Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to hate this book. Why? Well, she explains it very well in here, but personally I find the book to be very in...more Unfortunately, a lot of people are going to hate this book. Why? Well, she explains it very well in here, but personally I find the book to be very informative and most of all, relieving! Maybe I really am not so crazy for doubting whether I want kids. Maybe I really am not insane for thinking that it's okay to not have kids, just like it's okay to have them. Everyone is different. Unfortunately, our society still has to catch up with this positive mentality toward being child free.
Some of my favorite parts of this book are when Valenti challenges the belief that all women are natural mothers. As a woman, I'm supposed to have a baby and magically know what's best for him/her. Personally, I don't believe in that. Like Valenti says in her book, it's okay to not know everything when it comes to parenting. Why put ourselves through so much stress and negativity? Parents bash themselves, and for what? It really is disheartening. Maybe I shouldn't say anything because I do not have children, but I think it's unfair for parents to have all this pressure to be so perfect. Of course children matter, but what about the parents, especially the mother?
Jessica makes excellent points and provides plenty of evidence from professionals but with a touch of sympathy and understanding. I am sure that many people will immediately hate this book, but honestly, they should give it a chance. It opened my eyes about a lot of things. It's made me more comfortable with my indecision to have children. I don't feel like a freak. Maybe one day I will change my mind and be 100% sure that I want kids. Or maybe I'll be 100% sure that I don't want kids. This book helps me feel like either choice will be okay. The world won't blow up if I choose to not have children. Also, it's made it pretty clear that having kids IS a choice, and that women should be given that choice.
This review is a little personal and honestly, how can it not be? I think Jessica is brave for writing Why Have Kids? Even though it is centered on heterosexual relationships, I think it did a good job explaining the way having children affects parents, especially mothers. It would have been great if she explored gay and lesbian couples more, though.
All in all, a very informative and quick read. 3.5 stars so it rounds to 4 stars. (less)
This book was amazing to read! Unfortunately, I was too young when this movement happened, but I'm still amazed at the strength and creativity of thes...moreThis book was amazing to read! Unfortunately, I was too young when this movement happened, but I'm still amazed at the strength and creativity of these riot grrrls. I love it when girls are in bands and make their own music. It's a very strong action in a world where girls and women are supposed to be silent and never use their voice. I love Bikini Kill, and I was happy to read about the other riot grrrl bands as well such as Bratmobile and Huggy Bear. I am definitely going to check them out.
I think Sara Marcus did an excellent job detailing the origins and events surrounding the riot grrrl revolution. As she points out toward the conclusion, she included everything that she knows happened. It was hard to read the tense moments toward the end when several of the girls started losing touch and the real cause of the movement seemed lost on some of them. The question of race and class is also brought up in the book, which caused conflict later on in the movement.
I think this book is a great read for feminists and those interested in women's studies. It's also a great read for those who love music and art, since riot grrrl depended heavily on music and zines. Reading about the feminist zines has inspired me to make my own and to purchase other zines as well.
Overall, a wonderful and informative book that completely enraptured me. (less)
Women Without Men breaks my heart. It was difficult to read at times because of the stark violence and discrimination against women. As a Western woma...moreWomen Without Men breaks my heart. It was difficult to read at times because of the stark violence and discrimination against women. As a Western woman, I am aware of the privileges I have over other women in the world. This was made very clear to me when I read the stories of these five women.
The magical realism in this novel is amazing and works so well with the plot and the characters. I absolutely love the storyline and the way the garden acts as a catalyst for change. The change is really a metamorphosis for a lot of the characters. Despite the darkness and complete despair of the novel, the ending is really breathtaking. There's the promise of freedom and liberation from a repressed world where women are chained not only to men but to the domestic sphere.
Even though the novel is rather short, it packed so much emotion and passion. I am so happy that Women Without Men was translated into English. It is quite the journey to see these women grow and find themselves. Even though it is extremely sad and maddening to read how they are mistreated and scorned, it is also inspiring to see them survive these horrible hardships. I highly recommend this novel. (less)