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Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  615 Ratings  ·  68 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 womenOCoincluding Jessica Valenti, Amy Richards, Shelby Knox, Winter Miller, and Jennifer Baumgar ...more
ebook, 241 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Seal Press (CA)
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Mar 10, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism
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
Rachel Kramer 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
Aug 04, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Every one of these essays was well-written, some of them poignant and several very informative about the experience of being a feminist from a different cultural/ethnic background from myself. There are many references to feminism being identified as a white, middle-class concept, something I've definitely heard before. But the title of the book should more truthfully have been "Click: When we were finally willing to call ourselves feminists." Nearly all of these women were either raised in femi ...more
Stacey Nguyen
Yes, we get it - intersectionality is good. I'm a fan of Courtney Martin, and this book had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, most of the essays in this anthology were "I grew up with liberal and privileged parents but rebelled and then read a Catherine Mackinnon essay in college that made me feminist." I think more nuance and imagination could have made this a richer anthology that shows what feminism looks like rather than just telling.
Aug 25, 2010 Heidi rated it liked it  ·  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 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
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
Aug 03, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 08, 2016 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, anthology
I have to give this 1 star, even though there were some genuinely thoughtful, well-written essays in this anthology. The rest of it is just so petty and shallow I can't even handle it. Like a grown woman writing that she felt "marginalized" on her rugby team because she was straight. Give me a fucking break. This had the potential to be a really powerful, thought-provoking anthology, and it isn't. Way too much of the fun-fem, choose your choice, don't criticize my "empowering" choices" brand of ...more
Jul 27, 2011 Kirsten rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Aug 01, 2012 Mainon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 16, 2010 Bookworm1858 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2011
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
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
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
Jul 15, 2014 Ingeborg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
April Lee
Sep 08, 2012 April Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-wisdom
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
Jul 01, 2015 Darcey rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
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
May 19, 2011 Kirsti rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 02, 2011 Jendi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2012 Katherine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grrrlpower
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
Feb 01, 2011 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 12, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love the variety in these essays, the different writing styles, and voices. I like that these essays made me think and consider my own "click" moment.

I especially appreciate Marta L. Sanchez's words in her essay "The Feminist Evolution of an Artist, Survivor, Conjurer From the Tropics." ("It confirmed my belief that women are wise beings, and that the individual in the difficult position [...] is most qualified to pinpoint all the consequences and make the best choice.")

Recommended read.
Rachele Cateyes
Nov 13, 2013 Rachele Cateyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
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Shrinking Violet ...: September Book Group Discussion 1 7 Jul 11, 2013 04:42PM  
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  • Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild
  • Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape
  • The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service
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Courtney is a weekly columnist for On Being, a Peabody Award-winning public radio conversation, podcast, and Webby Award-winning website. Her newest book, The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream explores how people are redefining the "good life" in the wake of the Great Recession.

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor,
More about Courtney E. Martin...

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