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Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  474 ratings  ·  58 reviews
When did you know you were a feminist? Whether it happened at school, at work, while watching TV, or reading a book, many of us can point to a particular moment when we knew we were feminists. In Click, editors Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan bring us a range of women—including Jessica Valenti, Amy Richards, Shelby Knox, Winter Miller, and Jennifer Baumgardner— ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Seal Press
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Women & Gender Studies
63rd out of 207 books — 27 voters
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Books that make you think.
305th out of 494 books — 479 voters

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Community Reviews

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Rachel Bussel
This is a fascinating anthology, whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, which is an important point. It would be a shame for only self-identified feminist women to read this book, or to assume that it is talking about a singular "feminism." At times, there was a sameness to the stories; many of the writers gained entrée into their feminism via books, some of which were written by fellow contributors. Where I think Click succeeds best is when the click moment happens in another form, to ...more
Every single one of the 29 essays in this book held some nugget of truth that resonated with my own experiences. Each writer told of his or her personal journey coming to embrace feminism on his or her own terms. Some come from liberal backgrounds with card-carrying feminist parents; others were raised in conservative homes. There is a self-described third-world feminist as well as an out-and-proud LGBT activist. There are people from privileged backgrounds and those raised poor in the inner-cit ...more
Aug 25, 2010 Heidi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Heidi by: Emily Geddes
This is a series of essays written by women about when they decided they were feminists. I enjoyed the essays, but the book just didn't pack the punch that I expected. My view of modern feminism is pretty simple: do what you want to do and don't let some guy boss you around. I realize I stand on the shoulders of giants, and that without the efforts of the great feminist pioneers, I wouldn't be a degreed engineer making the same salary as the man who sits next to me. I expected the book to have s ...more
Most people identify with some kind of ideology – a religion, a political belief, a specific stance on something – and there is almost always a pivotal moment in a person’s life that makes that belief cement itself, that brings it to the forefront of one’s mind with perfect clarify. I personally have several things that I believe that are absolutely critical to my identity and sense of who I am, feminism being just one of them. So I appreciated this book, a book about women (and one man) who, ju ...more
Phylis Schafly made me a feminist. The College Republicans arranged for her to speak at my alma mater when I was sophomore and even though I knew I wasn't going to like what she had to say, I went because I wanted to feel like I was part of the controversy that would ensue. I was able to roll my eyes at most of her bullshit, but then the conversation turned to how women should never, never, never divorce their husbands no matter what. "What about situations where the husband is abusive? What if ...more
My favorite two essays in this book were "Word and Deed" by J. Courtney Sullivan, and "I Was an Obnoxious Teenage Feminist" by Jessica Valenti.

Most of the essays were good, but I didn't really identify with any of them. Even the one about being a girl in engineering school was very different than my experience.

I think the reason that I didn't identify much with these stories is because I am kind of "old" to be starting to think about feminism I guess. I didn't start really thinking about it unti
Click Edited by Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan
Seal Press, 2010
226 pages
Non-fiction; Feminism
3/5 stars

Source: Library

Summary: A collection of essays from some well-known feminists describing the "click" that made them know they were feminists.

Thoughts: I saw several reviews of this and I was really looking forward to it. While all of the essays were readable, none of them worked for me.

I saw many commonalities across the essays: women who rebelled against gender constraints, women su
I really enjoyed this book and the authors' insight into how they first identified with feminism or as feminists. My two favourite quotes from the book are from Nellie Beckett and Miriam Zoila Perez (respectively):
"This is not to say that all feminists are short-haired, hairy-legged, sensibly shod lesbians. In fact, I've found that feminist defenders often waste half their rhetoric dispelling this tired stereotype. Feminists come in all shapes, colors, and genders, and it's about time that our d
I had a very strong feminist click moment in college. I've shared it with a few people but it isn't obvious and takes a lot of explaining, so I won't really bother here. Like most of the women in this book, I've been a feminist my whole life, I just didn't really *get* it until college. That's what the click moments in this book typically describe, or at least, were meant to. I read this book because I was looking to identify with these women, but that didn't happen often. Most of these women we ...more
Aug 25, 2010 Heidi rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Heidi by: Emily
This is a series of essays written by women about when they decided they were feminists. I enjoyed the essays, but the book just didn't pack the punch that I expected. My view of modern feminism is pretty simple: do what you want to do and don't let some guy boss you around. I realize I stand on the shoulders of giants, and that without the efforts of the great feminist pioneers, I wouldn't be a degreed engineer making the same salary as the man who sits next to me. I expected the book to have s ...more
I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected. It's exactly what it promises: each contributor basically tells the story of when she (or he) decides either to claim the label "feminist," or realizes that feminism is important/relevant/meaningful in a personal way. The range of the contributors' experiences is pretty wide, from a girl with a conservative-Christian background coming up against the out-of-control teen pregnancy rate in her town, to an Asian engineering student confronting the intersect ...more
As part of the same generation as these authors, it was interesting to read the variety of experiences other self-identifying feminists have experienced. I have never suffered much ambiguity with my own feminism, which is contrary to something that defines the Third Wave, I suppose. One thing I found very fascinating was how many of the authors had mothers that were very strongly identified as feminists. That gave me hope that I might have an influence on my own daughter. Setting an example is p ...more
Alex Templeton
Years ago, I used to be really into essay collections by feminist writers. After a while, though, I'd read enough of them that the ideas failed to seem fresh. Maybe I've been away long enough, though, because I enjoyed this one, which is a collection of essays about the moment the authors realized they were feminists. Some of the essays stretch that idea (I think there was one that didn't even address it at all), but there were definite standouts. I was definitely struck by Rachel Shukert's "You ...more
This is a must-read for feminists, for people who are becoming feminists, for those who want to understand feminism, as well as for those who maybe want to uderstand women a bit better. It is a perfect example of what feminist author Carolyn Heilbrun meant when she urged for reading of women's stories, making other women's experiences stories that we can use in our own lives. I read this book for a long time, really ihaling one story at a time, comparing them to my own life story and experienc ...more
Yvette Guillaume
This book reaffirmed my choice to be a feminist in so many ways; the prose these women right is very strong. I was impressed by the number of stories in the book whose families were feminist supporters, thus giving them a strong foundation on which to stand. The reluctance of a number of women echoed my own about the word "feminist" and that it had certain very negative implications. In fact, being a feminist has its own varying degrees; per my own story, I denied being a feminist in a conversat ...more
Kate McCartney
Collection of essays about the "click" moments from third wave feminists. I was really excited to read a book focusing on feminism again, it has been way to long since have read essays like this! I could really relate to a lot of these essays. Many of the women were around my age and had similar exposure to feminism as I did. I was happy to see so many women of color included in this collection, I really liked that an essay from a man was included, I would have liked to here more experiences fro ...more
April Lee
I don't want to return this book to the library. I need to buy it. It surprised me, really. I expected funny and insightful but I did not expect to be moved to tears of understanding. It's a collection of essays of personal revelations of when they recognized they were feminists. I'm stating that because it seemed some reviewers had a different impression of what the book would be about.

It's a strange phenomenon to realize you are something that you never gave much thought to, rejected or inher
Julia Crawford
This collection of stories, written by women, opens up a conversation about the role of the feminist movement in modern times. Although I enjoyed the book, I argue that its purpose is best served when read critically. While the stories talk about the importance of banding together as women, none of the women seek to challenge, define, or give insight into the direction of the movement beyond acknowledging its importance ; which, is what I believe the movement needs the most. I was grateful that ...more
The different contributors realized they were feminists while . . .

* deer hunting
* arguing with her older sister about whether it is better to be Scottish or President of the United States
* arguing with his mother about whether she was a feminist (she said that black women cannot be feminists because feminists don't care about black women)
* listening to Sleater-Kinney
* reading Katie Roiphe
* attending a feminist rally in which one of the featured speakers wore fishnet stockings
* playing the tuba
A nice collection of essays with different perspectives on feminism. Two themes many of the writers touched on that I found interesting: struggles with (initially) adopting the feminist label for fear of alienation, and being "born" into feminism (i.e., being raised by progressive/feminist parents) rather than discovering it via a specific, defined "click" moment.

My favorite essays were written by Courtney Martin and Winter Miller.

I'm not sure if this was just my Kindle edition but I would have
Melissa Asselin
A wonderfully eye-opening collection of stories from women through all walks of life. The stories work very well together, but still maintain their individuality. Inspiring and heartbreaking.
This was very interesting. I picked up this book because I was curious how many of entries would be similar to my own. It's nice to know that someone can realize they're a feminist in so many different ways.
To be honest I read about 70% of this book because I didn't finish or skipped a few of the essays that I found boring. This was a nice idea in theory and some of the essays were great but it didn't really come together for me.
For me, the chief merit of this book was that it got me thinking about my own "click" moments. I reflected on what I thought that "feminism" meant and how I felt about the label at different points in my life. The actual essays covered too narrow a range of experience for me. "Feminism" here seems synonymous with the concerns of pro-choice, liberal career women. No mention of religion, anti-p*rnography feminism, gender-as-performance, or women who might consider themselves feminist but hold cons ...more
not thrilling, a little hammered over the head. there's a lot of great writing about feminism but this isn't one of them. if you're the type of feminist that is likes to advocate for separate groups and sections of feminism, that require a set group of qualifiers to be included, this is for you. maybe if i hadn't read much more critical writing before this i'd have been inspired. this is better for young feminists, like 16-18, who are just getting started, or maybe i should have read the essays ...more
I am so glad I found this book. It reaffirms my faith that good ideas last even if I don't do as much as I should to support them. I consider myself a feminist, but I can't say that I have done much lately to support my sisters.

However, there are still women out there fighting the good fight and they are younger and smarter than I am. These 28 women and one man showed me that feminism is alive despite my lack of activism. Maybe these young people will inspire me to do a little more.

This was wel
Susan Bazzett-griffith
A great book of essays that read almost like short stories. One of the things I enjoy most about feminist writing is just how insanely skilled at writing the authors are. My personal favorite essay in the collection was Deborah Siegel, who wrote about how the Anita Hill/ Clarence Thomas case affected her attitudes and beliefs toward feminism. Her writing was fluid and strong; her voice clear and lovely. J. Courtney Sullivan's "Word and Deed" was also a great read. Thoroughly enjoyed, an easy fou ...more
Feb 01, 2011 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
What shocked me most, I guess, while reading this collection of essays, is how reluctant women are to use the label "feminist." I agree that there certainly often is a negative connotation associated with feminism, however I've never experienced this fear to accept the label. I think by labeling who we are, we are, in a way, owning ourselves and directing our futures. If anything, this book is important for women my age to read if only to provide a sense of solidarity and okay-ness with being a ...more
Filled with short stories, this collection of moments that various women became or realized they were feminists was so identifiable at many places. Many of the stories were deeply touching. Would highly recommend, just wish there was more than one story from a man!
Rachele Cateyes
I am definitely inspired to write my own click story. I noticed in a lot of the stories the women were raised by feminists and started young. I was a prolifer, youth group teacher and wore a promise ring. I also happened to take a women's literature class so the story should be interesting, and slightly embarrassing. I am a much different person than who I was at 16, 17 and even into my twenties. Obviously something clicked over for me to make me a pro choice, feminist, fat bitch that I am today ...more
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Courtney E. Martin is a writer, teacher, and speaker, living in Brooklyn.

She is a widely sought-after speaker, having spoken at over 50 colleges, universities, and institutions over the past few years. Courtney has also been on Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, the O’Reilly Factor, CNN, and MSNBC, among other major media outlets. She was in the final three for the Washington Post’s Next Great
More about Courtney E. Martin...
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists Project Rebirth The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful, and (HIV) Positive We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists

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