Editorial: 250 days of dangerousness

We can’t believe it’s really here – we’re at 250 posts, which means that, at the end of this month, there will be less than 100 to go to the finish line!

Thank you so much for your support of the project, no matter whether this is the first post of the project you’re reading or you’ve been with us from the start. These 250 is a huge milestone for us, and we truly could not have reached it without you. Thank you for being the best readers, contributors, and discussion partners a project could hope for!

We were humbled to discover that the Women’s Aid group from Women’s Aid East and Midlothian was shortlisted for the Write to End Violence Against Women Award for their collective poem ‘A Dangerous Woman’. This was one of the first posts we published on the website, and to this day remains one of the most moving.

We’ve had a lot of exciting posts since our last editorial, and, especially in the light of recent political events, we were proud to get to feature two posts on historical female leaders, Hatshepsut in Ancient Egypt and Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty. We also shared a closer look at how Hillary Clinton’s candidacy was reported in the press, an exploration of Nicola Sturgeon’s dangerousness through the lens of Derrida, and the fascinating experiences of women participating in peace negotiations.

Do you fancy adding a dangerous act to your day? Why not ride a bicycle, drink gin, go on holiday, cook a meal, or edit Wikipedia? Take inspiration from Merovingian Queens or the raven-women of Irish mythology. Or learn about the many historical women whose stories we heard: Meet Amparo Cardenal, the young woman whose voice recording outlived her, the late environmental scientist and Scottish aid worker Dr Linda Norgrove or Mary Anning (the woman behind the rhyme she sells sea shells).

The last fifty posts also showcased the life and work of many writers and activists. Anna Politkovskaya, a Russian journalist, was murdered ten years ago because her writing was deemed too dangerous. Constance Naden, while also compared to George Eliot in an obituary, was thought to be a danger to herself because her female body could not possibly support the brain work she had been undertaking. Find out more about Naomi Mitchison, Willa Muir, Marija Jurić Zagorka, Hazel Rennie, Flora Annie Steel, Raden Adenj Kartini, and Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan, who is currently imprisoned for her dangerous words.

We are glad to get to share with you creative responses to our question. If you’re in the mood for poetry, why not revisit Elaine Gallagher’s Agendas, or a poem about unapologetic body builders, or ‘Eat them all’, a poem about what it means to be a bisexual woman. If it’s visual art that interests you, may we suggest you take a look at the collage work picturing a Roma storyteller, or the mixed-media artwork of Malala sowing dangerous seeds of education? Clare Archibald’s experimental fiction piece ‘Paper Dolls Join Together With Dots of Whispered Steel’ gives insight into everyday experiences through a dangerous lens, and reimagined Rapunzel story turns the idea of the evil witch on its head. While on the subject, do give Alice Tarbuck’s ‘Kitchen Witch’ piece a read, and find out more about the business of incantations. The original dangerous woman, Eve, got her own post as well.

With lots of personal stories, tales of contemporary and historical women, and thoughtful essays, there’s plenty to make you feel inspired. If you’re in Edinburgh, there’s another opportunity to embrace your inner dangerous woman and meet fellow travellers coming up next week! Book Week Scotland is about to kick off, and we’re proud to get to be a part of it with our event “Keeping the Door Open: The 7 Habits of Extremely Effective Dangerous Women” next Wednesday evening at the Wee Red Bar in Edinburgh. While tickets have already sold out (exciting!), we are running a waitlist as tickets can always become available closer to the date of the event. If you can’t make it along, we’ll have a special Dangerous Women Project blog post on the website soon to share the sum of our dangerous speakers’ wisdom with you.

We’ve said that we feel close to the finish line – and in some ways that’s true, but we also acknowledge that 100 posts are a handful in themselves. To help us with this final stretch, we need  you: Your voice, your stories, your reflections. Share this project with your favourite dangerous women.

Pick up a pen and paper and write down when you last felt dangerous, or even when you wished you did.

Then consider telling us about it.