Why We Started A Feminist Book Club
At the Blinkist Christmas party, Caitlin Schiller (of Simplify fame), Emily “#notabot” Phillips and I were chatting about the podcast. At the end of each interview, authors recommend books that listeners should read and we were excited to get started. I was particularly eager to read books recommended by Rebecca Traister and Jaclyn Friedman as their interviews had already changed how I feel about gender and sexuality.
However, I somewhat sheepishly admitted that I hadn’t read much feminist writing at all, and that large swaths of the canon were completely missing from my reading history. And so, in true Blinkist fashion, we decided to remedy that problem pronto. That night, the Feminist Book Club was born.
We made a list of books we wanted to read and set up a Slack channel that anyone in the company could join. What was really striking was how enthusiastic everyone was about this idea. But that’s Blinkist. Idea-enthusiasm is kind of our thing.
The first book we’ve chosen to read is Mary Beard’s Women & Power. This title comprises two essays based on lectures Mary Beard gave in March 2017. Beard is Professor of Classics at University of Cambridge and author of recent bestseller on ancient Rome, SPQR. Each essay looks at different ways women have been subdued and silenced since the very beginnings of western civilization. It’s a profound, erudite, and often funny read that sheds light on how our inherited systems have been stacked against women. Her work is insightful and unpretentious and really, really worth your time. Women & Power isn’t on Blinkist (yet) but here’s a video of the lectures that its based on.
Today may be International Women’s Day, but women and their ideas should always be celebrated. That’s why, in the spirit of our motto — #alwayslearning — we’re really excited to engage with great texts by feminist authors. We’re ready to be challenged. We’re ready to have our minds changed. We’re ready to tackle our received notions of what it means to be a person in the world on a daily basis.
We’ll be meeting roughly once a month to discuss what we’ve learned and to share our thoughts. If you want to join us, feel free to email me (info below) or you can follow our progress on Blinkist’s Medium page where I’ll post our reading list, updates and interesting thoughts shared during our discussions. Ideas have no gender. Come talk to us about them.