Stirred: Vindication

We were really happy to be a part of the series of events at the People’s History Museum celebrating Mary Wollstonecraft and investigating a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft which is on the first floor of the museum. Our workshop took place on the Monday 18th May 2015.

As a group we responded to the portrait, and wrote the below piece:


I miss you,
the small tenseness of your right hand.

Emerging from the dark behind you,
your face dead centre haunts.

You own the space in front of you,
have covered your throat so no-one
this time can go for the jugular,
touch your gentle hands and remind us
of the hard toil of women, republican virtue,
their hands red and rugged.

Contained within the frame
you are a lasting beacon:
as much freedom as you want.

Others will require you as well.
I know you were sad but you look proud.

Thanks all who came and participated in writing these pieces. We also wrote a series of group poems in response to this quote from Vindication of the Right’s of Women: “Taught from infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.”

If beauty is subjective how can that simple adjective
Define me as a whole.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Find your own mirror
The reflections draw you in
Restricted by assumptions that femininity is inevitable
And you can’t go out without your mask
Protecting you from others and others from you
The doors swing and dance is in the wind
She is not home, in the home, women sit

And here is our edited group piece:

We look forward to sharing more of the feminist fighting words from Stirred: Wollstonecraft.


The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

Tagged with:
Posted in BeccaAudra, Events, Feminist thinking, Poetry Scrawls

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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