A ‘good woman’ is hard to find. To be ‘good’, after all, women face expectations that are shifting, internally contradictory, emotionally extreme, and prospectively even deadly. To be divergent, on the other hand, is an expansive position, encompassing cackling witches, childfree women, struggling mothers, insecure teenagers, and persecuted innocents. Exploring divergent women from a variety of critical and creative perspectives, this edited collection puts forth a dialogic discussion of how non-conforming women are coded as ‘evil’, and asks, what happens when women choose to be divergent?
Delving into reflective and auto-ethnographic perspectives which explore subjective responses to the influence of the representation and treatment of evil women, Divergent Women is ultimately a celebratory reclamation of the concept of feminine transgression.
Featuring perspectives from North Korea to Victorian England, from Biblical to digital narratives, this boundary breaking text demonstrates that divergent women have complex inner lives, agencies, and a unique ability to inspire other women to resist social sanctions. Encompassing global perspectives and bringing together artistic and academic work, the authors invite readers to explore the possibilities for divergence that exist under the label of womanhood.
Chapter 1. Introduction: Grasping the Broomstick, Cutting the Umbilical Cord; Lorraine Rumson and Abby Bentham
Section I. Maiden
Chapter 2. Portrait of the Monster as a Young Girl – An Interactive Dialogue; Simmone Howell and Bec Kavanagh
Chapter 3. Spiteful Spirits: Projection and Blaming in Women’s Lives and Mother-Daughter Narratives; Moy McCrory
Chapter 4. Witch Hunt: The Media’s Obsession With One Infamous Canadian; Jane Barker
Section II. Mother
Chapter 5. The Paradox of Female Villainy in Mary Robinson’s Walsingham and Charlotte Smith’s The Young Philosopher; Tammy Dalldorf and Sylvia Tloti
Chapter 6. Resubjectivation of the Female Voice in Eunsung Kim’s My Mother’s Story; Soonbae Kim
Chapter 7. Off With Their Wombs! Cultural Representations of Women’s Rebellion Against Motherhood; Elif Çakmak and Lorraine Rumson
Chapter 8. Beyond Mandatory Motherhood: How Childfree Women Use Digital Spaces to Redefine Womanhood; Sam George-Allen
Section III. Crone
Chapter 9. All About Snow White’s Mother; Naomi Govreen
Chapter 10. Forgiving European Witches: The Case for Pardons and Memorials; Catherine Jenkins
Lorraine Rumson is a PhD candidate in English Philology at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and Network Director of the Progressive Connexions Interdisciplinary Network.
Abby Bentham is Lecturer in English and Theatre at the University of Salford, UK.