Really, there are two strands – two souls – which coexist in my work: the lighthearted one associated with musical comedies and the more socially conscious one,” she says.
Her most recent, and probably her last, job was as co-director of Verdi’s opera Macbeth, at Salerno in 2016. But her rackety “vulgar” side is captured in the documentary when she performs one of her own songs, Bac Baccanale, written for an abortive musical about Caligula. “Hands, sighs, butts, bellies … horny girls all in a frenzy …” she growls, lit up with a ribald energy.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Mariangela Melato and Giancarlo Giannini in Swept Away. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext/Cinema 5
The final film of the Barbican season, 1974’s Swept Away , condenses the elemental struggles of class, sex and geographical origin into a fable of a rich woman and a poor sailor marooned on a desert island. It is Wertmüller’s Lord of the Flies, with the exquisite Mariangela Melato gradually succumbing to Giannini’s re-emerging south-Italian machismo. “They are not only a man and a woman but they represent two politics: communist and capitalist. I was interested in observing what their relationship could be with no laws,” Wertmüller says.
Sexy and reprobate, Swept Away was picked up by Guy Ritchie and Madonna for a poorly received remake in 2002 . In the aftermath of her Oscars success, Wertmüller was signed up by Warner Brothers for four English language films, but the deal only survived one flop. The film critic Derek Malcolm recalls “a very curious case … In the early and mid-70s, she was the toast of Rome, London and New York, but quite suddenly, in the late 70s, the bubble seemed to burst. After getting that rare Academy nomination, she could do nothing right.”
“Italy is not one but many countries,” she says. One possible explanation for her seesawing fortunes is that her work was so intricately bound up with those countries, as reflected in the faces and speech rhythms of their inhabitants, that it got lost in translation. Her portrayal of women also fell foul of feminist critics. “Wertmüller’s detachment from her own femaleness and her old-style sense of herself as superwoman allows her to treat women with more exaggerated scorn, even loathing, than men would dare to,” wrote Barbara Quart in 1988 – an accusation that 30 years on, earns another shrug from the director: “Critics will say what critics say. I have never been concerned with success.”
“Directing is always an adventure, an adventure which can be good or bad and you can use this testament of yours to add something or nothing,” she says in the documentary. “We added something: the face of the south which few knew about.” In Swept Away, as in so many of her films, rape generates love. Is she really suggesting that sexual humiliation is erotic, that violence is the only way the different Italys can be reconciled? “Love is a mystery,” she says. “Why is love born? Because it is born.”
• Love and Anarchy: The Films of Lina Wertmüller is at the Barbican, London EC2, until 31 March
Topics World cinema features

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  1. Dante October 2, 2019
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