Friday, October 26, 2007

Revolution from Within

Truthfully, I picked up Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem by Gloria Steinem at the library because I had this brilliant idea that Gloria Steinem, like my fantasy, feminist Godmother, would help me solve all my problems. While it is something of a self-help book, with small exercises and guided meditations, it's more of an analysis of self esteem, and why women in particular suffer from low self esteem (and the high price they pay for it's lack). Written in 1992, this book didn't contain a lot of a surprises for me, as I'm pretty well versed in the subject (hey, *I* wrote the book on low self esteem!) I think the book would be helpful to people with children (especially girls) who are interested in defying traditional gendered upbringings (Steinem presents multiple compelling cases as to why such upbringings can be so harmful).

I was quite interested in her feminist analyses of the books by the Bronte sisters (and the women themselves). Obviously very familiar with the subject matter, she discusses how Jane Eyre breaks away from the traditional romance (of the 19th century and today).

Full of inspiring quotes and poems from feminists, Steinem also references lots of other sources, and I made quite a little list of books to read from her recommendations.

Now on my to-read list:
Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Naomi Wolff
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
Jane Eyre (again)

I love this quote of N. Wolf:
A woman wins by giving herself and other women permission: to eat, to be sexual, to age, to wear a boiler suit or a paste tiara or a Balenciaga gown or a secondhand opera cloak or combat boots, to cover up or go practically naked; to do whatever she chooses in following - or ignoring - her own aesthetic. A woman wins when she feels that what each woman does with her own body is her own business.

No comments: