Read More: Girldrive

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Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining FeminismGirldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism by Nona Willis Aronowitz

FROM GOODREADS: Do you consider yourself a feminist? What does feminism mean to you? What issues and topics are most important to you? What do you hope for the future? These are just a few of the questions Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein posed to the 127 women profiled in this book, ranging from well-known feminists like Kathleen Hanna, Laura Kipnis, Erica Jong, Michele Wallace, and Starhawk, to women who don’t relate to feminism at all.

MY REVIEW: Every March, sometime towards the end of the month, I (single, female, 40s) meet with my accountant (married, male, 60s). We sit across from each other at his desk, he eyes my left hand and asks, “Married, yet?” And every March, I respond — enthusiastically — “No!” He never knows what to say next, so I add “I own my own house. I run my own business. I love my life.” He never understands, I doubt he ever will.

Am I a feminist? I don’t know — but it’s a question I’ve been thinking about since reading Girldrive this past week.

Girldrive was a gift from my friend MaryAnne—research for the cross-country trip I’m planning in celebration of my 50th birthday. While my plan includes stops at National Parks and foodie destinations, Girldrive’s authors Nona Willis Aronowitz and Emma Bee Bernstein had a more significant goal: redefining feminism.

Told through photos, essays and interviews with more than 100 women of all ages and interests, backgrounds and experiences, Girldrive offers up an interesting conversation, and a wealth of history, opinions, and points of views. While I didn’t always relate to or understand the varied perspectives, it did make me think, a lot, about my experience as a woman, about the impact of feminism on my life and choices, and the role or lack of a role it plays now, in my day-to-day. Am I a feminist? I don’t know—are you?

View all my Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge Books.

15 thoughts on “Read More: Girldrive

  1. You won’t see too many men weighing in on this one :>) So…bucking the trend, here goes: as a society we still have far to go before we achieve gender equity. It’s easy to see people paying tribute to examples that seem to show equity but when you dive deep you often don’t see much that is real. One of the things we need to explore is the simple fact that ‘equal’ is not ‘the same.’ People often try to trot out statistics; numbers showing that we are making ‘gains’ of some sort. You know–“We used to have x women doing ___ but now we have y doing it so we must be improving. That’s nice but the numbers are not really changing where it matters. Take a good look at CEOs, political leaders, spiritual leaders, engineers, specialist medical workers and you’ll see that the sop-called gains are really not that great.
    On, and on an unrelated note I did the family’s tax returns yesterday. Five T1-generals done and ready to eFile (youngest daughter still has not needed to file a return; maybe next year). Worst day of the year–I hate doing the taxes :>) A necessary bit of misery, I suppose.

    1. I think that’s what I appreciated this book – it gave all these different perspective on the subject. From women who see equality, to ones who don’t, from women who are all about feminism, to ones who are to busy to think about it.

      I, like you, hate doing my taxes as well. This time of year always feels somewhat shadowed…

  2. Looks like a really good one – think I’ll get it and jump in. You know my dear friend Bets has been traveling all around the Northern hemisphere in her RV for eighteen months now… And what wonderful adventures she’s been having – along with hurtling down precipitous rocky roads, shoveling snow off the roof, and running out of heating propane in the middle of the night in northern Idaho. It can still happen in our sixties, too!

    Carol

  3. Don’t know either. Had a discussion with Jeff yesterday about why we have to call ourselves ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ and why do we have to label out relationship a ‘marriage’. Why not partners or companions? Why not ‘union’? I spent many years on my own. My own home, etc. I’m not sure what I am, but I know I have a hard to being told what to do. Ugh! :-( Plus I grew up in the ’60’s when burning bras took the place of wearing them. Labels? I don’t know if I like them. Feminist? Maybe. Do you need to be single to wear that ‘label’? The discussion we had revolved around the fact that words are just that. Words. Just sayin’…

    1. I think that’s all very true. I found myself wrestling with the “feminist” label, too. For me, that word implied a much more active participation in an effort. I believe in the ideals, but I don’t think I do much to support or promote them. A lot of your questions and clarifications are touched on in the book – but women who both agree and disagree, identify and don’t identify with the concept.

  4. It would be nice to drop the feminist tag and be able to just a known as a person who made this or that choice, instead of a female / male challenging the norm (whatever “norm” is) In spite of my childhood love of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, I have no interest in doing police work, if another female wants to that is fine, more power to her. We humans spend to much time slotting people into tiny spaces. I remember my maternity nurse asking if a male nursing student could tag along on her room visits to me as part of his floor training. Of course! She said so many women had issues with having a male nurse….What? Chances are most had male OB-GYNs! This whole boy stuff girl stuff is culturally limiting, do what you are gifted at, and let others do the same, is my philosophy.

  5. That sounds like a great read. After reading “How to Be a Woman” by Caitlin Moran, I proudly call myself a feminist. She changed the definition of the word into something very modern and feisty. :-)

  6. I don’t know how I missed this post! Wow, that book looks cool. I think it will check it out sometime.

    I don’t know if I’ve ever given it much thought as to whether I am a feminist or not, but I do come from a long line of strong, independent women. I do believe in gender equality. I’ll have to think on it more….

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