To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism
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To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  447 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Determined to extend the boundaries of feminism to embrace social, political, and economic equality for all humanity, these twenty-one exciting young activists and thinkers recast the concepts of feminism to reflect their own personal experiences and beliefs. Inspired by activist and writer Rebecca Walker, they speak out, challenging many of their assumptions about the wom...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Anchor
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We live in a tricky time as feminists, when in one hand the lives of women and men are full of choices (and feminism was/is all about choices), but it is also a time when I hear the question, "Are you a feminist?" a lot less than I used to hear it. On one hand, feminism is alive everywhere, but on the another, the word itself seems to be slowly withering with the passage of time.

Now that I'm taking a Women's Rhetoric class for my graduate degree, I'm able to take some time reflecting on the exte...more
I appreciate this anthology so much. As a black feminist I find "problematic" things I enjoy in my life and before reading this anthology, I thought there was a need to abstain or purge myself from these things- which is the furthest thing from the truth. I am informed enough to enjoy what I enjoy and still be a feminist. It is all part of my individual experience.
Sep 26, 2007 Jesse rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: women's studies students.
This is one of the books that inpsired me to call myself a feminist. It is a collection of essays from people of many different walks of life reflecting on feminism and is a great look at what feminism looked like in the mid nineties. It's worth the read.
not a fan of the third wave feminisms that focus on reclaiming barbie, lipstick, lady razors and high heels as if they were taken away by second wave feminists.

Also (it may be the prude in me)-- but I found discussions about sex and sexuality "tired" and cliched.

When I finished reading some of the essays, I had to stop and think about the role of sexuality as it relates to women's issues. It's not as if I think sexuality shouldn't be discussed and doesn't matter. I do.


I sometimes feel as if some Feminist perspectives about sexuality are blissfully naive and disconnected from the reality of the experiences of everyday women. I think that fe...more
Picked this up at Busboys and Poets on a whim - because I can't be trusted to 'kill time' at a bookstore, okay?

An essay collection by a diverse mix of writers, trying to address the diversity of feminism today. The most interesting point was made in one of the introductory essays (or possibly a concluding one?) talking about the collection as a whole. I don't recall which 'big name' feminist was writing, but the point was made that older 2nd wave feminists see some of the 'reactionary' responses...more
Courtney Stirrat
This wonderful collection examines various women's relationships with feminist issues in a confessional style. At first it feels a bit scattered, as - unlike many 2nd Wave essays - the essays incorporate class, race, and sexual orientation into feminism itself. But when combined with Gloria Steinam's forward, Angela Davis's afterward and Rebecca Walker's introduction, the role of these confessionals becomes much more clear. This is not a blue print or an outline of the 3rd Wave's political agend...more
Andrea Dowd
Oct 10, 2008 Andrea Dowd rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in feminist writings, gender studies, and cultural fiends.
It has been a while since I read a collection of feminist writings. This book was very interesting in that it is written for, by, and about third wave feminisists. Most of the essays were blase except for the two written about the pretense and the downfall of a woman's life due to marriage. It isn't as bleak as it sounds, but totally worth it to read those few essays. There was also an essay written by this woman who is turned on by violence and rape scenes/stories. I could only stomache a page...more
i bought this forever ago when i was in college, and finally got around to reading it. it's a compilation of essays written by feminists from several walks of life. the one message i got the strongest from the book was that there were no "rules" or "right way" of being a feminist. and while i do consider myself one, i just wasn't jiving with this book. in all honesty, i skipped a lot of it.

honestly, i think the biggest issue i had with this book is that is just seemed a bit outdated. i believe i...more
Nov 17, 2008 Jay rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Second wave feminists, men, women, trans people, feminists
Great collection of early (1992) third-wave feminist autobiographical narratives. Diverse, challenging, and questioning.

The forward comes off a bit condescending and defensive, yet is accurate in that some of the understandings of first and second wave theories and realities are a bit one-dimensional.
I would like to have heard some trans/genderqueer voices.

This is a fun, accessible introduction to why third wave feminisms are different both in lived reality and in explosion of theories.
LaToya Hankins
I enjoyed the diversity of the authors which ranged from a straight married couple who dealt with the issue of what last name to use in a creative manner to legends of the feminist movement who reflects on how far the journey has taken us as well as how far we have to go. Walker did a good job of pulling together different voices to present different outlooks. I may not have agreed with all the statements made but I came aware with an appreciation for the author's outlook.
As I began the book my initial feelings concerning the essays were ambivalent, but soon turned to dislike. However the last half-to-two-thirds of the book truly redeemed itself, and I found myself slightly sad when it ended. Some of the perspectives are definitely challenging, but I came to understand this challenge as integral to the book. I was not going to finish the book, and I am truly glad I did.
excellent collection of writings from feminists, really great for a budding feminist. i must admit though, after reading Rebecca Walker's recent article about her mother neglecting her and feminism being to blame for a generation of unhappy childless women, i am not such a fan of hers. i am disappointed in her as a feminist and a role model.
All at once, I felt at odds with myself, content, and slightly guilty. This book overachieved its goal in reminding me that there is no one way to change the world or to be that change, and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind ever since.
Interesting and diverse read. I enjoyed the thoughts of the few men, as it gave an alternative, positive view, and found the story on the husband/wife and figuring out a new last name to be sweet and positive.
Rianna Jade
Easily one of the best Feminist anthologies I've ever read. Such variety in experience, beliefs and practices from men, women, those inbetween. 'third-wave' at its best. Enjoy!
feels a little dated at this point, but a good read nonetheless. definitely placed an emphasis on gathering work from a very diverse group of people. a third wave staple.
Stand up book of essays pertaining to "Feminism". Great chapter titles like "Born to Dyke" and "How does a supermodel do feminism."

A lot of different viewpoints.
Oct 19, 2007 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone who knows or is a woman
this book elucidates why and how feminism is not dead. i loved the part about metaphors and symbology of common wedding practices, among many other parts of the book!
It was okay. Felt like something I should have read 10 years ago...but also felt stuck about 10 years ago, too. Some of the essays were better than others, of course.
excellent kickstart for those who wants to know more about feminist writers and not be subjected by mass media appeal
A very real and eclectic mix of what it means to be a feminist for many different people.
So many good perspectives! I gave this book as a present to my mom and she really liked it!
Dec 14, 2007 Elisabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Feministas
Great food for thought. Whatever that means.
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