September 2016
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New Challenge: Women Unbound

unbound4smallerI don’t really need any more challenges.  I fail at completing them!  I saw the post about the Women Unbound challenge at Eva’s blog yesterday, though, and on looking through her fantastic list, realized that I have a lot of the fiction books on my TBR pile, and can probably get some non-fiction from my libraries.  I’ve also been feeling a bit bored and useless, having had no response to any of my job applications yet, so maybe a challenge will perk me up.

The meme:

1. What does feminism mean to you? Does it have to do with the work sphere? The social sphere? How you dress? How you act?

This is a hard question, surprisingly.  I think feminism is the freedom to embrace being a woman, to be considered equal to men (but not the same) in every way, to not worry about the fact that we are women and not as strong as men.  Feminism is encouraging women to become scientists, astronauts, and politicians, or equally embracing a woman’s decision to stay home with her children or pursue a lesser career.  Whatever women want to do, we should be able to do.

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?

I think so – I’m not really outspoken or anything, but I’m not like that in any area of life.  I am interested in women’s issues and feel free to speak out when I think something is wrong, however, which I do think makes me a feminist.

3. What do you consider the biggest obstacle women face in the world today? Has that obstacle changed over time, or does it basically remain the same?

Well, I think part of the problem is that women are still marginalized.  Exceptional women can go very far, but there are always far more men at the top.  Worse, women are still sexualized, taught that a tiny ideal is normal and that the rest of us are ugly and unattractive.  We still have to fear rape and then fear that no one will believe us if we speak up, or worse that we will be blamed, even if no one says so outright.  This is wrong.  I think the situation for women has gotten better, but there is still a long way to go.

On a lighter note, I took a look at Eva’s huge list of 80 books that count for the challenge, and used them to compile a lovely pool of books to choose from:

Nonfiction

  • My Invented Country by Isabel Allende
  • Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  • Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee
  • I plan on adding or changing this list depending on what turns up at the library – I love history about women!

Fiction

  • Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Andersen
  • Agnes Gray by Anne Bronte
  • The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
  • The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea

I also plan on having a look around the library today for more non-fiction especially.  Two of those books I chose are out at the moment and I really want to start early, while I’m still excited!

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