Reading Women

Reading Women

How the Great Books of Feminism Changed My Life

Book - 2011
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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.

Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, c2011.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781586488727
1586488724
Branch Call Number: 306.87430973 Sta
Characteristics: x, 275 pages

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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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