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A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched cultural observers of her generation. In these essays, the author takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman of color while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the 2010s (Girls, Django Unchained) and commenting on the state of feminism (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture. This book takes a look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and serves as a call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better.
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, but her miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey. I am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, and of a father who encouraged his daughter to attend school in a society that prizes sons.
In this groundbreaking anthology, feminist scholar and trans ally Krista Scott-Dixon takes on the challenge of moving us towards more inclusive transfeminist politics. The 30 essays reflect academic, personal and political perspectives of contributors from Canada, the US and Europe. These include well-known activists and scholars in the field -- Bobby Noble, Barbara Findlay, Miqqi Alicia/Michael Gilbert, Kyle Scanlon, Talia Bettcher, Joshua Goldberg and Caroline White -- as well as fresh new voices. The book is divided into four sections to highlight the intersections between trans and feminist ideas. "Narratives and Voices" builds on the feminist idea of consciousness-raising, speaking from individual experiences and questions of how to represent oneself in language. "Identities and Alliances" takes up questions of how identities are produced, maintained and reproduced, and how diverse identities can work collectively. "Inclusion and Exclusion" examines the notion of "safe spaces" and "women-only spaces" in the context of trans challenges such as the Kimberly Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society case and the entrance policies of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. "Shelter and Violence" explores the service-provision policies of shelters, as well as the sex-gender system that supports transphobic abuse. The section introductions contextualize the discussion and identify key issues. The collection concludes with suggestions for future research and activism.
Spanning the antebellum era to the present day, the ten original essays in U.S. women's history represent a cross-section of current scholarship, examining both the causes that have united American women and the conflicts that have divided them. The book offers a fresh take on familiar events and figures, from Rosa Parks to Take Back the Night marches, while vividly conveying the multi-textured and multi-hued tapestry that is U.S. women's History.
Shares the story of the scientific contributions of a group of women working at the Harvard College Observatory from the late 1800s through the mid-twentieth century, tracing their collection of star observations captured nightly on glass photographic plates.
A ferociously intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women's right to drive. Manal al-Sharif grew up in Mecca the second daughter of a taxi driver, born the year fundamentalism took hold. In her adolescence, she was a religious radical, melting her brother's boy band cassettes in the oven because music was haram: forbidden by Islamic law. But what a difference an education can make. By her twenties she was a computer security engineer, one of few women working in a desert compound that resembled suburban America. That's when the Saudi kingdom's contradictions became too much to bear: she was labeled a slut for chatting with male colleagues, her teenage brother chaperoned her on a business trip, and while she kept a car in her garage, she was forbidden from driving down city streets behind the wheel. Daring to Drive is the fiercely intimate memoir of an accidental activist, a powerfully vivid story of a young Muslim woman who stood up to a kingdom of men-and won. Writing on the cusp of history, Manal offers a rare glimpse into the lives of women in Saudi Arabia today. Her memoir is a remarkable celebration of resilience in the face of tyranny, the extraordinary power of education and female solidarity, and the difficulties, absurdities, and joys of making your voice heard.
A reappraisal of women who are known by history but whose histories are incomplete, To Believe in Women examines how their lesbianism may in fact have facilitated their accomplishments. Lillian Faderman persuasively argues that even before a "lesbian identity" was defined, many female leaders had what would now be called lesbian relationships, free from the constraints of traditional heterosexual arrangements, which might have impeded their pursuits in education, politics, professional life, and culture.
Swanee Hunt shares the stories of over ninety women, who in the wake of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, overcame unfathomable brutality, suffering, loss, and seemingly unending challenges to rebuild Rwandan society by addressing common problems ranging from health care, rape, and housing to poverty, education, and mental health.
An instant American icon--the first Hispanic on the U.S. Supreme Court--tells the story of her life before becoming a judge in an inspiring, surprisingly personal memoir. With startling candor and intimacy, Sonia Sotomayor recounts her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench, a progress that is testament to her extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself. She writes of her precarious childhood and the refuge she took with her passionately spirited paternal grandmother. She describes her resolve as a young girl to become a lawyer, and how she made this dream become reality: valedictorian of her high school class, summa cum laude at Princeton, Yale Law, prosecutor in the Manhattan D.A.'s office, private practice, federal district judge before the age of forty. She writes about her deeply valued mentors, about her failed marriage, about her cherished family of friends. Through her still-astonished eyes, America's infinite possibilities are envisioned anew in this warm and honest book, destined to become a classic of self-discovery and self-invention, alongside Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father.
Highlights the impact women have had on Native American life, describing the lives of Madeleine Cadotte, who mediated fur trades and Gertrude Buckanaga, a community activist who helped impoverished Indian families.
Before John Glenn orbited the earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as 'human computers' used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South's segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America's aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam's call, moving to Hampton, Virginia, and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory. Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley's all-black 'West Computing' group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
From Snow White to Moana, the animated films of Walt Disney Studios have moved and entertained millions. But few fans know that behind these groundbreaking features was an incredibly influential group of women who fought for respect in an often ruthless male-dominated industry and who have slipped under the radar for decades. Holt shows how these women infiltrated the boys' club of Disney's story and animation departments and used early technologies to create the rich artwork and unforgettable narratives that have become part of the American canon. While battling sexism, domestic abuse, and workplace intimidation, these women also fought to transform the way female characters are depicted to young audiences.
This is the story of how America's first women soldiers helped win World War I, earned the vote, and fought the U.S. Army. In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France. They were masters of the latest technology: the telephone switchboard. General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, demanded female 'wire experts' when he discovered that inexperienced doughboys were unable to keep him connected with troops under fire. Without communications for even an hour, the army would collapse. While suffragettes picketed the White House and President Woodrow Wilson struggled to persuade a segregationist Congress to give women of all races the vote, these competent and courageous young women swore the Army oath. Elizabeth Cobbs reveals the challenges they faced in a war zone where male soldiers welcomed, resented, wooed, mocked, saluted, and ultimately celebrated them. They received a baptism by fire when German troops pounded Paris with heavy artillery. Some followed 'Black Jack' Pershing to battlefields where they served through shelling and bombardment. Grace Banker, their 25-year-old leader, won the Distinguished Service Medal. The army discharged the last Hello Girls in 1920, the same year Congress ratified the Nineteenth Amendment granting the ballot. When the operators sailed home, the army unexpectedly dismissed them without veterans' benefits. They began a sixty-year battle that a handful of survivors carried to triumph in 1979. With the help of the National Organization for Women, Senator Barry Goldwater, and a crusading Seattle attorney, they triumphed over the U.S. Army.
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America - the first African-American to serve in that role - she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world.
Documents the contributions of more than ten thousand American women who served as codebreakers during World War II, detailing how their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and enabled their subsequent careers.
Hillary Rodham Clinton's inside account of the crises, choices, and challenges she faced during her four years as America's 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future. "All of us face hard choices in our lives," Hillary Rodham Clinton writes at the start of this personal chronicle of years at the center of world events. "Life is about making such choices. Our choices and how we handle them shape the people we become." In the aftermath of her 2008 presidential run, she expected to return to representing New York in the United States Senate. To her surprise, her former rival for the Democratic Party nomination, newly elected President Barack Obama, asked her to serve in his administration as Secretary of State. This memoir is the story of the four extraordinary and historic years that followed, and the hard choices that she and her colleagues confronted. Secretary Clinton and President Obama had to decide how to repair fractured alliances, wind down two wars, and address a global financial crisis. They faced a rising competitor in China, growing threats from Iran and North Korea, and revolutions across the Middle East. Along the way, they grappled with some of the toughest dilemmas of US foreign policy, especially the decision to send Americans into harm's way, from Afghanistan to Libya to the hunt for Osama bin Laden. By the end of her tenure, Secretary Clinton had visited 112 countries, traveled nearly one million miles, and gained a truly global perspective on many of the major trends reshaping the landscape of the twenty-first century, from economic inequality to climate change to revolutions in energy, communications, and health. Drawing on conversations with numerous leaders and experts, Secretary Clinton offers her views on what it will take for the United States to compete and thrive in an interdependent world. She makes a passionate case for human rights and the full participation in society of women, youth, and LGBT people. An astute eyewitness to decades of social change, she distinguishes the trendlines from the headlines and describes the progress occurring throughout the world, day after day. Secretary Clinton's descriptions of diplomatic conversations at the highest levels offer listeners a master class in international relations, as does her analysis of how we can best use "smart power" to deliver security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world-one in which America remains the indispensable nation.
Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible--like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you--writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but. From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.
In a landmark book, an extraordinary young woman recounts her coming-of-age as a transgender teen--a deeply personal and empowering portrait of self-revelation, adversity, and heroism. In 2011, Marie Claire magazine published a profile of Janet Mock in which she publicly stepped forward for the first time as a trans woman. Since then, Mock has gone from covering the red carpet for People.com to advocating for all those who live within the shadows of society. Redefining Realness offers a bold new perspective on being young, multiracial, economically challenged, and transgender in America. Welcomed into the world as her parents' firstborn son, Mock set out early on to be her own person--no simple feat for a young person like herself. She struggled as the smart, determined child in a deeply loving, yet ill-equipped family that lacked money, education, and resources. Mock had to navigate her way through her teen years without parental guidance but luckily with a few close friends and mentors she overcame extremely daunting hurdles. This powerful memoir follows Mock's quest for identity, from her early gender conviction to a turbulent adolescence in Honolulu that found her transitioning through the halls of her school, self-medicating with hormones at fifteen, and flying across the world for sex reassignment surgery at just eighteen. Ever resilient, Mock emerged with a scholarship to college and moved to New York City, where she earned her masters degree, basked in the success of an enviable career, and told no one about her past. It wasn't until Mock fell for a man who called her the woman of his dreams that she felt ready to finally tell her story, becoming a fierce advocate for girls like herself. A profound statement of affirmation from a courageous woman, Redefining Realness shows as never before what it means to be a woman today and how to be yourself when you don't fit the mold created for you.
During World War II, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate jet velocities and plot missile trajectories, they recruited an elite group of young women--known as human computers--who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design and helped bring about America's first ballistic missiles. But they were never interested in developing weapons--their hearts lay in the dream of space exploration. So when JPL became part of a new agency called NASA, the computers worked on the first probes to the moon, Venus, Mars, and beyond. Later, as digital computers largely replaced human ones, JPL was unique in training and retaining its brilliant pool of women. They became the first computer programmers and engineers, and through their efforts, we launched the ships that showed us the contours of our solar system. For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women who charted a course not only for the future of space exploration but also for the prospects of female scientists. Based on extensive research and interviews with the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science, illuminating both where we've been and the far reaches of space to where we're heading.
This book tells the story of the global struggle to secure basic rights for women and girls, including in the Middle East where the Arab Spring raised high hopes, but the political revolutions are so far insufficient to guarantee progress. Around the world, women and girls are trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery, trapped in conflict zones where rape is a weapon of war, prevented from attending school, and kept from making deeply personal choices in their private lives, such as whom and when to marry. In many countries, women are second-class citizens by law. In others, religion and traditions block freedoms such as the right to work, study or access health care. Even in the United States, women who are victims of sexual violence often do not see their attackers brought to justice. More than 30 writers, including Nobel Prize laureates, leading activists, top policymakers, and former victims, have contributed to this anthology. Drawing from their personal experiences, they tackle some of the toughest questions and offer bold new approaches to problems affecting hundreds of millions of women. This volume shows that the fight for women's equality is far from over.
Zainab Salbi was eleven years old when her father was chosen to serve as Saddam Hussein's personal pilot, her family often forced to spend weekends with Saddam. As a palace insider, she offers a glimpse of life under a dictator and provides an intimate portrait of the man she was taught to call "uncle". She was asked to erase her memory as she heard of crimes she was not supposed to hear of, and witnessed her mother hiding her tears lest it upset Saddam. Her mother eventually sent her to America for an arranged marriage, to spare her from Saddam's affection, but the marriage turned out to be another world of tyranny and abuse. Despite extraordinary challenges, she started over as a champion of female victims of war, dedicating her life to speaking out on behalf of oppressed women around the world. But until now, she has never told her personal tale
The incredible true account of Kamila Sidiqi who, when her father and brother were forced to flee Kabul, became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own and held her family together.
From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era's most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery.
Presents an account of brutality against women in the Muslim world. This work explores the causes of the situation through a discussion of the historical role of Arab women in religion and literature. It argues that the veil, polygamy and legal inequality are incompatible with the just and peaceful Islam.
In the tradition of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's "Infidel," and also the subject of an award-winning documentary, this impassioned, first-person account tells of a courageous young Afghani woman who risks her life by denouncing the powerful warlords in her country.
The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its world, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm façade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.
When the sister who delighted their parents by her faithful embrace of Mexican culture dies in a tragic accident, Julia, who longs to go to college and move into a home of her own, discovers from mutual friends that her sister may not have been as perfect as believed.
Bored with her marriage, a psychoanalyst's wife embarks on a wild, life-changing affair After five years, Isadora Wing has come to a crossroads in her marriage: Should she and her husband stay together or get divorced? Accompanying her husband to an analysts' conference in Vienna, she ditches him and strikes out on her own, crisscrossing Europe in search of a man who can inspire uninhibited passion. But, as she comes to learn, liberation and happiness are not necessarily the same thing. A literary sensation when first published in 1973, Fear of Flying established Erica Jong as one of her generation's foremost voices on sex and feminism. Nearly four decades later, the novel has lost none of its insight, verve, or jaw-dropping wit. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erica Jong, including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author's personal collection.
A dazzling, heartbreaking page-turner destined for breakout status: a novel that gives voice to millions of Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl: teenagers living in an apartment block of immigrant families like their own. After their daughter Maribel suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras leave Mexico and come to America. But upon settling at Redwood Apartments, a two-story cinderblock complex just off a highway in Delaware, they discover that Maribel's recovery-the piece of the American Dream on which they've pinned all their hopes-will not be easy. Every task seems to confront them with language, racial, and cultural obstacles. At Redwood also lives Mayor Toro, a high school sophomore whose family arrived from Panama fifteen years ago. Mayor sees in Maribel something others do not: that beyond her lovely face, and beneath the damage she's sustained, is a gentle, funny, and wise spirit. But as the two grow closer, violence casts a shadow over all their futures in America. Peopled with deeply sympathetic characters, this poignant yet unsentimental tale of young love tells a riveting story of unflinching honesty and humanity that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be an American. An instant classic is born.
Set in South Carolina in 1964, [this book] tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love--a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet. So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother's bright blue eyes and her father's jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue-in Marilyn's case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James's case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia's older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it's the youngest of the family-Hannah-who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened. A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
Nevada is the darkly comedic story of Maria Griffiths a young trans woman living in New York City and trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she'd carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.
History professor Natasha is researching the life of Imam Shamil, a 19th-century Muslim leader who led a resistance against Russia during the Caucasian War. She discovers that Oz, one of her students, is descended from the historical figure and also possesses his legendary sword. As their relationship intensifies, Natasha is forced to confront issues of her own Muslim heritage in the post-9/11 world.
Re-creates the 1960s struggle of Biafra to establish an independent republic in Nigeria, following the intertwined lives of the characters through a military coup, the Biafran secession, and the resulting civil war.
In the 1960s, political tension forces the García family away from Santo Domingo and towards the Bronx. The sisters all hit their strides in America, adapting and thriving despite cultural differences, language barriers, and prejudice. But Mami and Papi are more traditional, and they have far more difficulty adjusting to their new country. Making matters worse, the girls--frequently embarrassed by their parents--find ways to rebel against them.
Films and Documentaries
UNH has a wide selection of films and documentaries available through the streaming platform Kanopy. For Women's History Month Kanopy has curated a selection of documentaries and films focused on Women's History and feminism.
Every March since 1987, Congress and U.S. Presidents have designated the month as Women's History Month. This year, we are celebrating the accomplishments and vital contributions of women in history with documentaries and stories that center women's experiences in history.
Everyone can enjoy and learn something new from this collection of stories by women and about women.