When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins
I’ve been meaning to read this book since before it came out. In college, I read the first half of Ms. Collins’ comprehensive history of American women and have been meaning to finish the narrative for years. This book reminds me just how much women today owe to women’s rights activists throughout the twentieth century. It also still baffles me how much it took just to get women to the current point and there is still so much more to be done. Ms. Collins’ book is an easily accessible, well-written account of women’s liberation, the ensuing backlash and the modern women’s movement. I recommend it for American history buffs and any women who prize equality.
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Total Reading Time: 3.25 hours
Review: Ms. Sandberg makes some important points, not only about the still institutionalized external barriers and stereotypes that keep women from working at the same levels as men, but also the equally important internal barriers and biases that keep women from taking opportunities and reaching for the top. It was an eye-opening experience to read this thoughtful and well-researched work. It’s hard for me to be courageous but this book gave me a little more hope that it’s possible and that we can continue to break down traditional gender stereotypes for the benefit of all. I recommend it for both men and women.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
Total Reading Time: 2.5 hours
Review: I saw this book touted as the UK’s version of “Bossypants” but Tina Fey was better. This book is just on the verge of becoming a diatribe which didn’t appeal to me. But it did have some good quotes.
- “Personally, I feel the time has come for women to introduce their own Zero Tolerance policy on the Broken Window issues in our lives–I want a Zero Tolerance policy on ‘All the Patriarchal Bullshit.'”
- “There’s a whole generation of people who’ve confused ‘feminism’ with ‘anything to do with women.’ ‘Feminism’ is seen as absolute interchangeable with ‘modern women’–on one hand, a cheering reminder of what feminism has done, but on the other, a political, lexical, and grammatical mess.”
- “If women’s liberation truly comes to pass–as the slow, unstoppable gravity of social and economic change suggests it must–then it’s going to work out pretty peachy for men, too. If I were the patriarchy I would, frankly, be thrilled at the idea of women finally getting an equal crack of the whip. Let’s face it–the patriarchy must be knackered by now. It’s been 100,000 years without even so much as a tea break: men have been flat-out ruling the world. … Because it’s not as if strident feminists want to take over from men. We’re not arguing for the whole world. Just our share.”