Altrincham-based marketing director and mum takes on feminist battle with debut book ‘Womanhooded’

HAS The 53-year-old, a marketing director and mother of two teenage daughters from Altrincham, kicks off 2024 this week by fulfilling one of her resolutions in spectacular fashion – publishing her passion project ‘Womanhooded’, a book that brings together her passions, aspirations, experiences and social commentary to womanhood – a topic that has won the hearts of many as the book continues to climb the book charts.

Having set out to bring this book to life last year, after the onset of menopause and an ovarian cancer scare, when she published it in January, Joanna Lambe began the year as she intends to continue – as a fierce defender of women’s voices and a champion for the next generation.

As a woman who has experienced sexism in her career, being told she belongs in the ‘writing pool’, being laid off when pregnant and struggling to find flexible part-time work after having children, Joanna feels she has lived the stereotypes.

When she looks back and thinks about how she started her own feminist magazine, which grew to an audience of over 30,000 and a team of 10 writers, interviewing the likes of Janet Street-Porter, after she was fired, she also sees that her the struggle was always there. But giving it up when she got pregnant with her second child because she “couldn’t handle it all” brings a huge sense of regret and sadness, and a sense of signing up to what she’s now fighting against – the women who are holding back because of it. to social pressures.

After hitting menopause, she found a new fire in this new turning point in her life. She said; “This book has been many years in the making, but it is menopause that has brought it out of me, as I feel re-ignited, with a new sense of urgency, also fueled by frustration with many elements of my life’s journey. far.”

This book was designed to “revitalize the movement for women’s fulfillment and potential and challenge the status quo of women’s social roles” with this book Joanna says; “supports a seismic shift in perception and action regarding women’s roles at home and in the world” – and asks; “Have you ever wondered who you are and why you are here? Is it picking up crumbs or picking up pants? Do you want to change your world?…”

The book encourages conversation about women’s lives from childhood to adulthood and provides actionable strategies for reclaiming the identity and potential that is often limited and untapped along the journey of womanhood.

“I’m frustrated that in 2024 we’re still discussing and pushing for equality and justice for women,” she says, “but this is still the reality we live in.”

A devoted mother of two teenage daughters, Joanna draws inspiration from her own experiences and observations, driven by a desire to create a better future for the next generation. Lambe delves into the life cycle of women and outdated ideas, explores how societal norms impede progress at various stages of life, including marriage, motherhood and menopause, and shares her own stories and experiences.

Key concepts explored in the book include:

  • Women’s educational achievements are not proportionally reflected in their social roles
  • Internalized socialization causes women to support others while losing their own identity
  • Women’s Empowerment Actions – What women can do to empower and reconnect with their true selves to help them reach their true potential

Marked by health issues and a commitment to self-discovery, Joanna’s personal journey sparked an awakening that culminated in the creation of “Womanhooded,” including an ovarian cancer scare that turned out to be endometriosis.

She said: “When my doctor told me I had two satsumas on my ovaries, one on each, I pictured them in my head, then she said don’t worry, one is just small! It made me think about how it was expected to be accepted – and it made me think about what else I’ve been expected to accept as part of being a woman over the years, and she found out what else was in me . That’s when I decided to dig deep to find out what I wanted to do with this struggle – and this book and campaign is the result!”

“I also took these health scares when my body was trying to tell me something, and I asked myself if I was going to die, ‘What would I regret not doing?’—the result is this book!”

“I have two determined daughters with huge potential and there is no way I want them to be held back by what society expects.”

In her current role as marketing director at a cosmetic surgery clinic, Joanna regularly witnesses women who lack confidence and have an identity crisis. She says, “I heard the same pattern of personal stories many times and noticed that each woman’s personal struggle in her own box is actually a political issue because most women in society today face the same issues.”

Joanna says that after becoming a mother, she spent many years focusing on her home and raising her family. The book identifies how women are socialized to prioritize others, leading to a loss of identity at life stages such as marriage, motherhood and menopause.

Joanna explained: “Like many people, I reassessed my life during the pandemic, looking at the ‘motherly load’ of work it took to keep the house running and the menopause coming along. I hit a brick wall in my life. I couldn’t and I wouldn’t want to face another day of domestic toil in the kitchen without the help of other members of my family to share the burden.”

“Women are routinely expected to keep quiet about most women’s issues. It is time to use our voices on this and many other women’s issues, so I hope this book will be a catalyst for change in many areas of women’s lives.”

Lambe’s call to action is clear: women must shed any guilt, delegate household responsibilities and actively participate in decision-making processes in order to achieve personal fulfillment and contribute to social progress – “We don’t want to destroy more, we want to build more!”

Joanna Lambe’s book ‘Womanhooded’ aims to inspire women of all ages, from 15, to break free from societal constraints and embrace their uniqueness. She says; “The book signals a transformative movement to address issues such as identity crisis, lack of self-confidence and early socialization that hinder women’s progress. ‘Womanhooded’ is not just a book; is a catalyst for change, a manifesto for women’s empowerment and a blueprint for a fairer and more just society.”

Joanna adds: “I want to change women’s lives for the better, to reconnect with their individual identities, feel more personally fulfilled and help them reach their true potential to improve society for all of us.”

“I have always loved books ever since I read Enid Blyton and Aesop’s fables as a child. As a teenager, I focused more on school curriculum books such as; Pride and Prejudice and now that I’m an adult, I devour self-help, empowerment, and feminism books. I’ve been thinking about writing a book since university and have started several times in my life, but I was compelled to write this book only now because I kept seeing the same pattern of unfulfilled women who lost their identity and were “put aside”. “They had to do something about it in their own lives!”

Joanna held her book launch at The Bowdon Rooms, Altrincham in January.

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