Woman's Hour

BBC Radio 4

Health, Kids & Family, News & Politics

The programme that offers a female perspective on the world


Shakespeare's mothers and sons, When should you go public about sexism?

April 20th, 2016

Episode 556 of 985 episodes

Political journalist and assistant editor of the Spectator, Isabel Hardman, was offended when an MP addressed her as 'totty' - he said specifically, 'I want to talk to the totty.' She complained to the Whips and posted her experience on social media, though she chose not to name the MP. But is speaking out always the best thing to do? Journalist Isabel Oakeshott last week said that, "Strong women don't need to whine about sexists calling us 'totty'... there are better ways to handle things." So should we always call out sexism in every situation? Are there sometimes, 'better ways to handle things'? Jenni is joined by Edwina Currie and Laura Bates, who explores the issue in her new book Girl Up. In October last year we interviewed two women affected by the closure of the SSI's Teesside's iron and steel making plant. It resulted in the loss of over 2,000 jobs. Six months later, Jenni catches up with those two women, Michelle Posthill and Linda Robinson. As we approach the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, we look his portrayal of the mother and son relationship. Our reporter Judi Herman talks to actors set to perform in Saturday's production of Hamlet at The Globe. And France has passed a law making the act of paying for sex illegal, but what does history tell us about the effectiveness of criminalisation? Jenni is joined by historians Hallie Rubenhold and Julia Laite to discuss the impact of criminalising sex work in the 18th and 19th Century Europe.

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