Upcoming Feminist Book Discussion
Wednesday, September 27, 2023, 7-8:30 p.m.
Multicultural Room, Lower Level
Registration is required
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Upcoming Feminist Book Club Discussion
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
By Jill Lepore
September 27, 2023
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
About the Book: The Secret History of Wonder Woman is a tour de force of intellectual and cultural history. Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore argues, is the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.
Lepore, a Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston. The Marston family story is a tale of drama, intrigue, and irony.
Past Feminist Book Club Selections
You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey : Crazy Stories About Racism
by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar
February 22, 2023
7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers Amber Ruffin writes with her sister Lacey Lamar with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism.
Now a writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show, Amber Ruffin lives in New York, where she is no one’s First Black Friend and everyone is, as she puts it, “stark raving normal.” But Amber’s sister Lacey? She’s still living in their home state of Nebraska, and trust us, you’ll never believe what happened to Lacey.
From racist donut shops to strangers putting their whole hand in her hair, from being mistaken for a prostitute to being mistaken for Harriet Tubman, Lacey is a lightning rod for hilariously ridiculous yet all-too-real anecdotes. She’s the perfect mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black that apparently makes people think “I can say whatever I want to this woman.” And now, Amber and Lacey share these entertainingly horrifying stories through their laugh-out-loud sisterly banter. Painfully relatable or shockingly eye-opening (depending on how often you have personally been followed by security at department stores), this book tackles modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity.
Resources from our Discussion:
Women Talking by Miriam Toews
May 10, 2023
7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
About the Book: One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.
While the men of the colony are off in the city, attempting to raise enough money to bail out the rapists and bring them home, these women—all illiterate, without any knowledge of the world outside their community and unable even to speak the language of the country they live in—have very little time to make a choice: Should they stay in the only world they’ve ever known or should they dare to escape?
Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, Toews’s masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide.
Now an Oscar-nominated film!
Resources from our Discussion:
Author Miriam Toews discusses the adaptation of her work to film.
The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion
by Diane Greene Foster
October 26, 2022
7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
What happens when a woman seeking an abortion is turned away? Diana Greene Foster, PhD, decided to find out. With a team of scientists—psychologists, epidemiologists, demographers, nursing scholars, and public health researchers—she set out to discover the effect of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s lives. Over the course of a ten-year investigation that began in 2007, she and her team followed a thousand women from more than twenty states, some of whom received their abortions, some of whom were turned away.
Resources from our Discussion:
The Turnaway Study – Diane Greene Foster, PHD
Twitter @dianagfoster, Professor, UCSF; Director of Research, Director of the #TurnawayStudy; studies the effect of unintended pregnancy on people’s lives.
Vox: How abortion bans make inequality worse
Consequences of Receiving Versus Being Denied a Wanted Abortion – Slides and video webinar
Abortion in America, Part II: Diana Greene Foster on “The Turnaway Study” podcast
Concerned Citizens Presents: The Turnaway Study Author Diana Greene Foster, The Effect of Abortion video interview
The Women’s Center – Cherry Hill
Thrive New Jersey – Abortion Access
New Jersey Reproductive Choice Act
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
A writer at The New Yorker examines the fractures at the center of contemporary culture. In each essay, Tolentino writes about a cultural prism: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the advent of scamming as the definitive millennial ethos; the literary heroine’s journey from brave to blank to bitter; and the punitive dream of optimization, which insists that everything, including our bodies, should become more efficient and beautiful until we die.”
Video Interviews with Jia Tolentino
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (June 16, 2021), Biography
“Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does. Born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. But when their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself—and there is a cost to living inside a lie.”
- Chinelo Okparanta’s Website
- BBC news: Remembering Nigeria’s Biafra War that many prefer to forget
- HRW: “Tell Me Where I Can Be Safe”: The Impact of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener (March 3, 2020), Biography
“The prescient, page-turning account of a journey in Silicon Valley: a defining memoir of our digital age. In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wienerstuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial–left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wienerstuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial–left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy.”
- The Guardian: Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener review – bullies, greed and sexism in Silicon Valley
- The Atlantic: Inside Tech’s Fever Dream
- Wired: The Millennial Meaninglessness of Writing About Tech
- Tech Crunch: Julie Ann Horvath Describes Sexism And Intimidation Behind her GitHub Exit
- Microsoft to acquire GitHub for $7.5 billion
- The New Yorker: How Venture Capitalists are Deforming Capitalism
- New York Times: Rabbit Hole Podcast
- Documentaries & TV Shows:
Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit (December 9, 2020), Essays
“In her comic, scathing essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don’t, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.”
- Rebecca Solnit’s author site
- “So, what exactly is coercive control?” by Dr. Laura Richards
- Podcast: Real Crime Profile
- Unbelievable (miniseries)
- “An unbelievable story of rape” from ProPublica
- Promising Young Woman (2020)
Before She Sleeps by Bina Shah (September 20, 2020), Fiction
“In modern, beautiful Green City, the capital of South West Asia, gender selection, war and disease have brought the ratio of men to women to alarmingly low levels. The government uses terror and technology to control its people, and women must take multiple husbands to have children as quickly as possible.”
- Follow Bina Shah on Twitter: @BinaShah
- TEDx Talk: Why Pakistan Needs Feminism with Bina Shah
- Bina Shah Interview (Before She Sleeps)
- Reviews for Before She Sleeps: Kirkus Reviews & Publisher’s Weekly
- Sleepless in Karachi: Bina Shah Discusses Before She Sleeps and South Asian Feminism with Rob Wolf
Gender and Our Brains: How New Neurosciece Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds by Gina Rippon (June 2020), Nonfiction
“But what does this constant gendering mean for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour? And what does it mean for our brains?Drawing on her work as a professor of cognitive neuroimaging, Gina Rippon unpacks the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments and shows how these messages mould our ideas of ourselves and even shape our brains.”
- “Sex & Genius” by Lindsy Van Gelder
The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss (December 2019), Nonfiction
“At the heart of democracy lies the ballot box, and Elaine Weiss’s unforgettable book tells the story of the female leaders who—in the face of towering economic, racial, and political opposition—fought for and won American women’s right to vote. Unfolding over six weeks in the summer of 1920, The Woman’s Hour is both a page-turning drama and an inspiration for everyone, young and old, male and female, in these perilous times. So much could have gone wrong, but these American women would not take no for an answer: their triumph is our legacy to guard and emulate.”
- Elaine Weiss discusses The Woman’s Hour at Politics & Prose
The Apology by Eve Ensler (September 2019), Fiction
“Like millions of women, Eve Ensler has been waiting much of her lifetime for an apology. Sexually and physically abused by her father, Eve has struggled her whole life from this betrayal, longing for an honest reckoning from a man who is long dead. After years of work as an anti-violence activist, she decided she would wait no longer; an apology could be imagined, by her, for her, to her. The Apology, written by Eve from her father’s point of view in the words she longed to hear, attempts to transform the abuse she suffered with unflinching truthfulness, compassion, and an expansive vision for the future.”
- TIME: “I visited Eve Ensler to talk about her sexual abuse. I got a therapy session instead.”
- Reviews for The Apology: Kirkus Reviews & Publisher’s Weekly
Shrill by Lindy West (June 2019), Memoir
“Shrill weaves a politicized and deeply personal account of what it was like to grow up as Lindy and her many run-ins with the vast misogyny of the internet when she tried to challenge body norms, sexism and rape culture in comedy, and brazenly voiced her pro-choice opinions.”
Vox by Christina Dalcher (March 2019), Fiction
“Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.”
Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen (December 2019), Nonfiction
“Accessible, analytical look at how female celebrities are pushing boundaries of what it means to be an ‘acceptable’ woman.”
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae (June 2018), Memoir
The Vegetarian by Han Kang (April 2018), Fiction
Moranifesto by Caitlyn Moran (September 2017), Essays
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock (June 2017), Memoir
- Wikipedia: Redefining Realness
- Kirkus Reviews: Redefining Realness
- Janet Mock author website
- Trans Book Drive
- Marie Claire: “I was born a boy”
Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (March 2017), Short Stories
- Roxane Gay’s author website
- The New York Times: “No Shrinking Violets: A Short Story Collection From Roxane Gay”
- Brooklyn: The Rise of Roxane Gay
What We Are About
This is a group for women – trans and non-trans – and non-binary and gender non-conforming folks, and allies of all genders.
We started a Feminist Book Club to discuss topics of gender equity, feminism, current political climate. These books can make us laugh and cry and learn.
In-person meetings take place at the Cherry Hill Library and virtual meetings occur through Zoom.
You do not have to live in Cherry Hill to attend.
Questions? Email Tierney Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.