Monday, November 28, 2005

what i want for christmas

if my family reads this (and i know my father does) this is what i want for christmas: books.

i ask for this every year and every year, mixed results.

in fact, the times made a handy-dandy list of notable books of 2005 and i'd love ANY of them. but i'd especially love this biography of mary wollestonecraft.

people sometimes ask me what made me a feminist (since it sure as heck wasn't my family or church) and it all goes back to what i read when i was in school - especially while i was in junior high and realized that i had a lot in common with plain jane eyre. women like wollestonecraft, the bronte sisters, elliott - these are women whose lives i admired for their willfulness, stubbornness (two n's?) and frank anti-authoritarian stances. these were exceptional women and i wanted so much to be like them.

so that's what i want for christmas.

or, barring that, for someone to make a donation to their local YWCA. it helps.

(i just had the thought that if i took to christian novels and books the way i did to secular reading when i was a teenager i'd have a far different sensibility now. oh well.)

7 comments:

reverendmother said...

Have you seen "My Red Couch: And Other Stories in Search of a Feminist Faith"? Published by Pilgrim Press. Sounds right up your alley.

I am intimately familiar with one of the essays in that book ;-)

ding said...

that does sound right up my alley. thanks for the tip!

MEP said...

Nah, I read all the Christian romance novels in my church library at least three times when I was in grade school/junior high and I still turned out a feminist. I always liked the stubborn female characters the best though, and I did plenty of secular reading too - many of the same books that you read plus others. I was a bit bookish. Lol.

jesus chick said...

woe is me for asking this question. . . do these authors on feminism have a common thread of a faith in christ running through them? just curious. not that EVERYthing a person reads has to be a "jesus" thing. i have found, for myself, that when i get engorged on a topic of interest that is not tempered with a dose of christ i get lopsided.

ding said...

jc - most of these writers were victorian (19th century) and so christianity was a huge part of their writing. the brontes were daughters of a rather harsh methodist minister; elliott was, as well, as was wollestonecraft. so, apparently, growing up religious in an orthodox family leads to a debauched feminist life. heh.

what i find interesting is how, in their writing, faith and their feminism work together. they, and the women they write, are able to be extraordinary and look beyond what has been meant for them because in christ there is neither male nor female. (i was a Victorianist in grad school so these women are intimates to me.)

MEP - totally about the christian romances. i used to read them all the time - until i discovered the stash of books my mom hid throughout the house. i loved the feisty characters - but hated it when they seemed to cave in at the end. and they spent all their time trying to convert menfolk!

jesus chick said...

so what's the general rub re feminism vs. christianity? it seems as though the two are not mentioned in the same sentence. and why do you suppose that is?

ding said...

i think the two are never mentioned in the same sentence because the two are perceived to be antithetical to one another.

that's not the case. i have no problem wedding my feminist politics with my christian faith. my fight against patriarchy is completely at peace with my belief in christ.

the conflict comes when people start saying that feminism is 'ungodly'. (and then they never explain what that means.) clearly, that's not my conflict.