014–Austen? Chicklit? – chapters 42-43


Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

10 Responses

  1. Kristi says:

    Hi Heather,

    I’m a new listener and decided to start at the beginning. I find it really uncanny to come across the topic of Feminism because it seems to be a reoccurring topic in my studies lately. And only this morning, before listing to this podcast I had a conversation with my husband about what it really means to be a feminist.

    I’m in my late 20’s and still finishing my BA and was required to take a Core Humanities class and one of the main topics is Feminism. Prior to this class I would have been mortified to call myself a Feminist, I’m more traditionally minded and have never had the desire to pursue a high powered career or throw off all the things that make me decidedly feminine. But I have discovered throughout this class, the origins and true meaning of what it is to be Feminist. How thankful I am to know the truth, and how proud I am that there have been and still are women who fight for nothing more complicated than the right for everyone to have the choice to live their lives the way they want.

    I do think that our modern society has made a switch from looking down on women who want to pursue a career to looking down on women who want to stay home. I’ve been married not quite two years, don’t have children yet, but am expecting that it will happen before too long. I am really surprised at the reaction of people when I contemplate being a stay-at-home mom. But I am really glad that I at least have that choice, no matter what anyone else thinks.

    Anyway, I really felt I should make a comment because this is a topic that I’m starting to feel really passionate about. I am looking forward to listening to more of your podcast and I know that I have many more great books to look forward to.

  2. Heather says:

    What a wonderful post! Thank you I.C.! And I’m with you! I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn, for years and the number of Stay-at-Home Dads was huge. It was a wonderful thing to see, and very supported by everyone in the community (Dan Zanes being the most famous of late). I can’t ever forget the point that Martin Luther King made, that when one group is excluded and dismissed, Everyone (including the dismissors) suffers. Maybe we’re coming to a center where everyone has choices, rather than pendulum-ing from extreme to extreme?

    Here’s to the Elizabeths and their fabu mates!


  3. Irish Clover says:

    I’m a late 20-something, for a few more weeks anyway, and have a difficult time identifying with the early feminist movement of the sixties. The feminist movement has really been underway for centuries. Austen was a feminist in her own cultural way. I don’t identify with the movement and actions of the 60s because of the angry undertones and because of the rejection and dismissal of many things that are overtly feminine. I agree with you, Heather, that feminism is about having choices. It seems to me though that with the first wave of feminism was not about choice but about abandoning or looking down upon women who choose to stay at home or knit or would rather be a nurse than a doctor. I identify more with the second wave of feminism, which involves the inclusion of women who decide not to work, the resurgence of knitting and spinning, and the supporting of men who become stay at home dads. I think focus on feminism shows there is still much to do. The complacency of younger females may be a positive. They just can’t imagine life where they are repressed. Knowing the past is important so it doesn’t happen again. Being unable to identify with it, may be a sign of just how far we have come. Let’s face it, I can’t imagine not marrying for love. There are still plenty of Charlottes in the world, but there are definitely more Elizabeths. Keep up the excellent work, Heather. I love listening to your podcast. I also enjoyed hearing about your dinner with Arun Gandhi.

  4. Heather says:

    YAY US!
    And I have to say, I love any logon that includes “leiderhosen”…very classy!

    I’m so glad y’all are listening!

  5. Janice in GA says:

    I was in the first wave of women to be hired in one “traditionally male” job (pre-PC computer repair at IBM in 1979/1980). I am VERY aware of how far we’ve come. Sometimes I get really angry at the way younger women don’t realize how we have to still be vigilant. There are forces active in America today that would be delighted to see women without the choices in career, lifestyle, etc. that we have now.

    In some past cultures, women had rights, and lost them. It could happen again. 🙁

    I’ve just recently finished listening to Pride and Prejudice from Librivox. I’ve really been enjoying listening to your thoughts about things though. Thanks much!

  6. madame_leiderhosen says:

    I will never forget my Catholic, shy, conservative mother turning on a male collegue who said something idiotic like “how equal women are now” and in no uncertain terms correcting him, how uneven things still are and what an entirely stupid thing for him to say. I was so proud of her I could have just glowed perfectly pink.

    Austen, particularly this book, is the domain, property and touchstone of women. I cannot imagine another gender with that particular perspective to embrace a book so entirely. But, come to think of it, my darling friend Ben did write up some meeting notes last year in the Austen tone and I think she would have found it intensely funny. Some humorless women did not get the gag at all.

    Fabulous podcast, Heather. I adore you.

  7. Heather says:

    Yay Lumie!
    I guess that’s my biggest fear–I hate losing options. Life is weird and one never knows what one will do in the future.
    Hope you’re enjoying CA…are you NorCal or SoCal? (They should probably be two separate states.)
    Thanks for the comment!

  8. Lumie says:

    You mentioned in the last podcast wanting young women to speech about their perceptions about others take on feminism. I am 24 and grew up and went to school in FL where the f word was rarely uttered and my high school had a Right to Life Club. The girls around me did not think about their choices in some ways they fought against them. I have since moved to CA for graduate school and the f word is embraced by the female students and they embrace their choices.
    I’ve noticed that more males are being made aware of the choices open to both sexes now due to being raised by second wave feminists. All in all I personally think that females do not think about their choices, but I personally am proud to say I’m a feminist. I am grateful to all of the women who have come before myself.

  9. Heather says:

    Yay! I’m so glad. I hope you’ve been able to get all the “back issues” as I just figured out how to link to all of them.
    ; )
    Welcome to the crew!

  10. Charity says:

    Just wanted to drop you a note to say I’ve recently discovered your podcast, and am loving it! I’m constantly frustrated by how my knitting cuts into my reading time, and am so thankful for this. Also, I haven’t read Pride & Prejudice in years, and am really enjoying the refresher. :0)