Notes from an Incomplete Revolution: Real Life Since Feminism

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9780553099522: Notes from an Incomplete Revolution: Real Life Since Feminism
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"What we had in mind, when my friends and I threw away our bras, was power.  We wanted the world to widen to women.  We wanted more respect, higher wages, better marriages than our mothers', bigger lives than any generation of women had ever known."

"We had big plans for men, too.  The more optimistic among us envisioned a new breed of men who would cook and cry, go to therapy and diaper babies, assist us in achieving the multiple orgasms we so deserved, and then pop out of bed to clean the bathroom."

Meredith Maran's first book, What It's Like to Live Now, was an amazingly candid and often hilarious memoir of her journey from a sixties idealist to a nineties new woman, complete with two teenage sons, a female lover, and a hefty mortgage.  Now, with the same reckless honesty, she returns to explore life--hers and ours, female and male--in the wake of the women's movement.

Today we earn more money than our mothers did, at jobs they never dreamed of doing.  We are less likely to stay in unhappy marriages, to bear unwanted
children.  But have we achieved what we set out to accomplish?  Do women--whether they're twenty or forty or sixty--feel more in control of their lives?  Has feminism made us more--or less--fulfilled in our relationships with men and with each other?

"I'd marched for reproductive rights, but I still mourned the baby I aborted when I was twenty.  I'd been in a lesbian relationship for eleven years, but when my car broke down I still longed for a husband.  I'd picketed beauty pageants, but I'd been secretly dieting for fifteen years."

With her keen eye for contradictions, Meredith Maran finds our new realities in surprising places: on a racquetball court facing an unyielding female opponent; before a classroom of high school students, openly discussing her bisexuality; in a courtroom during a sexual abuse trial.  Through her singular experiences she illuminates the issues millions of women confront daily: her thorny relationship with her mother; the politics of flirting; the struggle to raise caring, responsible children in the face of racism and violence.

This is writing we need--alive with humor and emotion and totally engaged with the life of our times.

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Review:

Meredith Maran is a bisexual feminist, a veteran of the antiwar protests of the 1960s, a former Marxist, and currently an adviser to green businesses. So when she challenges some of the most sacred tenets of feminist theory, people sit up and take note. Notes from an Incomplete Revolution asks some tough questions about the way women live, as opposed to the way feminism tells them they should live. Is there a biological underpinning to the different ways women and men think and behave, she wonders, or is it purely the result of social conditioning, as some feminists claims? Why, even in an age of unprecedented opportunity for women, do so many opt for jobs and lifestyles that allow motherhood to be their top priority?

Maran asks these and other questions, but she doesn't always answer them. Leaving the problem of biology vs. conditioning as the determinant in our lives, she focuses her attention on the real issue of interest to her: the gap between feminism and real life. As in any political or social movement, feminism has its orthodox faction, and perhaps it is this sect to whom Maran directs her reminder, "The point of feminism was to give women choices, not to dictate what those choices should be."

From the Publisher:

Advance Praise for Notes from an Incomplete Revolution

"Amid the clatter of debate about what feminism is and isn't, Meredith Maran's funny, poignant stories reveal, in real-life terms, the battles we've won and those we're still fighting."
--Marie C. Wilson, President, Ms. Foundation for Women, and co-author of Mother Daughter Revolution

"As guys, we're just glad we had this chance to consider all the heart-opening, provocative questions Meredith raises about women--and men--today."
--Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, co-founders, Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc.

"This honest and necessary accounting from the front lines of how we live now should be read by anyone who cares about women and the future of the family."
--Marita Golden, author of Saving Our Sons: Raising Black Children in a Turbulent World

Critical acclaim for Maran's previous work, What It's Like to Live Now

"Unexpectedly compelling...fascinating, and heartening."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Meredith Maran captures all the heartbreak and glory of coping in difficult times."
--Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City

"A delight...a West Coast, distaff Woody Allen, with a good dollop more compassion."
--Los Angeles Times

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9780553374896: Notes from an Incomplete Revolution: Real Life Since Feminism

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ISBN 10:  0553374893 ISBN 13:  9780553374896
Publisher: Bantam, 1998
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