Women Unbound Challenge! To be a Suffragette, you must read eight challenge books, three of which must be non-fiction. So here's my (tentative and totally likely to be changed) list:
Ladies of the Grand Tour: British Women in Pursuit of Enlightenment and Adventure in 18th Century Europe, by Brian Dolan
The Road from Coorain, by Jill Ker Conway
Mistress of the Elgin Marbles, Susan Nagel
Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
Mistress of the Sun, by Sandra Gulland
The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood
The Firebrand, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Stress of Her Regard, by Tim Powers
As I've never read any of the above books, I can't be sure that they all really qualify as being "feminist-ish." So if they are not, and I read them, I will take them off the list. And if I read other books, and they qualify, then I will just use those. It's all about flexibility, right? :-)
And now, for the meme!
WOMEN UNBOUND Start of Challenge 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?
It's funny, as I'm the one who came up with these questions for the meme, and I have no idea how to answer any of them! Feminism to me is more a feeling than anything else. I think a woman has the right to feel welcome, safe and equal in a work or social situation. To me, it's all about comfort- feeling comfortable in a variety of different situations, and feeling confident enough to share your ideas and thoughts (politely, of course!).
2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?
I don't think I'm actively feminist, but I do believe strongly in making the most I can of the opportunities I am given. I also, though, think that I judge women more harshly than men (I certainly do in literature!), and I like to think that is because I hold females up to a high standard. But why don't I hold men up to the same standards? Or do I just notice annoying things more in women than men?
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?
I think that women are treated more fairly now in many places than they used to be. But I also think their roles have become more complicated. Previously (and I'll stick with the western world for now), women didn't have the right to vote or to keep property or to initiate divorce proceedings. Now, they have the right to do all those things, but they're also expected to play so many roles. Women, more than men, I think, want to do everything. They want to be brilliantly successful in their careers and then pick their kids up from school and cook their husbands three-course meals. If they're not married, they think there's something wrong with them. If they don't want to be a careerwoman, then they think there's something wrong with them. If they don't want to be a mother, they think there's something wrong with them.
Really, I think the biggest obstacle women face is their own insecurity. We've come a long way in a short amount of time to being treated as equals from a legal standpoint. But I don't think "society" has caught up to the law yet, and I don't think we as women are comfortable yet with making decisions and prioritizing, which we'll have to do eventually to keep our sanity!
And he doesn't read this blog, but happy birthday to my dad :-)