A pioneering New Zealand feminist reflects on fifty years of feminism
In 1971 Sue Kedgley and a group of other young feminists carried a coffin into Auckland’s Albert Park to protest against decades of stagnant advancement for New Zealand women since they won the right to vote in 1893. From that day, she became synonymous with Second Wave feminism in this country, most notably organising a tour by Germaine Greer that ended in an arrest and court appearance.
In this direct, energetic and focused autobiography, Kedgley tracks the development of feminism over the last five decades and its intersection with her life, describing how she went from debutante to stroppy activist, journalist, safe-food activist and Green politician.
Her rich and rewarding life has included encounters with Betty Friedan, Yoko Ono, Kofi Annan, Sonja Davies and the Dalai Lama, and she has never abandoned her feminist convictions. She regrets that there is still a culture of male entitlement, sexism and double standards, and that women are still victims of violence. Even so, she argues, feminism has achieved an extraordinary amount. Fifty years ago women were a sort of underclass. Now they have entered almost every sphere of national life, even if many pay a high price for their hard-won success.
Thanks to the movement, she says, after centuries of subjugation, women are finally coming into their own. It is, she says, their time now, and their turn.
‘Kedgley is a fluent, wonderfully stroppy writer, and not afraid to name names. Her book is an energising reminder of how far we have come, and how far we have yet to go.’ — Jenny Nicholls
To look inside, click here.