Women Who Lead, Read

By: Ebony Taylor

Women’s Center Library, 105 Haag Hall

Since starting college, there has been little time, if at all, that I have gotten to sit down, pick up a book, and read. No distractions, no emails, no assignment deadlines, just me and the smell of printed paper.  As a book lover, I came across a list of feminist-written reads that I had to share. If you have already been introduced to the world of feminist writing, or are just getting started, this list is compiled with reads from feminist thinkers and novelists to poets and producers of feminist pornography. There is something for all. I have picked 7 books that I think I would want to pick up, but you should visit Esquire to get the entire list.  If you want even more feminist reading, don’t forget to check out our Women’s Center library, located in our office at 105 Haag Hall! 

 This collection of essays and poems are from women of color who raise awareness for issues that women continue to face. This book is said to connect with women of all ages, race, and genders.  

This witty, humorous collection of stories recounts memories from the author’s life and identity as a Native American woman.  Midge reflects on feminism, tweeting presidents, and white-bread privilege. Enjoy Midge’s urban-Indigenous identity and how it has impacted her ideas on culture, race, media, and feminism. 

Rana el Kaliouby is entrepreneur and scientist, working in the field of emotional intelligence, Emotional AI,  and cofounder and CEO of Affectiva, a start-up company spun off of MIT Media Lab. This book is a memoir that highlights the conflict between her Egyptian upbringing and her goals in life. 

This book shows how men express emotions in different stages of life, status, and ethnicity and how toxic masculinity skews men away from an important part of themselves. It discusses men’s concerns, like the fear of intimacy and their role as patriarchs in society.  

 We already know stories of magical creatures and witches, but Circe recreates the sorceress from Homer’s Odyssey in a feminist light. The overlooked character of Circe gives rise to her independence in a male-dominated world.   

A collection of writings from feminists in the adult entertainment industry and research by feminist porn scholars. This book investigates how feminists understand pornography and how they produce, direct, act in, and buy a into a large and successful business. Authors of these writings also explore pornography as a form of expression where women produce power and pleasure.  

Serano writes about her journey before and after transitioning, expressing how fear, suspicion, and dismissiveness towards femininity molds society’s view on trans women, gender and sexuality. Serano also proposes that feminists today and transgender activists must collaborate to embrace all forms of femininity.  

Self-Care Tips from Yoko Ono

 

By: Emma Stuart

To celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s start by celebrating you! Take a page out of Yoko Ono’s book Grapefruit, where she lists pages and pages of actions to take for the use of therapeutic self-care. This book and mind set was the precursor for modern day self-care. Here’s just a few of Ono’s suggestions… “Light a match and watch until it goes out. Go into the middle of Central Park Pond and drop all of your jewelry. Scream against the sky” (source).

Now, these actions may seem far-fetched and not anything like the self-care industry that we know today, but all of these seemingly outrageous actions have meaning. These actions are focused on the mind, empowering yourself and others, connecting with others, and helping you connect with your imagination. This category of actions is characterized by self-discovery which has seemingly been overlooked in the modern self-care industry. To put this into practice we can combine Ono’s category of actions with the modern self-care industry. Here is a list of actions that you could do this month to take care of yourself.

  1. Sit outside [weather permitting], put away all distractions, and focus on where you are in that moment.
  2. Write out a list of people or things that you are grateful for. Post it in your living space and contemplate it often.
  3. Go on a walk near your living space, find something from your surroundings that inspires you, it could be a rock, leaf, flower etc. Take it and mail it to a friend.
  4. Take part of a day for yourself, do something that you enjoy and devote your energy to it.
  5. Find a new piece of media to focus on that brings you joy, a book, a piece of art, a song, etc.
  6. Take some time out of your day to earnestly tell the important women in your life how much they mean to you. If you can don’t just say it, show it.
  7. Get ready one day to go nowhere, make sure to wear clothes that make you feel good in your body.
  8. Spend time with someone who fills your heart with joy.
  9. Congratulate yourself for getting through the week, get yourself a little treat to celebrate.
  10. Finally, take some time to reflect and make it known how much you appreciate yourself, do this often.

Even if you can’t do all of these things or these things exactly, try to be intentional about checking up on yourself and taking care of you. As women, that is how we can best celebrate Women’s History Month, by being kind to ourselves.

 

 

 

KCUR Airs Interview with Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent Book Series

Allegiant

Image from Google Images

As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Women’s Center and UMKC Libraries will be co-sponsoring a Divergent Book Trilogy Discussion on Wednesday, November 13 at 12 p.m. in Miller Nichols room 303.

Last week, KCUR aired an interview with author Veronica Roth about the recently released Allegiant, the third book in the Divergent trilogy. During the interview, Roth tells Here & Now’s Robin Young about her process of creating the characters and factions, how the other two books all led up to the ending of Allegiant, and why she believes her trilogy is so alluring to readers.

Check out the interview by clicking here, and prepare for our discussion on November 13! We hope to see you there!

To RSVP to the Divergent Trilogy Book Discussion, visit our Facebook event, e-mail the Women’s Center at umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu, or call us at 816.235.1638!

What Are You Reading?

Image from Flickr.com

By Bonnie Messbarger

Ms. Magazine Blog recently ran a list of the Top 100 Feminist Non-Fiction Books of All Time. Being a big reader myself I look forward to putting some of these titles on my ‘to read’ list. The top 10 were:

 1. Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics by bell hooks

2. Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio

3. Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

4. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

5. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

6. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi

7. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy

8. Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks

9. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks

10. The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti

 And while I’m sure all of these titles are fabulous and have earned their place on the list. There were definitely a lot of comments on what books didn’t ‘make the cut.’ What books do you think should have been included? And if you were making this list, what would your top 10 be?