As this project requires the submission of stories of a sensitive nature and often on topics that are personal, it is probably worth explaining who I am. After all, why would you submit a story to an anonymous stranger without any idea of what they’re about?
If you had to put me in a box I’m a feminist writer and researcher.
You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Jen_Thorpe.
I have a masters degree in Politics from Rhodes University where my focus was on gender politics and particularly the impact of scripts of femininity on young women. I am a feminist and think that is an incredibly cool thing to be in a world that seems to think women’s rights are already achieved. I also have a masters in Creative Writing from UCT and my first novel, The Peculiars, was published in 2016.
I have a blog with the Mail and Guardian which I try to use to get women’s rights and issues of social justice into public discussion. I also write for Women24, Women and Girls Hub and a range of other women-orientated sites trying to get these issues in the media.
In the 2010 June 16th edition of the newspaper I was listed as one of the 200 Young People in South Africa that you should take to lunch. In the 2011 June edition of CLEO magazine, I was featured as a blogger for this blog. In August 2010 an article I wrote called ‘Why It’s Not Ok Not To Be A Feminist’ that appeared in the South Africa Marie Claire. I was a finalist in the 2010 Women’s Learning Partnership essay competition where I wrote about Gender Based Violence as one of the primary problems facing South African women. In 2011 I was nominated as one of 75 Young African Women Leaders and was privileged enough to meet Michelle Obama in Johannesburg. In 2013 I was awarded the Emerging Old Rhodian Award from Rhodes University that celebrates people who are doing well early on in their career. In 2014, I attended the African Women’s Development Fund Creative Non-Fiction writing workshop.
I’m committed to making women’s lives better. Whether that is through research, or writing or shouting from the rooftops.
Because I know women who have succeeded in life despite abuse, poverty, illness and despair. I know that women can provide comfort, love and compassion in infinite volumes in ways that supercede logic and understanding; and I know that each woman in this journey, whatever it may be, sometimes needs help.
There is nothing better than a hand extended to help you when you need it, and so I’m just trying to keep my hand extended. It’s that simple really.