Women Unbound Challenge

womenunboundchainsIt seems like every female book blogger around has decided to be part of the Women Unbound Reading Challenge (which has a whole lot of really cool buttons, by the way). I resisted for awhile, mostly because all of the levels required a nonfiction book, and I was afraid I’d end up reading a dry treatise of feminism that didn’t interest me.  However, when Michelle of 1MoreChapter posted her list of suggestions, one of the nonfiction books she mentioned was one I already own, so I gave in.

This challenge runs from November 1, 2009 to November 30, 2010. The idea is to read books that at least loosely relate to the idea of women’s studies.

I will be joining at the philogynist level, which requires reading at least two books, at least one of which is nonfiction. I have no idea what fiction I will read, probably something by Margaret Atwood, but I’m planning on “Wild Swans” by Jung Chang being my nonfiction pick.

Since I’m joining a little later than everyone else, I’m going to include the starting meme in this post:

1. What does feminism mean to you? Does it have to do with the work sphere? The social sphere? How you dress? How you act?

I would say that feminism is about making sure that one’s choices in life are not limited by gender.

2. Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not?

I’m big into the idea of equality of opportunity for all people, not limited by gender, class, race, etc, so I’d say yes.

3. What do you consider the biggest obstacle women face in the world today? Has that obstacle changed over time, or does it basically remain the same?

The feminist movement of the ’60s and ’70s made some great strides, but because things have stagnated some since then, I think it has been harder for women to figure out their roles in society.  Women have approached equality with men in the workplace (although it is not there entirely), but most workplaces are still set up for the men to be the primary workers, along with women who do not have children.  The lack of paid maternity and paternity leave in the US is a huge problem, along with the failure of many workplaces to be flexible or help in the provision of adequate childcare.   In addition, our conceptions of gender roles in the home has not changed as far as I think many in the earlier waves of feminism would have thought.  Many women work full time yet still bear the brunt of childcare and childcare decisions, as well as housework.  I think most men today are better at helping out than their fathers or grandfathers were, but not enough to achieve real equality around the house when women are increasingly living their lives in the public, not private sphere.

12 comments to Women Unbound Challenge

  • I am so glad you are joining in! I look forward to seeing what you read. :) Great answers on the meme.

  • Excellent answer to the third question. So true that women may be working outside the home as many hours as their male partners, but they are still doing 70% or more of the work in the home too. No wonder we’re all exhausted.

  • Great answers to all the questions. Good luck with the challenge!

  • I love how you mentioned paternity leave in your answer. I think that men get really short handed on paternity leave mostly because they are not viewed as primary givers for their children. To me this is also a feminist issue because women and men are short-changed when they are not treated equally.

  • I am so glad you’re joining this challenge! I was a little hesitant about the nonfiction too at first but now I am looking at it as a good excuse to read some nonfiction!
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..Teaser Tuesday: Peony in Love =-.

  • I joined this one as well – I think it’ll be a great challenge.
    .-= S. Krishna´s last blog ..Bed of Roses – Nora Roberts =-.

  • Good luck and good answers. I am not joining coz I am not into non-fiction readoing.

  • So glad you’re joining up! I love hearing what others’ ideas are on feminism! Can’t wait to hear what you’ll be reading!

  • Amy S.

    If you fear non fiction, can I suggest you try one of my favorite authors, May Sarton, who has written a bunch of journals including: A Journal of a Solitude, Recovering: a journal, The House by the Sea: a journal & others. I am going to read the last two. Solitude is one of my favorite journals/non-fiction reads.

  • I love your answers to these questions. Thank you for participating in this challenge.

  • What a succinct and perfect definition of feminism. It IS all about choices and whether we feel those are limited, isn’t it? I should have known I could count on you :-)

  • 3m

    Glad to see I persuaded you. Don’t be afraid of Wild Swans because it’s long. It’s a very good book — and I’m not usually into non-fiction.