Giant tampon is to go show at British Library as part of exhibition
22nd October 2020

Giant glittery tampon is to go show at the British Library as part of a pro-women’s rights exhibition

  • The giant tampon was created by artist Sam Dawood for some charity workshops
  • It will feature in exhibition on the fight for women’s rights at the British Library
  • A first edition of Jane Austen’s debut novel, Sense And Sensibility, which was anonymously published, will also be on show during women’s rights exhibition

A 39-inch glittery tampon is going on display at the British Library in an exhibition on the fight for women’s rights.

The sequin-decorated ‘glampon’ is among artefacts including protest poems written on jail toilet paper by suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst.

Curator Debbie Cox said the one metre glampon ‘breaks down barriers’ so women can discuss issues previously loaded with ‘fear, shame and negative connotations’.

The ‘glampon’ was created by artist Sam Dawood for workshops by the charity Bloody Good Period.

The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil smashed her weighing scales in response to a body-shaming meme. She has given the British Library new scales for the exhibition.

A giant tampon is going on show at the British Library. The sequin-decorated ‘glampon’ is one of several items in a new exhibition on the fight for women’s rights taking place this month

The exhibition explores how work of contemporary feminist activists in the UK has its roots in the long and complex history of women’s rights and will feature work of Austen and Pankhurst

Other objects include records of surveillance carried out on Sophia Duleep Singh, who ‘supported campaigns for women’s suffrage in the UK and was a ‘favourite goddaughter’ of Queen Victoria.

The exhibition will also feature protest poems penned on toilet paper in Holloway Prison by Sylvia Pankhurst, who was imprisoned for seditious activity.

Also on show is a first edition of Jane Austen’s debut novel, Sense And Sensibility, which was anonymously published, with her authorship only revealed after her death.

Visitors will also see a first edition of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication Of The Rights of Woman, one of the founding works of feminist philosophy, and a Handmaid’s costume worn in recent women’s marches, as seen in The Handmaid’s Tale.

A 1924 letter written by a woman with a violent husband, to campaigner Marie Stopes, describes an urgent need for birth control.

Cox said the exhibition comes with a warning, as some of the exhibits are ‘harrowing’.

The women’s rights exhibition will take place at the British Library this month 

‘We can’t avoid the fact that women are subject to violence and there are some emotive issues,’ she said.

The British Library said the exhibition ‘features the stories of women, gender non-conforming people and trans people who have long defied expectations about who they are, how they should behave, and what they can achieve’.

The show starts on Friday at the London library and runs until February.

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