This week, on International Women’s Day, our friends at Laurence King games, sent over a few things for us to review. The first thing on the list was FEMINIST ORACLES cards, which sounds well, intimidating. I mean it starts off sounding a lot like a stern academics guide for an upcoming series of lecturers but on delivery everything changed. The box work has great feminist voices, cartoon drawn. From Pusey Riot, sitting in a, well pooping position, to Ruth Bader Ginsberg with gavel ready to drop. All bound together in a wonderfully coloured and styled box. The text also assured me that this is a device that can help ‘blaze a trail with advice from 50 iconic women’.

On opening the box, I was presented with a booklet, that includes a biography of each person featured on the cards, written in a skilled way to highlight and also highpoint without cropping important facts. As an avid reader of bios, this is an artwork and the compiler and editor deserve heaped praise. The booklet is also beautifully illustrated. I am a sucker for a good, well printed box set. But underneath this blissfully absorbed genuine loveliness is a message. Each card has advice from the oracle’s life. From their work, vision of society and personal wellbeing (usually psychological focused). Then the cards. We’ll you start with Malala Yousafzai, the youthful, education champion, nearly murdered by the Taliban. Her words are simply, intelligent and powerful. Will it inspire? Maybe it will. Oprah gets a card (as well she should) and extols the virtue of strength of ambition over simple desire for fame and money. Gloria Steiner is introduced and insightful uses of her motto are played. And so it goes. Some of the 50 are really, really well put together. With profound words. Clear thoughts that could enrich and lift. Compact enough to give you a lift at any time and sometimes reflective and at others just got your back.

However I do have some issues. Angela Davis expresses activist ideas with hard truths but this is not all of her. So I should be happy some will be drawn into her works but. Then Pankhurst’s work is boiled down to three firm sentences. Three points. A woman with so much to say. Stifled maybe. Then we have Ellen DeGeneres. A person to some who is toxic. I don’t mind her but would rather not listen to her comments. Knowing that her atmosphere of brutal in fighting was a thing. Also knowing that he legacy is dubious at best, soured the other truly inspired contributors. In all, these cards are both a blessing to those who need a spiritual and philosophical lift. They give something. But what they give so they take. This means, in my opinion, they value and devalue the works. If you can accept this, accept the voices are varied and valued but also an under representation of the total, its something for you.



Feminist Oracles: Blaze a Trail of advice from 50 Iconic Women written by Charlotte Jansen and illustrated by Laura Callaghan. Released 25th February 2021, available laurenceking.com


Feminist Oracles



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