Our writing tutor suggested Jeanne Ray’s Calling Invisible Women as an interesting read- starting from a standard domestic scenario and turning into something different. She was encouraging the notyet writers amongst us to feel comfortable starting with the familiar.
I enjoyed the book much more than I expected- I suppose I was expecting light hearted chick lit, but I found it fun, challenging, political, and ever so slightly bonkers. In a good way. It’s essentially about how the cultural invisibility of menopausal women led directly to a physical invisibility.
Who noticed? Who cared?
What can you achieve when nobody knows you’re there? What power do you have?
What are the freedoms associated with being naked and unseen?
Are we all invisible in some way?
The next book I read was Bedsit Disco Queen, where teenage Tracey tried out her voice for a band from inside the wardrobe. This presented a number of challenges (‘We could hardly take the wardrobe around with us.’) and prompted a sort of reflection many of us will recognise
“Making music is never just about making music. it’s about being heard, fighting for your personal vision- your own version of events- to be listened to, given weight. It’s about making people sit up and notice you, and acknowledge your worth. But while I wanted all this, I seemed to want it in an invisible sort of way. I wanted to be heard without having to be heard, or perhaps more specifically, without having to be looked at.”
Are you invisible? Do you want to be?
What would you change?