10 episodes

The fight for women’s rights is unfinished business. But where do we begin? Join incredible women, including actor and activist Jameela Jamil, Sex Education writer Laurie Nunn, Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan, Olympic gold medal winner Victoria Pendleton and feminist icon Susie Orbach, as they talk to British Library curator Polly Russell about all things sexual liberation, intersectionality, mental health and more. Find out about the long history of women fighting for justice, discover remarkable characters from the past and hear from women today who are challenging and changing the world for the better.

Creating a space for in-depth conversations on issues that matter across the world, this brand new podcast accompanies the British Library’s major new exhibition Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights, open in London until 21 February 2021.

Unfinished Business podcast series is generously supported by Joanna and Graham Barker and The Eccles Centre for American Studies. A Pixiu production.

bl.uk/unfinished-business

Unfinished Business Pixiu

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 67 Ratings

The fight for women’s rights is unfinished business. But where do we begin? Join incredible women, including actor and activist Jameela Jamil, Sex Education writer Laurie Nunn, Nubian Skin founder Ade Hassan, Olympic gold medal winner Victoria Pendleton and feminist icon Susie Orbach, as they talk to British Library curator Polly Russell about all things sexual liberation, intersectionality, mental health and more. Find out about the long history of women fighting for justice, discover remarkable characters from the past and hear from women today who are challenging and changing the world for the better.

Creating a space for in-depth conversations on issues that matter across the world, this brand new podcast accompanies the British Library’s major new exhibition Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights, open in London until 21 February 2021.

Unfinished Business podcast series is generously supported by Joanna and Graham Barker and The Eccles Centre for American Studies. A Pixiu production.

bl.uk/unfinished-business

    “We need space to party!”

    “We need space to party!”

    Having fun is a serious business. In this episode British Library curator Polly Russell joins forces with illustrator and club-night founder Flo Perry to explore how lesbians and queer women have partied, socialised and come together since the 70s. Because it’s in these moments and places that communities thrive and identities are confirmed. And these spaces are under threat.

    Polly and Flo are heading back to the 80s to get a sense of lesbian nightlife then, with club promoter Yvonne Taylor. They’re exploring the power of punk with Chardine Taylor Stone - LGBT+ activist and drummer of black feminist punk band Big Joanie. And they’re meeting British Library Research Fellow Eleanor Careless to learn how lesbians found each other in the past using feminist magazine Spare Rib.

    There’ll also be lots of metaphorically partying in some of the hottest queer nights happening pre pandemic- Tabitha Benjamin’s Butch, Please and Xandice Armah’s Gal Pals. Get your glad rags on, it’s going to be a wild one.

    Unfinished Business podcast series is generously supported by Joanna and Graham Barker and The Eccles Centre for American Studies. A Pixiu Production.

    • 50 min
    Trans Through Time

    Trans Through Time

    “It just felt completely natural to me that as long as there were gender roles there would be people who transcended them.” Juliet Jacques.

    In today’s episode British Library curator Polly Russell is joined by writer and filmmaker Juliet to explore how transgender lives have been represented in the press, in law and in culture throughout the ages. Because for transgender women in the UK and around the world, there is no finished business. Whether it’s access to healthcare, high suicide rates or being faced with violence on the streets, the issues trans people face are far from sorted. So Polly and Juliet are learning about queer stories from the from 20th Century with academic Alison Oram, getting inspired by political activist Christine Burns MBE and chatting to writer Kuchenga about how things stand today.

    Please note this episode contains explicit language and conversations about suicide.

    A Pixiu production.

    • 47 min
    Intersectionality: a beginning not an end

    Intersectionality: a beginning not an end

    Do you call yourself a feminist? For some, the is a straightforward ‘yes’ for others, it’s complicated. In this episode focusing on intersectionality we explore why.

    The term intersectionality was first used by lawyer Kimberly Crenshaw in the late 1980s to highlight that social justice problems, such as racism and sexism, are often inextricably linked.

    In this episode curator Polly Russell is joined by poet, activist and educator Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan as they explore intersectionality: why it’s essential, how has the term been misused and misappropriated and how looking through the world with an intersectional lens is just a starting point and not an end in itself.

    They look back to the 70s and 80s with Gail Lewis, psychotherapist, writer, activist and co-founder of the Organisation for Women of Asian and African Descent, and explore why this discussion is so pertinent now with academic Azeezat Johnson.

    • 44 min
    Serious Laughs

    Serious Laughs

    Throughout history attempts have been made to silence and ignore women. They’ve had to fight for a place in politics, had to use male pseudonyms to get published and often find themselves subjected to trolling and abuse when they speak out.

    So in this episode, curator Polly Russell and co-host comedian and writer Sara Pascoe are hearing from some women who stand on stage and command attention. They’re having a laugh with broadcaster and writer Sandi Toksvig and stand-up comedian Shazia Mirza as they explore how the comedy scene has changed over time and what still needs to be done.
    Strap yourselves in for some very funny conversations and unexpected revelations…

    Unfinished Business podcast series is generously supported by Joanna and Graham Barker and The Eccles Centre for American Studies. A Pixiu Production.

    • 44 min
    "A Scar In Our Society"

    "A Scar In Our Society"

    We’re living in what some have called an epidemic of domestic abuse in the UK. It’s sadly a large part of the ongoing struggle for women’s rights, justice and the ability to live a life free of the threat of violence. In this episode, British Library curator Polly Russell is joined by bestselling author and Women’s Aid Ambassador Holly Bourne to explore why it happens, how it can affect anyone, what is being done to improve the situation, and what still needs to change.
    They’re hearing from survivors as well as Pragna Patel, a woman who’s worked to change the landscape over the last 40 years. Pragna is the Director of Southall Black Sisters, an organisation which has been highlighting and challenging all forms of gender-related violence against women since 1979.

    If you’d like any support or advice on anything in this episode visit womensaid.org.uk or southallblacksistsers.org.uk

    Unfinished Business podcast series is generously supported by Joanna and Graham Barker and The Eccles Centre for American Studies.

    • 43 min
    Freewheeling Women

    Freewheeling Women

    Today, we’re going cycling!

    When you see a bicycle 'revolutionary' and 'radical' probably aren't the first thoughts which spring to mind but for women in the late 19th century hopping on a bike was transformative. They could travel where they wanted and when they wanted at speed. In this episode, curator Polly Russell is joined by cyclist, writer and blogger Jools Walker (AKA ‘Lady Velo’) as they pedal through the epic history of women on bike and explore the politics of cycling today and why the sport is still so important for women. They get a pep talk from daredevil Olympian Victoria Pendleton, take a ride with Velociposse, an all-women’s bike club and hear from cycling sociologist Dr Kat Jungnickel, Goldsmiths, University of London, about the pioneering Victorian women who designed new forms of cycle wear.

    Unfinished Business podcast series is generously supported by Joanna and Graham Barker and The Eccles Centre for American Studies.

    A Pixiu Production

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
67 Ratings

67 Ratings

ktkfodifdi ,

The Politics of Pleasure

Informative, intrepid and inspiring, shining a most welcome and much needed light into areas kept in the dark for far too long.
Wonderful!

samiandfredandcallum ,

Great Podcast

Listening in September 2020. Good luck to that guy going to see his kids.

rickburin ,

Warm, funny, fascinating

I loved this. Disparate but themed stories from the world of libraries, told with authority, insight and a complete lack of stuffiness. Episode one, ‘The library is open’, takes in a storytelling scheme for prisoners and their kids, a remote Nepalese library that’s fighting people-trafficking, and a very pleasant man explaining why Magna Carta can’t get you off a parking ticket.

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