Ann Oakley (born 1944) is a distinguished British sociologist, feminist, and writer. She is Professor and Founder-Director of the Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education, University of London and in 2005 partially retired from full-time academic work to concentrate on her writing and especially new novels. Oakley is the only daughter of Professor Richard Titmuss and wrote a biography of her parents as well as editing some of his works for recent re-publication. Her mother Kathleen, née Miller, was a social worker.
She was educated at Somerville College, Oxford University taking her BA in 1965, having married fellow future academic Robin Oakley the previous year. In the next few years Oakley wrote scripts for children's television and wrote numerous short stories and had two novels rejected by publishers. Returning to formal education at Bedford College, University of London, she gained a PhD in 1969; the qualification was a study of women's attitudes to housework, from which several of her early books were ultimately derived. Much of her sociological research focused on medical sociology and women's health. She has also made important contributions to debates about sociological research methods.
Ann Oakley has written numerous academic works, many focusing on the lives and roles of women in society as well as several best-selling novels, of which the best-known is probably The Men's Room, which was adapted by Laura Lamson for BBC television in 1991, and which starred Harriet Walter and Bill Nighy. She has also written an early partial autobiography. She divides her life between living in London and in a rural house where she does most of her fiction writing. She is a mother and grandmother.
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“If love ... means that one person absorbs the other, then no real relationship exists any more. Love evaporates; there is nothing left to love. The integrity of self is gone.”
—Ann Oakley (b. 1944)
“Men are the enemies of women. Promising sublime intimacy, unequalled passion, amazing security and grace, they nevertheless exploit and injure in a myriad subtle ways. Without men the world would be a better place: softer, kinder, more loving; calmer, quieter, more humane.”
—Ann Oakley (b. 1944)
“Where women love each other, men learn to smother their mutual dislike.”
—George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian)