I am currently working towards my PhD at MIRIAD in Manchester School of Art and I have two more years to complete my deed. Once I complete my 100.000word thesis, I will dedicate it to my mother’s mother.
Her name was Aikaterini Kouskoura and – like many women born in countries with wide spread sexism – was not offered much of an education. She did learn how to read and write, but she was taken out of school in a very young age, so as she could work at home and the farm and later care for her own husband, children and grandchildren. She was never educated above primary school level, she never went to University and she never learned to drive a car or ride a bicycle. Her neighbours always praised her as being exceptionally tidy, clean, welcoming, trustworthy and caring. She barely ever left the house; sometimes she went to church, but she always went to vote, though she had never travelled much, yet alone visit another country. My grandmother died on the 12th of June 2010, God rest her soul, but the last couple of years of her life she suffered like a martyr. I decided not to publish her cruel story online, but I hope she is in a better place now; she suffered a horrifying end, because of the fact that she was a woman; because of the fact that her daughters’ opinion was not as significant as her husband’s or her son’s.
My deed is to successfully complete my PhD in my grandmother’s memory, without at any point forgetting that I am a feisty, enduring, opinionated woman, whilst also making an academic contribution towards the further understanding of the promotion of gender ideals through the medium of the woman’s periodical.
” I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute”.