This summer, I'm reading lots of young adult literature. Re-visiting some of my favorites from high school, catching up on some of the gems I missed, and paging through what has been published since I reached adulthood. I invite you to do the same. Re-read an old favorite, or discover a new one. You don't need to be a teen, parent, teacher, or librarian to read YA Lit. All you need is an interest in how stories are being told to teenagers.
"Rave On" is the Page Turner series that asks feminist writers, artists, musicians, activists, leaders, and scholars to talk about a book that completely rocked their world. Today we feature filmmaker Therese Shechter, creator of the documentary I Was a Teenage Feminist, on Woman: An Intimate Geography, by Natalie Angier.
My feminist inspiration came from an unlikely place: the world of science. Natalie Angier's book Woman: An Intimate Geography is all about women's bodies—from the smallest component, the single-celled egg, to great big concepts, like female sexual desire.
Angier describes what she does as "liberation biology," mixing hard science, personal stories, and sharp analysis of so-called conventional wisdom in a totally readable style. She wants us to love our bodies—but not in an Oprah way. She wants us to be exhilarated by our XX chromosomes and all that comes with them. Her question is simply, What makes a woman? The answer is a revelation.
I came across the book in an airport bookstore at an especially rough time in my life. I had just left a lucrative job in Chicago journalism to try my luck at being a filmmaker in New York. Approaching 40, single, childless, insecure in a challenging new career, alone in a new city, not exactly looking like a supermodel, I felt totally unmoored. It felt like everything about me was wrong.
There may be no one better to teach girls how to rock than music and culture critic Jessica Hopper. She's clocked massive amounts of hours as a tour manager, band publicist, DJ, touring bassist, Girls Rock Camp booster, and fanzine publisher. Her "music-is-my-life" credo and infectious passion for young women and feminism are evident from even a split-second glance at her work.
Now she's just released her first book, The Girls' Guide to Rocking. Heard of it yet? Perhaps you've seen the kick-ass promo. Read on for more!
In 2008, 58 teenage girls published their take on body image, family, politics, and pop culture in the anthology Red: Teenage Girls in America Write on What Fires Up Their Lives Today. Page Turner caught up with five of them to talk about feminism, teen-girl falsehoods, and what's happened in their lives since their essays left off.
Welcome to Page Turner, a new blog on feminism and books here at Bitch's online headquarters. Here's my goal with Page Turner: to make it a collaboration between you, Bitch's readers, and me, your biblio-obsessed blogger. Page Turner is all about our love of books and feminisms, and all the many ways we interact with authors and their work in our daily lives. Read on for more!
That journalist Sheila Weller's NYT Bestseller, "Girls Like Us" also features Carole King and Carly Simon is a nice extra, of course. I haven't even finished this book yet, but I just have to gush about it. It's music history, it's women's history, it's American pop culture history...what's not to love?
This past week, sports-wise, we had a bit of a truth crisis.
We had Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance—about which he had previously lied. We had the release of a book on Alex Rodriguez—who also previously lied about his steroid use. The book was written by a woman who, while not a liar, plays dangerous games with what's true.