Having grown up in the 70s and having a non-traditional female occupation (engineer) for the last 30 years, this book piqued my interest. Quite frankly, I felt the feminist movement had lost it's steam many years ago and wondered what this younger author thought.
One thing I do have to say first is; this writer is exceptional. I found this book very easy to read and approachable. This was written with today's woman in mind and did not cloak itself in philosophical jargon. She tells the story of why she pursued this topic and melds the story of her going back to school to retake courses she took before becoming a wife and a mother, while also dealing with some issues in her life and marriage. This is very important as without this perspective, this book would not have quite the voice it does.
The author was very analytical and well researched and touched on many of the issues woman deal with each day in our "real" lives. While she had grown up in a very non-traditional home, her married life, actually was much more traditional. However, any one who has shared a home with another, can understand these issues as they ranged from laundry to housework. What triggered her recent issues, being a new mother, she suddenly felt, her role as a mother had more expectations than her husband's role as a father. But, the big question was, was she enforcing these responsibilities, was he or was it their collective expectation, having been been indoctrinated into doing so?
In the course the author took on Feminist Texts you can see that feminist writings vary from tip-toeing around the prevailing dogma, just to be heard while others are pretty radical in male bashing or trying to rewrite the family structure. From the discussions in her classes, the author realizes, she is a different person, than she was years ago, when she first took these courses. Having become a wife and a mother, these issues were no longer black and white. She finds her classmates and professors have even different insights. Also, she was unsure of the changes in society being in the right direction. Young women seem to be embracing objectification as showing how they can be "one of the guys". This is far from, what would be expected as a step in the right direction for equality. Objectification serves no one well. Especially the objects.
I thought the author did a great job pointing out, that being a feminist, is not being anti-male, though some of the early texts are truly male bashing. I'm also glad she pointed out the "inequality" of the civil rights movement, where the rights of woman, were not addressed, but in fact considered laughable. This was appalling to me.
One interesting point, that was brought up, that I in fact discussed with some men in my life, was the concept of feeling selfish for taking time out for yourself. This is a female issue. None of the men I brought this up with once considered feeling guilty about taking time from the family for themselves. Ladies it would appear that we are part of the problem. A very good point.
At the end of the book, the author provides her reading list and it spans from very early authors to current day, as well as issues for women in third world countries. I'm certainly planning to pick some of these up.
This was an eye-opening book.