Reading Women

Reading Women

How the Great Books of Feminism Changed My Life

Book - 2011
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Baker & Taylor
In a spirited, personal guide to the classics of feminism, the author examines how well the books hold up to the realities of marriage and motherhood in her own life. Original.

Perseus Publishing
A spirited guide to the classics of feminism, examining how well the canon holds up to the realities of marriage and motherhood

When Stephanie Staal first read The Feminine Mystique in college, she found it “a mildly interesting relic from another era.” But more than a decade later, as a married stay-at-home mom in the suburbs, Staal rediscovered Betty Friedan's classic work—and was surprised how much she identified with the laments and misgivings of 1950s housewives. She set out on a quest: to reenroll at Barnard and re-read the great books she had first encountered as an undergrad.

From the banishment of Eve to Judith Butler's Gender Trouble, Staal explores the significance of each of these classic tales by and of women, highlighting the relevance these ideas still have today. This process leads Staal to find the self she thought she had lost—curious and ambitious, zany and critical—and inspires new understandings of her relationships with her husband, her mother, and her daughter.



Blackwell Publishing
The first time Stephanie Staal read feminist authors like Simone de Beauvoir and Betty Friedan, she was a nineteen-year-old student taking a Feminism 10 I class, her eyes as wide as the horizon of limitless possibility that stretched in front of her, A decade later, Stephanie is a wife and mother who has traded the stability and independence of full-time work for the flexibility of freelancing as she brings up her daughter in a small city to which she has moved from the hub of New York. Her former self seems to be increasingly obscured by the diaper- and dish-load. Distant from her family and urban friends. Stephanie turns back to the feminist classics, re-enrolling in the same Feminism 10I class at her alma mater, and puts them to the test: can they speak to her as incisively now as they did to the idealistic nineteen-year-old? And who are the new generation of feminists taking the course for the first time---what does feminism mean to them?

Baker
& Taylor

In a personal guide to the classics of feminism, the author examines how well the books hold up to the realities of marriage and motherhood in her own life.

Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781586488727
Branch Call Number: 306.8743 STA
Characteristics: x, 275 p. ;,21 cm.

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Eosos
Apr 01, 2018

I liked this book far more than I was expecting too.

It was interesting to read about how this wife and mother was trying to fit the ideals of her early feminist thoughts into the life she ended up having. How those tropes she'd believed in so much didn't seem so easy to follow or to fit within the framework of her marriage and motherhood.

Usually when I come across a story about a life I don't have, I don't end up being able to understand the angst. But even though I am not a mother or a wife, I completely get her questions and thoughts. Like, how did it end up like this? and how did I end up like this? This wasn't what I thought it would be like and wasn't what I thought I would do....

And for those who really believe that it is necessary to change the social structure to see those changes. And then end up with a life far more traditional than expected. It's hard to reconcile. I got that.

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hgibbins
May 14, 2017

A very good read, that both answers and instigates a lot of questions.

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