Joyce’s BOOK BLOG No. 1 

Political, Historical, and Cultural Books for Gifts

Be Fierce: Stop Sexual Harassment and Take Back Your Power and Getting Real. By Gretchen Carlson who writes eloquently about the harrowing sexual harassment upstaging her life and about the cruel after effects from unsuspecting reactions.

With the recent outings of sexual harassment and rich and powerful men falling down from lofty ladders and reputations busted, Carlson’s memoirs are timely, essential, and a need-to-read.

The  bugle call of a  culture clash between genders, but women are below their rightful pay grade. Rich men reached the pinnacle of success while women’s careers are often stalled or in abstentia. They clawed for ecomonic viability but lack parity with salaries of  77 cents on the dollar of the average man. 

Nevermind that arrival of women with a seemingly cultural shift is a drip in a dipper after eons of gender bias and sexual misbehavior. Without an attitude reversal, lasting change in culture is unchangeable. Carlson acknowleges that #MeToo is a start.

What next? Carlson’s lumnious and insightful account is based on firsthand knowledge of aforementioned hidden horrors crossing every corner of society, and she circulates protective steps in the uprising of exposed gender violence.

Gender violence — misogyny and sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic violence — a broad threat to gender equality. Carlson recognizes that this debaucle of power and control reaches far and wide from boardrooms, media, business, from Hollywood to Congress to construction bosses to bar owners…on and on. 

Women and supportive men are fighting back.  Carlson got off the political foot stool and stepped across the runway like a Super Model, emerging as a leader putting truth to power. She empathizes with pain and courage for women. She knows that  education and understanding are vital along with “how and what to do if…”

Ever woman and ever man who loves her needs to read Carlson’s memoirs. She unburdens her soul and unchains the gender bender and bashing, and sorts out a roadmap.  Anyone who wants to know more should read her illuminating word.

Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America
Edited by Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Kate Harding

Twenty-three feminists who’re successful writers voiced protest and solidarity in essays on Trump’s America and the danger to women’s progress. Yes, the election is over, and distraught not anger is the outcome. The discomfort and agony still dig deep into the country’s psyche, of voters who caused Hillary Clinton to win the popular vote. Hence, a logical question is where to now, and the response is to wield power in the backlash. I call it the Beat Back.

 But I’m still bewildered about 53% of white women who voted for Donald Trump and proud of the 94% of African American women who voted for Clinton.So are the diverse group of writers who personalized the disparaging and exhausting election. It’s unquestionable to them that when Clinton, a qualified political veteran, lost the highest glass ceiling, all women lost, and bravo to African American women for their much-needed, valuable stance for women’s rights. 

The rest of Clinton voters know they aren’t anomalies in disgust, agony, and concern about the Nasty Woman tag Donald Trump pinned on Clinton. In response, the writers defined Nasty Woman that then-presidential contender Trump called Clinton a Nasty Woman in the third debate, the epitome of emotional abuse, albeit, and mysogyny, the fallout against womanhood and feminism in the 21st Century. 

Nasty Woman demeans women for being aggressive, disagreeable, challenging, or occupying the ultimate high position of power. The presidency is the highest vestige of the challenge. They observed that Trump was so angry they feared he’d slug her after looming over her like a stalker.

The writers suggested a teachable time about where America stands in equal opportunity and encourages a turn from discomfort into comfort in pushing the revolution and forging a new struggle against inequality for “equality and justice.” If anyone is left out, everyone loses — a tenet of equal rights. That’s the lesson from the book Nasty Woman. But if nothing more, the meaning of these two potent words could be reminders that more work is necessary in the 21st Century.

 “We have an opportunity, and obligation, to ensure that the next wave of feminist activism is so clearly defined that it will be impossible for conservative women to ignore…” The feminine voting gap is about how women and men should behave with norms to achieve good and respectable qualities, said M. Talusan, an immigrant and trans sexual woman of color. Neither of these detractors want to disavow that men are privileged power players forever, and too many Americans believe that president is for men only.

The essayists didn’t elaborate, but hinted that the old traps of subordination is unacceptable for women in high-profile careers — especially presidential contenders. These modern “feminists” are persumed to reject their rightful role of homemaker, bottle and dish washer, cook, and for bedroom duties. Black femmes and trans women don’t fall for treacherous tricks, aging fundamentals, and haven’t forgotten their greater burden of fighting oppression, she said.

I read this book with intensified joy and a desire reread it again and again.

I
Am Woman: Impact of 2017 International Women’s Day Marches. By Sarah Sutherland

The largest march ever with millions of women in a global march on inauguration weekend, putting threats against equality before the world, since women’s right to vote approved in 1920. A shock. They weren’t about to turn back. Some veteran feminists, lesbians, and other first time protestors walked in cold clime. Others in hot weather. Others in snow.

Sutherland brought readers behind-the-scenes insights and profiles of some marchers, and her perspectives about the goals and impact. She enhanced TV footage and soundbites of a day in vivid color and insightfulness.

The march challenges us all to consider gender successes and the potential of a new presidency, expecting progress not regression and stay inspired and focused.

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