Zora Simic

Zora Simic

Zora Simic is a Senior Lecturer in History and Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of New South Wales.

Zora Simic reviews 'Complaint!' by Sara Ahmed

September 2021, no. 435 19 August 2021
Zora Simic reviews 'Complaint!' by Sara Ahmed
In 2016, feminist and queer theorist Sara Ahmed resigned from her post as professor at the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths, University of London, in protest against the failure to address sexual harassment at her institution. Given that she was at the peak of her career and working in a centre she had helped to create, hers was a bold and surprising move, but also entirely consistent wi ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and desire in the age of consent' by Katherine Angel and 'Why We Lost the Sex Wars: Sexual freedom in the #MeToo era' by Lorna Bracewell

June 2021, no. 432 26 May 2021
Zora Simic reviews 'Tomorrow Sex Will Be Good Again: Women and desire in the age of consent' by Katherine Angel and 'Why We Lost the Sex Wars: Sexual freedom in the #MeToo era' by Lorna Bracewell
Among historians of sexuality, it is customary to stress that there was never just one sexual revolution, but many. There were the pop-culture versions, the countercultural expressions and perhaps most momentously, but least discussed, the everyday or ‘ordinary’ sexual revolution. Or conversely, as French philosopher Michel Foucault so influentially argued in The History of Sexuality Vol. 1: T ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'Feminisms: A global history' by Lucy Delap

April 2021, no. 430 23 March 2021
Zora Simic reviews 'Feminisms: A global history' by Lucy Delap
Lucy Delap, Reader in Modern British and Gender History at the University of Cambridge, is a consummate historian and not one to privilege her own experience. Indeed, one of her chief aims in her innovative new global history of ‘feminisms’ – the plural is important, no matter how inelegant – is to bring to the fore feminists and other activists for women’s rights who are less well known ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'The Better Half: On the genetic superiority of women' by Sharon Moalem

June–July 2020, no. 422 27 May 2020
Zora Simic reviews 'The Better Half: On the genetic superiority of women' by Sharon Moalem
All authors who are releasing new books during the global pandemic are at a disadvantage, but some less so than others. It helps to have a title that speaks to the moment, which The Better Half, with its central thesis that women are ‘genetically privileged’, certainly does. The coronavirus, we have learnt, tends to affect men more severely than women. Some have attributed the discrepancy to m ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'In The Dream House: A memoir' by Carmen Maria Machado

March 2020, no. 419 17 February 2020
Zora Simic reviews 'In The Dream House: A memoir' by Carmen Maria Machado
The opening dedication in Carmen Maria Machado’s ground-breaking memoir In The Dream House reads: ‘If you need this book, it is for you.’ Here, Machado offers a gift but also a clue. She wrote this book because she needed to. For close to two years, she was in a lesbian relationship in which her partner was abusive to her. In making sense of it, Machado found a few books here and there, but ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'She Said: Breaking the sexual harassment story that helped ignite a movement' by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey and 'The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An investigation' by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly

December 2019, no. 417 22 November 2019
Zora Simic reviews 'She Said: Breaking the sexual harassment story that helped ignite a movement' by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey and 'The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An investigation' by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly
The worldwide women’s marches of January 2017 were sparked by the election of Donald Trump, a self-proclaimed ‘pussy-grabber’, to the US presidency in November 2016. Among the millions who marched was movie producer Harvey Weinstein. As with Trump, rumours of inappropriate behaviour with women had long plagued Weinstein, but he also had a history of aligning himself with feminist causes. He ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse' by Jess Hill and 'Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo' by Mithu Sanyal

September 2019, no. 414 26 August 2019
Zora Simic reviews 'See What You Made Me Do: Power, control and domestic abuse' by Jess Hill and 'Rape: From Lucretia to #MeToo' by Mithu Sanyal
Domestic violence and rape are not easy topics to write or read about. It’s not just because of the subject matter itself, as grim and distressing as the details can be. The writer must grapple with centuries of cultural baggage, competing theorisations and research paradigms, and the politicisation of these issues, for better or worse. They have responsibilities to those affected, including amo ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews '#MeToo: Stories from the Australian movement' edited by Natalie Kon-yu et al.

June–July 2019, no. 412 23 May 2019
Zora Simic reviews '#MeToo: Stories from the Australian movement' edited by Natalie Kon-yu et al.
How do we get the measure of the phenomenon that is #MeToo? Both deeply personal and profoundly structural, #MeToo has been described as a movement, a moment, and a reckoning. Some critics have dismissed it as man-hating or anti-sex; sceptics as a misguided millennial distraction from more serious feminist concerns. Others distinguish between a ‘good’ #MeToo (focused on eradicating sexual hara ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'The Seventies: The personal, the political and the making of modern Australia' by Michelle Arrow

April 2019, no. 410 25 March 2019
Zora Simic reviews 'The Seventies: The personal, the political and the making of modern Australia' by Michelle Arrow
Abortion was big news in Australia in 1973. In May, a bill was introduced to Federal Parliament that, if passed, would have allowed women in the ACT to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester. So intense was public interest in this issue that one MP suggested televising the debate. On the day of the vote, activists inside the Women’s Embassy – a tent protest clearly inspired by the Aborig ... (read more)

Zora Simic reviews 'Germaine: The life of Germaine Greer' by Elizabeth Kleinhenz and 'Unfettered and Alive: A memoir' by Anne Summers

December 2018, no. 407 19 November 2018
Zora Simic reviews 'Germaine: The life of Germaine Greer' by Elizabeth Kleinhenz and 'Unfettered and Alive: A memoir' by Anne Summers
When Anne Summers first met Germaine Greer at a raucous house party in Balmain in the early 1970s, she threw up in front of her after too many glasses of Jim Beam. Almost fifty years later, she muses that perhaps that early encounter was one of the reasons why they ‘never really connected’. After reading Summers’ latest memoir, Unfettered and Alive, in tandem with Elizabeth Kleinhenz’s Ger ... (read more)