A best-selling writer has called for a national “Museum of Misogyny” to be built beside Dundee’s new V&A building.
Historical novelist Sara Sheridan has suggested artefacts linked to John Knox and Mary Queen of Scots, women accused of witchcraft, wage equality campaigners and suffragettes could go on display.
Writing in her new “alternative guide” to Scotland that recognises the contribution of around 1000 women, the Edinburgh-based writer said Dundee was the ideal location for the attraction due to its long-standing history of feminist activism and campaigns for the rights of female workers.
Sheridan proposes that feminist books, films, posters and t-shirts with the phrase “misogyny belongs in a museum” could be sold there.
Where Are The Women?, published by government agency Historic Environment Scotland next week, “reimagines” a different Scotland which recognises its “outstanding female heritage.”
Sheridan, who describes the city’s statue of the “rebellious” Beano character Minnie The Minx, as an “icon” of the spirit of Dundee, said: “I started out on the book with a massive research project, found more than 5000 women across Scotland, and then came up with around 1000 that I wanted to go in the book.
“I bought a huge map of the country and tried to work out the best place for them go on the map and how I could memorialise them.
"When I began looking at Dundee it seemed as if there was a feminist culture fairly early on and a strong sense of women there having rights. There was strike by maid servants for better conditions in the 19th century. I could see Dundee felt like the right place for this."
Sheridan's book highlights every existing tributes to notable women across Scotland, but also suggests renaming existing memorials to men, as well as brand new tributes across the country.
She has also suggested the creation of a new underwater fountain in the middle of the River Tay to honour marine engineer Victoria Alexandrina Drummond, the renaming of the city’s new railway station after the Dundee missionary Mary Slessor, who spent nearly 40 years in Nigeria, and a flaming torch honouring Isabella Keyzer, a shipyard welder and long-time equal pay campaigner.
Sheridan added: “The idea with the book is that people read about a country where only the women are memorialised, then walk out into the real world and maybe notice that is really only men that are recognised, and realise how strange and imbalanced it is.
“It is an issue all over the country but it is at local level that there would have to be a will to do something about it.
“I would love it if a Museum of Misogyny did happen in Dundee. But it will be up to other people to take it up. My expertise is imagination.
“I would see its guidebook being about different kinds of misogyny and different ways that culture and male legislators have tried to control women’s bodies and rights.”