In the wake of Jane Eyre’s 200th birthday and Claire Vaye Watkins’s essay “On Pandering,” Bridget Read looks at the proto-feminism in Jane Eyre as eventually improved upon in the postcolonial update Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (now celebrating its 50th birthday)....more
Posts Tagged: feminism
Bitch is where many of today’s feminist internet denizens (yours truly included) got our start reading and writing about culture with a critical eye. In many ways, Zeisler’s book is a call to arms, asking us to return to a rigorous, systemic analysis.
To write is to be liberate oneself. Untrue. To write is to change nothing.
Writing for the Guardian, Rafia Zakaria tells us about Violette Leduc: discovered by Simone de Beauvoir and published by Albert Camus, Leduc, the sexually explicit lesbian feminist, was largely unread even in her prime though has always been critically hailed, and her situation today is not much different....more
If this sounds like a Women’s Lib rap, baby, it is.
For The New Republic, Michelle Dean writes a lovely and winding essay on the life and feminism of Adrienne Rich: its origins in breaking meter, discovery through therapy, her correspondence with Hayden Carruth, the suicide of her husband, and culminating in her National Book Award for Diving into the Wreck....more
Matthew Wills revisits the life and career of Mary Somerville, a 19th century scientist, translator, and a popular science journalist. Somerville also has a notable place in linguistic history: the word scientist was first used in a review of her book, On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences, in 1834....more
Last December, a group of feminist activists from all over the world met and discussed a new women’s solidarity movement. The full discussion, with an introduction by Eve Ensler, is up now at Guernica.
Now is the time for women to write a different story, grown from the everyday struggles and experiences of those who are most often at the receiving end of disastrous policies and ventures, who clean up the messes and transform the destruction, who build the secret shelters, rescue the raped, stand for the dead, hold town halls for the voiceless, and give presence to the invisible.
What’s a witch? Green skin, warts, and broomsticks? A hag bent over a foul, steaming cauldron? A cold-blooded queen in a wardrobe? One thing’s for certain: witches are feared and powerful. And they’re women. Maybe being a witch isn’t so bad after all....more
Great strides, great artists, great desires, great complexity—this week’s books are all about these kinds of greats. They also all showcase exceptional writing and take us far and wide—from elective politics to abstract art, from Coney Island to California—to explore great ideas....more
“I keep trying to imagine a universe in which too many public figures declaring themselves feminists would be a bad thing,” Roxane Gay, the novelist and the author of an essay collection entitled “Bad Feminist,” wrote, before concluding, “Of all the words that should be spoken more, ‘feminist’ should be at the top of the list.”
Anne Boyd Rioux reviews a new biography on the wife of Lord Byron, Anne Isabella Milbanke. In her review, Rioux evaluates the still-too-high standard set for women’s biographies, particularly when those women lived in the shadow of famous men:
Insisting that the female relatives of famous men be accomplished players on the world stage in their own right in order to warrant biographical treatment is perhaps asking too much.