Tag Archives: bluestockings

Yes Means Yes!

Another month, another trip to Bluestockings, the feminist bookstore on the Lower East Side, for another reading. This time around it was for Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, a great anthology put together by Jacklyn Friedman, awesome co-founder of WAM!: Women, Action & the Media Conference, and Jessica Valenti, awesome co-founder of Feministing.

Flying solo this Monday I got there right on time and found a packed house; I ended up standing squished by the door with limited visibility and a pain in my back from standing for the hour and a half reading. But it was worth it. And I have so much to say I could explode. But I’ll try to contain myself and not babble on forever, although I probably could.

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To have, to have not (a child)

A few weeks ago the boyf and I once again headed over to Bluestockings, a feminist bookstore on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, for a reading by two of my favorite third wave feminists, Amy Richards and Jennifer Baumgardner. Back in college they contributed to my click moment through their book ManifestA: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future, a wonderful third-wave feminist overview that at the time I devoured and although it has lost its luster in my eyes due to the expansion of my own feminist consciousness, I still appreciate and recommend it often. The readings were of Amy and Jennifer’s new books, Amy with Opting In: Having a Child Without Losing Yourself, and Jennifer with Abortion & Life. An outsider might view these books as contradictory but upon further discussion these books are not contradictory at all but are in fact quite complimentary and were solidly presented together.

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College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens and Co-eds, Then and Now

College Girls: Bluestockings, Sex Kittens and Co-eds, Then & Now by Lynn Peril

Proud Daughter: “I have made 100 in algebra, 96 in Latin, 90 in Greek, 88-1/2 in mental philosophy, and 95 in history; are you not satisfied with my record?”
Father: “Yes, indeed, and if your husband happens to know anything about housekeeping, sewing and cooking, I am sure your married life will be very happy.”

I’ve been wanting to read this book for quite a while and I was definitely not disappointed. As someone who grew up in the girl-power-Lilith-fair-empowering-women nineties, I admit that I sometimes forget how far we’ve actually come. This book did well to remind me that not even 40 years ago women were not afforded the luxuries of education that we have today–or, at least, they were constantly reminded that if they chose to attend college for their B.A. they also better be seeking their MRS. (the most important thing to a woman, mind you.) College Girls did a fantastic job of following the college girl through her bluestockings stereotype of the 1860s (where educated women were suspiciously eyed and denounced as destined for spinsterhood) all the way through to the sex kitten stereotype of the 1950s (where her sweater-sets showed off her *ahem* assets as she cared more about getting pinned than getting A’s).
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