Notes From an Incomplete Revolution: Real Life Since Feminism
"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.