Tag: Women’s History

Five Books for Women Who Want to Skip Parenthood

It’s tough being a woman who doesn’t want kids and it shouldn’t have to be. We compiled a list of books for women who are proud of their decision, or for those who are thinking about not wanting kids, try these reads before making your decision, or you can see these books to help you with your choice. Book Riot, and Hello Giggles influenced some of these book choices. Happy Women’s History Month, to every woman and her choices!

 

 

#1. Beyond Motherhood: Choosing a Life Without Children by Jeanne Safer

 

 

image via amazon

 

After years of soul-searching, Jeanne Safer made the conscious decision not to have children. In this book, Safer and women across the country share insights that dispel the myth of childless women as emotionally barren or incomplete, and encourage all women to honestly confront their needs–whether they choose motherhood or not.

 

 

#2. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From A Happy Life Without Kids by Jen Kirkman

 

 

image via amazon

 

In this instant New York Times bestseller that’s “boldly funny without being anti-mom” (In Touch), comedian and Chelsea Lately regular Jen Kirkman champions every woman’s right to follow her own path—even if that means being “childfree by choice.”

In her debut memoir, actress and comedian Jen Kirkman delves into her off-camera life with the same snarky sensitivity and oddball humor she brings to her sold-out standup shows and the Chelsea Lately round-table, where she is a writer and regular performer. As a woman of a certain age who has no desire to start a family, Jen often finds herself confronted (by friends, family, and total strangers) about her decision to be “childfree by choice.” I Can Barely Take Care of Myself offers honest and hilarious responses to questions like “Who will take care of you when you get old?” (Servants!) and a peek into the psyche—and weird and wonderful life—of a woman who has always marched to the beat of a different drummer and is pretty sure she’s not gonna change her mind, but thanks for your concern.

 

 

#3. Motherhood by Sheila Heti

 

 

image via amazon

 

In Motherhood, Sheila Heti asks what is gained and what is lost when a woman becomes a mother, treating the most consequential decision of early adulthood with the candor, originality, and humor that have won Heti international acclaim and made How Should A Person Be? required reading for a generation.

In her late thirties, when her friends are asking when they will become mothers, the narrator of Heti’s intimate and urgent novel considers whether she will do so at all. In a narrative spanning several years, casting among the influence of her peers, partner, and her duties to her forbearers, she struggles to make a wise and moral choice. After seeking guidance from philosophy, her body, mysticism, and chance, she discovers her answer much closer to home.

Motherhood is a courageous, keenly felt, and starkly original novel that will surely spark lively conversations about womanhood, parenthood, and about how―and for whom―to live.

 

 

#4. Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids by Meghan Daum

 

 

image via amazon

 

One of the main topics of cultural conversation during the last decade was the supposed “fertility crisis,” and whether modern women could figure out a way to have it all-a successful, demanding career and the required 2.3 children-before their biological clock stopped ticking. Now, however, conversation has turned to whether it’s necessary to have it all (see Anne-Marie Slaughter) or, perhaps more controversial, whether children are really a requirement for a fulfilling life. The idea that some women and men prefer not to have children is often met with sharp criticism and incredulity by the public and mainstream media.

In this provocative and controversial collection of essays, curated by writer Meghan Daum, sixteen acclaimed writers explain why they have chosen to eschew parenthood. Contributors include Lionel Shriver, Sigrid Nunez, Kate Christiensen, Elliott Holt, Geoff Dyer, and Tim Kreider, among others, who will give a unique perspective on the overwhelming cultural pressure of parenthood.
Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life.

 

 

#5. Nobody’s Mother: Life Without Kids by Lynne Van Luven

 

 

image via amazon

 

Statistics say that one in 10 women has no intention of taking the plunge into motherhood. Nobody’s Mother is a collection of stories by women who have already made this choice. From introspective to humorous to rabble-rousing, these are personal stories that are well and honestly told. The writers range in age from early 30s to mid-70s and come from diverse backgrounds. All have thought long and hard about the role of motherhood, their own destinies, what mothering means in our society and what their choice means to them as individuals and as members of their ethnic communities or social groups. Contributors include: Nancy Baron, a zoologist and science writer who works in the United States for eaWeb/COMPASS and has won two Science in Society awards, a National Magazine Award and a Western Magazine Award for Science. Lorna Crozier, well-known poet and the author of a dozen books, as well as the recipient of a Governor General’s award and numerous other writing prizes.

 

 

featured image via girltalkhq.com

The Lost History of a Female Tech Genius: Evelyn Berezin Dies at 93

After a lifetime of leadership and innovation, Evelyn Berezin passed away on December 8th, 2018 at ninety-three years old.

 

Evelyn Berezin with her word processing device

Image Via New York Times

 

In modern times, the participation gap between men and women in STEM fields is both troubling and distinct, with five times as many men as women employed in these fields. Though the rate of female participation in the sciences is steadily increasing, there remains—as there has always been—a substantial distinction between a situation improving and a situation improving quickly. Experts predict it may take as many as 280 years until men and women hold similar numbers of certain tech industry jobs. Outside of tech, physics remains one of the most male-dominated scientific fields—and yet, in the 1940s, Evelyn Berezin was at the forefront of both.

 

A graph depicting the gender breakdown of STEM fields

Image Via Schools Week UK

 

After graduating high school at fifteen, Berezin took night classes at Hunter College before taking classes at all-male Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, thanks to a WWII provision allowing women to attend male universities in order to learn ‘specialized skills’ (including calculus). In 1946, she earned her degree in physics from New York University, a year in which science was even more significantly male-dominated than just about everything else. Though she chose her job at the Electronic Computer Corporation over her doctoral studies, she has been awarded honorary PhDsfrom Adelphi University and Eastern Michigan University. In a Time interview, she described her role at ECC: “they said to me, ‘design a computer.’ I had never seen one before. Hardly anyone else had. So I just had to figure out how to do it. It was a lot of fun — when I wasn’t terrified.”

 

Evelyn Berezin, again with a word processor

Image Via UPI

 

Her 1971 invention of the word processor remains one of the most significant tech achievements of all time, relegating the typewriter to a spot in a more obsolete past. Previously, a document may need to be completely re-typed for any number of reasons—a smear of ink, one misplaced comma. Cut and paste was an impossible dream. It was a desperate inconvenience for the secretaries of the time, and it was simply inefficient. Berezin’s groundbreaking invention changed the office environment and the literary landscape, with authors also gradually switching from the perilous typewriter. In 1991, writer Zachary Leader argued that the word processor offered an “endlessly malleable sentence,” a sentiment most modern writers share. Berezin also improved the business world with her development of an airline reservation system with a one-second response time-a year before the more famous Sabre system would go on to eclipse her achievement. She went on to become the CEO of Redactron, her own tech company.

 

Fellow female tech and science geniuses, including famous figures like Ada Lovelace and Hedy Lamarr

Image Via Intelligenia Blog

 

“Without Ms. Berezin there would be no Bill Gates, no Steve Jobs, no internet, no word processors, no spreadsheets; nothing that remotely connects business with the 21st century,” British writer Gwyn Headley asserted in a blog post. “Why is this woman not famous?”

 

Featured Image Via Money Magpie

mary poppins

Check out This Bookstore That Only Sells Books by Female Authors

Thursday March 8th is International Women’s Day, and with the current state of the world, you’d better believe that companies across the globe are giving this day the power it deserves.

 

woolf

Virginia Woolf. | Image Via Wikipedia

 

The last few years have been rocky and weird, and it seems as though we’ve been caught in a vacuum of #metoo, for women’s voices are finally screaming out to be heard. For International Women’s Day this year, the two publishing houses, Penguin and Waterstones (a U.K.-based company), will be setting up a pop-up bookshop in east London which will only be selling books written by women. The shop is set to run from March 5th – March 9th, and will include over 200 writers. In London, the international holiday happens to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave women the right to vote so the shop is paying homage to both dates.

 

suffragettes

Image Via Womensenews

 

The goal is to educate people, both young and old, on the women whose voices have rung out over the years in an effort to gain equality with their male counterparts. In addition to educating, Penguin and Waterstones hope to inspire young girls to continue being bold, brave, and loud about demanding rights that they deserve. Not only will the shop include books written for adults, but ones written for children as well. Plus, the proceeds go to various organizations that sponsor aid for domestically-abused women, so your money will be going to an excellent cause.

 

london

Image Via Alamy

 

If you find yourself on Rivington Street in east London between March 5th and 9th, I highly suggest you check out this shop filled with years of women whose strengths and struggles gave us what we are lucky to have today: freedom.

 

via GIPHY

 

Feature Image Via The Telegraph 

Magazine Cover

Ms. Sheila Michaels, Who Said Women Should Not ‘Belong’ to Men, Dies at 78

American feminist Sheila Michaels has died of leukemia at age 78. Though she did not invent the abbreviation herself, Michaels is known for championing “Ms.” throughout the 1960s as a way to identify women as individuals beyond their martial statuses. 

 

“Partly because of my personal situation [Michaels’s parents were unmarried], partly because of my observations at large, I had a low opinion of marriage — and certainly no desire to marry. I felt strongly about not ‘belonging’ to a man — either to my father as a Miss, or to a husband as a Mrs,” she informed The Japan Times in 2000. 

 

 

New York Times announcement

Via Ms. magazine

 

 

After years of Michaels’s advocacy, Gloria Steinem adopted “Ms.” in 1971 as the title of her feminist magazine. In 1986, the New York Times announced its official use of the honorific. Since then, “Ms.” has become an editorial standard that we are all familiar with nowadays.

 

“It made sense to us from the start: ‘Ms.’ is how you address a woman as a whole person,” Ms. magazine reported.

 

The Times noted that Michaels is survived by her half-brother, Peter London.

 

Featured image courtesy of Boing Boing

SaveSave