Did you know that 2020 marks 100 years of women having the right to vote in the United States? You can find more information, including great reading lists for all ages, educational videos, and how to get involved in the celebration at www.womensvote100.org and www.2020centennial.org. Special events have been happening all year! On August 26, 2020 buildings and landmarks across the country lit up in purple and gold as part of the nationwide Forward Into Light Campaign, named in honor of the historic suffrage slogan, “Forward through the Darkness, Forward into Light.”
One way you can help to celebrate this awesome and important anniversary is to read a book about a suffragist! Below you will find 10 great biographies and collected biographies that reveal more about U.S. suffragists of note and a few contemporary feminist titles as well.
If you are a fan of biographies and memoirs, we have an exciting virtual event next week with Eliese Colette Goldbach, the talented and acclaimed author of Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit. There are still spots open for this Zoom program- register here!
For our third week of the virtual book club on difficult topics, we want to focus on women and feminism. Why is that? Partly because of this statistic from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“In 2018, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings that were 81 percent of the earnings of male fulltime wage and salary workers.” – from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ “Highlights of Women’s Earnings 2018”
Even in 2020, women’s work isn’t valued as much as men’s – and the disparity is even worse for women of color.
Below are books that we thought would shine a light on the experience of women in the United States. Every one is available right now from Hoopla – no holds, no waiting. All you need is your library card number and PIN. We’re also including local women-focused organizations here in Cleveland, as well as a ‘privilege checklist’ to get you thinking.
Every Sunday in June, we’ll be sharing curated book lists on difficult topics, organizations in the area to support, and more resources to explore.
Books to start the conversation:
Local organizations to support:
The City Mission
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
League of Women Voters Ohio
Renee Jones Empowerment Center
Women’s Recovery Center
YWCA Greater Cleveland
Male Privilege Checklist:
- My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favour. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed. [However, men who appear to come from poverty or the working class are much more likely to be turned away from a prestigious job than a middle class or wealthier-appearing man.]
- I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true. [This is far more true for white men than for many men of color.]
- If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex. [But may well be due to my race or ethnicity, if I’m not white.]
- If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities. [“Black mark” is part of racist speech. Black Monday, black mark, black sheep of the family: all generate negative associations with blackness and Blackness. See Dreaming The Dark, by Starhawk, for more on this.]
- The odds of my encountering sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible. [This is much more likely to be the case for men perceived to be heterosexual.]
The list continues here, in the Male Privilege Checklist from Arizona State University.