Weekly Reads #3

Our Senior Producer, Kim Simpson, shares what she has been reading this week; from sexism and abuse of power to the psychology of self-righteousness…


“So as the world continues to come online around #metoo and about sexism, harassment, abuse of power it’s becoming clear that the dam has burst somewhat. My earlier – unconscious and unnamed at the time – instinct that this wouldn’t go anywhere real and we’d all go back to “normal” seems to have been pessimistic… now as part of a strong, female-led company it feels important to pick through what’s been said and what we can do… so in the spirit of keeping this urgent conversation alive, here is what I’ve been reading. 

Testimony, abuse of power and refusal from below are eloquently explored in this piece No More Excuses on Frieze by Elvia Wilk.  

This LongReads urges those that feel uncomfortable about what we are hearing from women everywhere and the men who are being held to account, often years after their crimes, to sit with that feeling and recognise that the rage and fear are feelings woman have quietly carried for lifetimes. 

Some incredible Australian female leaders, including Jade Lillie of Diversity Arts Australia, have gotten together and produced a guide for tackling sexism in professional (and personal!) contexts. It’s practical and a bit of a lifeline while we move from naming the problem to dealing with it on a daily basis. 

Another huge story, linking to capitalism (and in turn patriarchy and power) here is BBCs everything you need to know about the Paradise Papers leak.  

This week’s chosen Brain Pickings article is about personhood and the strapline reads: 

“It is the intentions, the capacities for choice rather than the total configuration of traits which defines the person”.

Finally, my friend has been telling me for years about Jonathan Haidt. I listened to him on On Being with Krista Tippett (an excellent podcast that I thoroughly recommend!) discussing the psychology of self-righteousness. I found this particularly awakening and it gave me plenty of pause for reflection.”

Helen Cole, We See Fireworks, IBT13, © Oliver Rudkin