Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists Paperback – April 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Compiled by authors Martin (Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters) and Sullivan (Commencement), this volume looks at the catalytic moments when 28 women (and one man) found their way to feminism. Including writers, activists, and educators, contributors provide perspective and personal revelations from all stages of life. Joshunda Sanders, an Austin newspaper reporter, talks about growing up poor and black in "the least desirable place in New York" and how it led to her embrace of "womanist" thought; Indian American writer and educator Mathangi Subramanian describes years of struggle with the feminist "label," navigating the cross-currents of her grandmother's pressure to marry and her mother's enthusiasm for independence (and feminist classics like Susan Estrich's Sex & Power); Martin herself contributes a piece contrasting her own coming-of-age, involving a college visit from Manifesta authors Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner, with her mother's: "This wasn't the swishy skirt feminism that my mom had manifested at her once-a-month women's groups. This was contemporary, witty, brash, even a little sexy." With this enervating collection, Martin and Sullivan help continue that modernizing trend.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
About the Author
J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine Best Book of the Year and a Washington Post Notable Book. The Engagements was one of People Magazine's Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It also brings up some major issues around what "feminism" means and whether the goal of a feminist movement should be to have everyone identify as feminist (which many of the women in the book, as well as their mothers, grapple with--interestingly, I didn't see any pieces where authors grapple with whether their romantic partners identify as feminists, but moms were a sticking point). Co-editor Sullivan writes: "In both word and deed, feminism is something we only really understand after we've been exposed to it, after someone else has taught us what it looks like and how it can help make our lives all the richer." Yet this very point is disputed by many of the authors here, and one I don't agree with. If the personal is political, then women need to look both inward and outward; waiting to be "exposed to" or told what feminism is, I'd posit, is precisely what alienates many women from feminism.
Alissa Quart's "I Married a War Correspondent" is a fascinating look at the evolution of her relationship and her feeling that the topics she covers as a journalist were "lesser" (and were treated with less acclaim) than her fiance's acts of daring. In Joshunda Sanders' "'What's the Female Version of a Hustler?': Womanist Training for a Bronx Nerd" and Mathangi Subramanian's "The Brown Girl's Guide to Labels," each author highlights the ways "feminism" has been tied to a white women's movement, and how they have alternately rejected, embraced and negotiated with the label and what it means to them. Li Sydney Cornfeld and Karen Pittelman offer unique tales, the former of the gender implications of an ADHD diagnosis, the latter about dissolving her $3 million trust fund to work for social change.
There are moments here that feel a little too much like cheerleading for feminism without actually defining it precisely. The best pieces show how issues of gender, along with race, class and sexual orientation, are viewed and how a change in that viewpoint can propel action and enlightenment. Sometimes, there really is a click, such as in Marta L. Sanchex's piece: "At Spelman, I became a women's studies major. Suddenly, the entire world made sense. I stopped feeling like an alien visiting a strange planet." She backs this up without resorting to clichés, but by calling forth the spirits of her ancestors, who each gave her a different way of embracing the world. Many authors reference previous generations, whether the Second Wave or their parents (quite starkly in Sophie Pollitt-Cohen's piece, when she's assigned to read something her mother, Katha Pollitt, wrote at Wesleyan), but this is not an Us vs. Them type of book, thankfully. Rather, it's one that, at its best, looks at the ways feminism has impacted our personal and familial relationships, education, job opportunities, religious choices and identities.
Most of all what I got out of Click is that what happens after the "click" moment is perhaps more important than what happens before or during it. How people grapple with even defining feminism, rather than simply embracing another person's version of feminism, is what the heart of this book is about.
The power of this collection (and my generation's experience with feminism) comes from understanding the intersectionality of our own unique experiences. We have to speak for ourselves and on our own turf.
Li Sydney Cornfeld wrote about problems encountered both because of her learning disability and being female. Myself having disabilities and being female, I appreciated this particular essay's inclusion. It echoed many of the experiences which friends and I shared about our own learning disabilities. But it still did not exactly mimic my own personal experiences; the parents who overprotected a daughter, who already understood the rules of special education but who would not immediately adapt to a world with the ADA (and ironically) more rights and freedoms laid out for her. I thought about this legal-social paradox while reading her essay and wanting 'something more' included in the pages.
Since he was one of the voices helping us initially understand feminism, it is very appropriate that Rachel Shukertwrites about the conflicted feelings which so many of us had upon learning of Kurt Cobain's death. Like our parents (and grandparents) when Kennedy was shot, we felt someone and something very special was taken away. Feminism is supposed to be about supporting women, but some people initially wanted to blame Courtney for the tragedy. We could not bring ourselves to openly admit that Cobain himself had problems. She believes the ease with which society (including the 'alternative' culture with which so many of us were infatuated with) initially critiqued Courtney demonstrates how ingrained the misogyny Cobain had spoken out against in his life is throughout society. Relieving this time now as an adult is still extremely sad, but I better understand the pain of loosing a loved one.
And Olessa Pindak also contributes a good essay about how the same guys who once defaced the campus women's center in protest ultimately grew up to learn from the error of this mistake. Sitting on the board of feminist organizations and married to strong women, they are not the same men they once were. As they grow, people do change and mature. We cannot create the society which we claim to want when we do not recognize this process of change actually occuring.
The essays in this book are not particularly long or complicated. It's good lesiure reading. There is no index so it's probally not a good research book. But it does have a mix of pop culture and social science information inside.