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Book Review

Mini Reviews: Feminist Reads

By Jennifer Mathieu

All of you were S O  F * I N G  R I G H T !


I loved this more than I know how to express!!! Wow, talk about an empowering book—if you haven’t picked this up yet, put it on the top of your list! (PS this is also a great book to use to *avoid* an impending slump…)


Legendary Ladies
By Ann Shen

A decent compilation of feminine deities from about 20 different cultures around the world. I really appreciated that it was not limited to Greek and Norse mythology.

I was, however, expecting a bit more than a couple of basic paragraphs on each. It reads more like an index or quick reference guide to goddesses you either should already know or should read more about elsewhere.

I’m also not sure I liked the organization by themes rather than by cultural origin, but I realized that the intention of the book was to “call on Goddess A, B, and C when you’re in need of X, Y, and Z” rather than a book focusing on mythological stories.

We Should All Be Feminists
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“I am a feminist.”

I wish I could more easily say I am a feminist out loud. Like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “I am trying to unlearn many lessons of gender I internalized while growing up.” While I was raised by generations of feminists, as a feminist, I’ve also always had conflicting messages on what it means to be a feminist.

For every empowering motion put forward, I have dealt with condescending comments on repeat:
» It is better for girls to be seen and not heard.
» You always were a Tomboy.
» You know you’re intimidating, right?
» What are you, a feminist now?!

The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.

I read this TEDxEuston speech this morning and I haven’t be able to stop thinking about it since. This evening I watched Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie give the same beautiful speech online. It was eloquent and so very, very relevant.

Just yesterday, What are you, a feminist now?! disgorged from a beloved’s lips like there was acid on her tongue. Yes, her tongue. I wanted to scream YES!! I AM A FEMINIST! But a moment of disbelief was mistaken for a hesitation and the insult was a success. Clearly, I still have a lot of work to do…

Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change. In addition to anger, I am also hopeful, because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to remake themselves for the better.

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