Lizzie's debut book 'That F Word' out now
Available at all good bookstores
“There aren’t enough words in the English language to account for all of the things that women are ‘not enough’ of,” says award-winning columnist, musician and activist Lizzie Marvelly in her first-person work, The F Word: Growing up Feminist in Aotearoa, published in September.
“We’re not thin enough.
We’re not smart enough.
We’re not kind enough.
We’re not generous enough.
We’re not fit enough.
We’re not tolerant enough.
You name it, and you’ll find an article or advertisement that tells women that we’re not meeting the arbitrary standard we should.
In That F Word, Marvelly tells the story of New Zealand's feminist roots, examines our gender imbalances, challenges the traditional expectations in New Zealand society and celebrates the indomitable spirit of Kiwi women.
There are some things, Marvelly says, that are worth getting angry about.
Marvelly’s excellent writing and straight-up, no-holds-barred approach to issues of gender equality will engage and excite a whole new generation of women.
She also shares her first-hand experiences of abuse, sexism and trolling, while shining a light on how young women are raised from birth and how they're conditioned in our schools.
“Women are advised not to walk home alone at night, not to drink alcohol, not to wear clothing that may show off our bodies, not to openly acknowledge that we are sexual beings, all in the name of protecting us from the unspeakable horror delivered by the crazed sexual sadist hiding in the shadows. We’ve been warned about the pressures of work environments, the ‘cut and thrust’ of politics, the rigours of professional sport and the high stress of academia by a society that is seemingly so concerned for our wellbeing that it sees danger for the female of the species at every turn. How very convenient.”
“How much healthier would we be as a society if we allowed people to define themselves, without conditioning them to feel like they have to think and act in certain ways or casting them as ‘others’?”
“I have seen many men hurt by the restrictive bounds of masculinity over the years. Men are just as locked into destructive and arbitrary gender ideals as women are.”
“Taking a stand has never been easy. It’s even harder if you’re a woman. Feminism is still a scary word for a lot of people. Whether you’re warm, cold, young, old, attractive or unattractive, if you’re also a woman who is bold enough to share her views, you’ll be punished. Opining whilst female will only become easier if more women speak out regularly; if we make a concerted effort to ensure that there is nothing remarkable about being a woman with a strongly held opinion.”
“It’s time that we took a long, hard look at our culture and the impact that it has upon all of us – men, women and people of all genders. It’s time that we deconstructed the expectations, the assumptions, the representations and the generalisations ascribed to our identities.”
That F Word is for the bossy little girl in all of us.
Lizzie Marvelly is a musician, writer, producer and activist from New Zealand. She has released three albums, toured around the globe and performed the New Zealand National Anthem on numerous occasions for the All Blacks, the Black Caps and the Kiwis, among others. She founded Villainesse.com and started the #MyBodyMyTerms campaign, aiming to spark conversation about victim-blaming, revenge porn, consent and sexual violence. The #MyBodyMyTerms videos have been viewed over 500,000 times, and received press attention from the Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Buzzfeed US, Cosmopolitan US, Bustle, and the New Zealand Herald, among many others.
She is passionate about children and young people, and has been an ambassador for Variety - The Children's Charity since 2011, becoming a member of the board in late 2016. She has since taken on other governance roles, joining the board of the New Zealand Drug Foundation in 2017.
In 2016, Lizzie began writing a weekly column for the Weekend Herald. In 2016 and 2017, Lizzie was named as a finalist in the New Zealand Women of Influence awards. In May of 2017, Villainesse won Best Blog at the Canon Media Awards, the same year that Lizzie won Best Opinion Writing - General.
Earlier this year, Lizzie co-wrote and co-produced The REAL Sex Talk, a 12-part sexuality education webseries in which a cast of New Zealand celebrities and experts delivered credible, accessible information to Kiwi teens. Also in 2018, she co-founded and co-produced Wāhine Kākano - The New Zealand Young Women’s Festival, and is currently co-producing a documentary for Māori Television.