The Mother of All Questions, the Power, & More
My plan for the month of March was to read a work of fiction by a woman and essays by women. Not included here is “The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One” by Amanda Lovelace and "A Room of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf, both of which I started but haven’t finished yet, but will soon. I'm pretty happy that I decided to do this; I learned quite a bit. Perhaps I'll do themed reading months more often.
The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit (5 Stars)
This collection of essays is a necessary read for understanding where modern feminism is and where it could go. It’s also a look into the past (this was written before Me Too, Donald Trump, and various other important events. The message still stands strong — the details aren’t right anymore). The title essay is wonderfully important, as well as A Short History of Silence, which tackles the massive pink elephant in the room and turns it into something to be understood. I appreciate that Solnit is completely aware of exactly what the reader might argue against her and addresses it upfront, making her difficult to argue with at all. I will also say that I really love the look of these books. They’re really just nice to look at and short enough of a collection to get through in a reasonable amount of time & still enjoy. I’m a petty reader, so that’s important to me. Not that I don’t enjoy spending time with Solnit on the page, but I will say that if Men Explain Things to Me and Mother were put together into one book, I’m not sure that I would have gotten through the whole thing. I like that they’re smaller collections.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (4 Stars)
This book is an important read for anyone looking to take an intersectional approach to feminism. Her perspective is important in today’s world & everyone should read this as a solid example of deconstructing modern feminism. Now, the four-star rating as an opposed to a five-star rating is because of a slightly petty issue. This collection of essays might just be too many essays together. I wish that this would have been broken into two smaller sections — really just a petty formatting issue. I would also suggest anyone reading this book not expect to read it in one sitting. This isn’t really a book you can just knock out. You’re going to want to look things up. I probably read like an essay a day. Each one was enjoyable, but it’s not something to read all at once.
The Power by Naomi Alderman (5 Stars)
This book needs a whole in-depth analysis and a full feminist critique. I’m writing it right now, so that’s not featured here yet, but for the meantime, just know that this is the best work of fiction that I’ve read in a really long time. It might be my new favorite book. It’s amazing and wonderful and important. You should read it. Please read it.