Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Review: Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw, and Speak About Feminism for the Real World - Edited by Kelly Jensen


"Feminists come in every shape, size, form and background. What unites feminists is the belief that every person, regardless of gender, class, education, race, sexuality, or ability - deserves equality. This is a movement about embracing differences and encouraging change that benefits all facets of society." 

So begins the introduction to this incredible anthology! From playlists (listening as I write now), comics, poetry, stories and more - this truly is intersectional feminism at its finest. While written for teens, the pieces really transcend age. Reading this book is what I imagine a non-sorority sorority could be (one without drama and hazing, just a true sisterhood where we all are working towards actual equality for all) - all in a book! I can just imagine the incredible possibility getting this in the hands of young women.

From memories of grandmothers and the histories of feminism - to modern stories of love, action, and finding feminism (whatever it means to that particular author) - this collection offers so many "Yes!" points it's unreal. To just give you a glimpse (go get yourself a copy!), some favorite lines I'm still sitting with:

1. "My reading rebellion may have taken place a long time ago, but it still feels relevant. It's not a silly pursuit to read beyond what's handed to you, to seek out new voices and leap over the usual books everyone's already talking about and see what you can find on your own... There is power in what we choose to consume as readers, and there is power in what we choose to amplify, celebrate, and share." -Nova Ren Suma, p. 199

2. "Feminism is about advocating for equality for all women, not just people you're comfortable with. It's about standing for people who are other than you, and amplifying their voices, instead of standing against them or speaking for them." - Rafe Posey, p. 69

3. "Daring to want something and going after it is a feminist act... When you're ambitious, you want to do something, and that very act reshapes the world." Shveta Thakrar, p. 175

4. "I like to think that my grandmother offered Millay's poems to me as a charge: to be bold, to speak my mind, to embrace my passions" -Malindo Lo, p. 5

5. "This is how you first learn what it is to be a girl. Soon, there'll be more incidents. Teachers in the halls, asking if you're sure you want to wear that to school, if you shouldn't go home and change."      -Sara McCarry, p. 123

6. "She has not yet taken 'no' for an answer from the world. But I know she is entering into this world. Adolescence and adulthood will try to steal that 'wide-openness' from her, and the world will tell her she can't do everything" - Matt Nathanson (about his daughter), p. 19

7. "Wherever you are right now, I promise you that someone else has been exactly there" Anne Theriault, p. 29

8. "Women are taught to measure [success] by the number on the scale. Men are taught to measure it by their accomplishments and achievements" -Lily Myers, p. 44

9. "Nothing about pain is likable.. If a character breaks the likability contract with some readers... she forfeits their sympathy and support... Are we telling them they have to hide their pain and act likable to be loved?" -Courtney Summers, p. 55-57

10. Judgments by Pomona Lake (p.71) - This photo says a million words.

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