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Feminism

· Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Anti-Sufragists · Charlotte Perkins Gilman: She who is to come · Louise Aston: Dithyrambe · Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Girls of to-day · Louise Aston: Die wilde Rose · Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Boys will be boys · Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women by Christina Lamb · Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “We as women” · Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Females · Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser · Sontag. Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser · Susan Sontag: Debriefing. Collected Stories

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman: The Anti-Sufragists

 

The Anti-Sufragists

Fashionable women in luxurious homes,
With men to feed them, clothe them, pay their bills,
Bow, doff the hat, and fetch the handkerchief;
Hostess or guest; and always so supplied
With graceful deference and courtesy;
Surrounded by their horses, servants, dogs–
These tell us they have all the rights they want.

Successful women who have won their way
Alone, with strength of their unaided arm,
Or helped by friends, or softly climbing up
By the sweet aid of “woman’s influence”;
Successful any way, and caring naught
For any other woman’s unsuccess–
These tell us they have all the rights they want.

Religious women of the feebler sort–
Not the religion of a righteous world,
A free, enlightened, upward-reaching world,
But the religion that considers life
As something to back out of !– whose ideal
Is to renounce, submit, and sacrifice.
Counting on being patted on the head
And given a high chair when they get to heaven–
These tell us they have all the rights they want.

Ignorant women–college bred sometimes,
But ignorant of life’s realities
And principles of righteous government,
And how the privileges they enjoy
Were won with blood and tears by those before–
Those they condemn, whose ways they now oppose;
Saying, “Why not let well enough alone?”
Our world is very pleasant as it is”–
These tell us they have all the rights they want.

And selfish women–pigs in petticoats–
Rich, poor, wise, unwise, top or bottom round,
But all sublimely innocent of thought,
And guiltless of ambition, save the one
Deep, voiceless aspiration–to be fed!
These have no use for rights or duties more.
Duties today are more than they can meet,
And law insures their right to clothes and food–
These tell us they have all the rights they want.

And, more’s the pity, some good women too;
Good, conscientious women with ideas;
Who think–or think they think–that woman’s cause
Is best advanced by letting it alone;
That she somehow is not a human thing,
And not to be helped on by human means,
Just added to humanity–an “L”–
A wing, a branch, an extra, not mankind–
These tell us they have all the rights they want.

And out of these has come a monstrous thing,
A strange, down-sucking whirlpool of disgrace,
Women uniting against womanhood,
And using that great name to hide their sin!
Vain are their words as that old king’s command
Who set his will against the rising tide.
But who shall measure the historic shame
Of these poor traitors–traitors are they all–
To great Democracy and Womanhood!

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(1860-1935)
The Anti-Sufragists
Suffrage Songs and Verses

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman: She who is to come

 

 She who is to come

A woman–in so far as she beholdeth
Her one Beloved’s face;
A mother–with a great heart that enfoldeth
The children of the Race;
A body, free and strong, with that high beauty
That comes of perfect use, is built thereof;
A mind where Reason ruleth over Duty,
And Justice reigns with Love;
A self-poised, royal soul, brave, wise and tender,
No longer blind and dumb;
A Human Being, of an unknown splendor,
Is she who is to come!

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(1860-1935)
She who is to come
Suffrage Songs and Verses

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Louise Aston: Dithyrambe

Dithyrambe

Glücklich, wem der Gott der Reben
Seine süßen Gaben beut,
Hüllend um das ganze Leben
Selige Vergessenheit!
Alle finstern Geister weichen,
Aller Fesseln sind wir los,
Herrscher in des Traumes Reichen,
Fühlt der Geist sich frei und groß.

Fort, mit deinen bleichen Zügen,
Träumende Erinnerung!
Deinen Zauber zu betrügen,
Fühl’ ich mächtig mich und jung!
Heiliger Entzückung Gluten
Fach’ ich in der Seele an;
Möchte frei das All’ umfluten,
Wie der alte Ocean!

Stürmt empor, ihr Jugendgeister!
Tanzt um mich in frohen Reih’n!
Immer frischer, immer dreister,
Stürzt ins Leben euch hinein!
Fluch den fremden, starren Mächten,
Die der Menschen Sinn betört;
Die uns martern, die uns knechten,
Die mein ganzes Sein zerstört!

Mächt’ger Gott der süßen Reben,
Spende mir Vergessenheit!
Schenke mir ein neues Leben,
Voll Genuß und Seligkeit!
Schlagt die Gläser all’ in Scherben:
So vergeh’ die alte Welt!
So mag sterben und verderben,
Was das Herz in Fesseln hält!

Louise Aston
(1814-1871)
Die wilde Rose

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Girls of to-day

Girls of to-day

Girls of today! Give ear!
Never since time began
Has come to the race of man
A year, a day, an hour,
So full of promise and power
As the time that now is here!

Never in all the lands
Was there a power so great,
To move the wheels of state,
To lift up body and mind,
To waken the deaf and blind,
As the power that is in your hands!

Here at the gates of gold
You stand in the pride of youth,
Strong in courage and truth,
Stirred by a force kept back
Through centuries long and black,
Armed with a power threefold!

First: You are makers of men!
Then Be the things you preach!
Let your own greatness teach!
When Mothers like this you see
Men will be strong and free–
Then, and not till then!

Second: Since Adam fell,
Have you not heard it said
That men by women are led?
True is the saying–true!
See to it what you do!
See that you lead them well.

Third: You have work of your own!
Maid and mother and wife,
Look in the face of life!
There are duties you owe the race!
Outside your dwelling-place
There is work for you alone!

Maid and mother and wife,
See your own work be done!
Be worthy a noble son!
Help man in the upward way!
Truly, a girl today
Is the strongest thing in life!

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(1860-1935)
Girls of to-day
Suffrage Songs and Verses

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Louise Aston: Die wilde Rose

Die wilde Rose

Da droben auf einsamer Höhe
Die wilde Rose blüht,
Und wer sie von Ferne gesehen,
In heißer Sehnsucht erglüht.

Zu ihr über Felsen und Klüfte
Ein kühner Jäger klimmt.
Schon ist er in nächster Nähe –
Das Auge in Thränen ihm schwimmt.

Er will sie erfassen und pflücken.
Da strauchelt jäh sein Fuß;
Des Abgrunds finstere Tiefe
Empfängt ihn mit kaltem Kuß.

Da droben auf einsamer Höhe
Die wilde Rose blüht,
Und wer sie von Ferne gesehen.
In heißer Sehnsucht erglüht. –

Louise Aston
(1814-1871)
Die wilde Rose

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

“Boys will be boys,” and boys have had their day;
Boy-mischief and boy-carelessness and noise
Extenuated all, allowed, excused and smoothed away,
Each duty missed, each damaging wild act,
By this meek statement of unquestioned fact–
Boys will be boys!

Now, “women will be women.” Mark the change;
Calm motherhood in place of boisterous youth;
No warfare now; to manage and arrange,
To nurture with wise care, is woman’s way,
In peace and fruitful industry her sway,
In love and truth.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(1860-1935)
Boys will be boys
Suffrage Songs and Verses

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Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women by Christina Lamb

Our Bodies, Their Battlefield: What War Does to Women by Christina Lamb

From Christina Lamb, the coauthor of the bestselling I Am Malala and an award-winning journalist—an essential, groundbreaking examination of how women experience war.

In Our Bodies, Their Battlefields, longtime intrepid war correspondent Christina Lamb makes us witness to the lives of women in wartime. An award-winning war correspondent for twenty-five years (she’s never had a female editor) Lamb reports two wars—the “bang-bang” war and the story of how the people behind the lines live and survive. At the same time, since men usually act as the fighters, women are rarely interviewed about their experience of wartime, other than as grieving widows and mothers, though their experience is markedly different from that of the men involved in battle.

Lamb chronicles extraordinary tragedy and challenges in the lives of women in wartime. And none is more devastating than the increase of the use of rape as a weapon of war. Visiting warzones including the Congo, Rwanda, Nigeria, Bosnia, and Iraq, and spending time with the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar, she records the harrowing stories of survivors, from Yazidi girls kept as sex slaves by ISIS fighters and the beekeeper risking his life to rescue them; to the thousands of schoolgirls abducted across northern Nigeria by Boko Haram, to the Congolese gynecologist who stitches up more rape victims than anyone on earth. Told as a journey, and structured by country, Our Bodies, Their Battlefields gives these women voice.

We have made significant progress in international women’s rights, but across the world women are victimized by wartime atrocities that are rarely recorded, much less punished. The first ever prosecution for war rape was in 1997 and there have been remarkably few convictions since, as if rape doesn’t matter in the reckoning of war, only killing. Some courageous women in countries around the world are taking things in their own hands, hunting down the war criminals themselves, trying to trap them through Facebook.

In this profoundly important book, Christina Lamb shines a light on some of the darkest parts of the human experience—so that we might find a new way forward. Our Bodies, Their Battlefields is as inspiring and empowering is as it is urgent, a clarion call for necessary change.

Christina Lamb is one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents and a bestselling author. She has reported from most of the world’s hotspots starting with Afghanistan after an unexpected wedding invitation led her to Karachi in 1987 when she was just 22. She moved to Peshawar to cover the mujaheddin fighting the Soviet Union and within two years she had been named Young Journalist of the Year. Since then she has won 15 major awards including five times being named Foreign Correspondent of the Year and Europe’s top war reporting prize, the Prix Bayeux. She was made an OBE by the Queen in 2013 and is an honorary fellow of University College, Oxford.

Our Bodies, Their Battlefield:
What War Does to Women
by Christina Lamb
Publisher: ‎William Collins
5 Mar. 2020
Language: ‎ English
Hardcover: ‎ 432 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 0008300003
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0008300005
£14.99

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman: “We as women”

 

“We as women”

There’s a cry in the air about us–
We hear it before, behind–
Of the way in which “We, as women,”
Are going to lift mankind!

With our white frocks starched and ruffled,
And our soft hair brushed and curled–
Hats off! for “We, as women,”
Are coming to save the world.

Fair sisters, listen one moment–
And perhaps you’ll pause for ten:
The business of women as women
Is only with men as men!

What we do, “We, as women,”
We have done all through our life;
The work that is ours as women
Is the work of mother and wife.

But to elevate public opinion,
And to lift up erring man,
Is the work of the Human Being;
Let us do it–if we can.

But wait, warm-hearted sisters–
Not quite so fast, so far.
Tell me how we are going to lift a thing
Any higher than we are!

We are going to “purify politics,”
And to “elevate the press.”
We enter the foul paths of the world
To sweeten and cleanse and bless.

To hear the high things we are going to do,
And the horrors of man we tell,
One would think, “We, as women,” were angels,
And our brothers were fiends of hell.

We, that were born of one mother,
And reared in the self-same place,
In the school and the church together,
We of one blood, one race!

Now then, all forward together!
But remember, every one,
That ’tis not by feminine innocence
The work of the world is done.

The world needs strength and courage,
And wisdom to help and feed–
When, “We, as women” bring these to man,
We shall lift the world indeed.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(1860-1935)
“We as women”
Suffrage Songs and Verses

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More in: # Classic Poetry Archive, Archive G-H, Archive G-H, Feminism


Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Females

Females

The female fox she is a fox;
The female whale a whale;
The female eagle holds her place
As representative of race
As truly as the male.

The mother hen doth scratch for her chicks,
And scratch for herself beside;
The mother cow doth nurse her calf,
Yet fares as well as her other half
In the pasture free and wide.

The female bird doth soar in air;
The female fish doth swim;
The fleet-foot mare upon the course
Doth hold her own with the flying horse–
Yea and she beateth him!

One female in the world we find
Telling a different tale.
It is the female of our race,
Who holds a parasitic place
Dependent on the male.

Not so, saith she, ye slander me!
No parasite am I.
I earn my living as a wife;
My children take my very life;
Why should I share in human strife,
To plant and build and buy?

The human race holds highest place
In all the world so wide,
Yet these inferior females wive,
And raise their little ones alive,
And feed themselves beside.

The race is higher than the sex,
Though sex be fair and good;
A Human Creature is your state,
And to be human is more great
Than even womanhood!

The female fox she is a fox;
The female whale a whale;
The female eagle holds her place
As representative of race
As truly as the male.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(1860-1935)
Females
Suffrage Songs and Verses

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Sontag: Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser

No writer is as emblematic of the American twentieth century as Susan Sontag. Mythologized and misunderstood, lauded and loathed, a girl from the suburbs who became a proud symbol of cosmopolitanism, Sontag left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism, that forms an indispensable key to modern culture. No writer negotiated as many worlds; no serious writer had as many glamorous lovers.

Sontag tells these stories and examines the work upon which her reputation was based. It explores the agonizing insecurity behind the formidable public face: the broken relationships, the struggles with her sexuality, that animated—and undermined—her writing.

And it shows her attempts to respond to the cruelties and absurdities of a country that had lost its way, and her conviction that fidelity to high culture was an activism of its own.

Utilizing hundreds of interviews conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo—and featuring nearly one hundred images—Sontag is the first book based on the writer’s restricted archives, and on access to many people who have never before spoken about Sontag, including Annie Leibovitz.

It is a definitive portrait—a great American novel in the form of a biography.

About Benjamin Moser: Benjamin Moser was born in Houston. He is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book of 2009. For his work bringing Clarice Lispector to international prominence, he received Brazil’s first State Prize for Cultural Diplomacy. He has published translations from French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch. He is a former books columnist for Harper’s Magazine and The New York Times Book Review and has written for The New Yorker, Conde Nast Traveler, and The New York Review of Books.

Sontag: Her Life and Work
by Bejamin Moser
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
for Biography
Publisher : Ecco
Illustrated edition
Language: : English
Sep 17, 2019
Hardcover
832 pages
ISBN-10 : 0062896393
ISBN-13 : 978-0062896391
$36.82

# new books
Susan Sontag
Biography

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Sontag. Her Life and Work by Benjamin Moser

Susan Sontag

The definitive portrait

The definitive portrait of one of the American Century’s most towering intellectuals: her writing and her radical thought, her public activism and her hidden private face

No writer is as emblematic of the American twentieth century as Susan Sontag. Mythologized and misunderstood, lauded and loathed, a girl from the suburbs who became a proud symbol of cosmopolitanism, Sontag left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism, that forms an indispensable key to modern culture.

She was there when the Cuban Revolution began, and when the Berlin Wall came down; in Vietnam under American bombardment, in wartime Israel, in besieged Sarajevo. She was in New York when artists tried to resist the tug of money—and when many gave in. No writer negotiated as many worlds; no serious writer had as many glamorous lovers.

Sontag tells these stories and examines the work upon which her reputation was based. It explores the agonizing insecurity behind the formidable public face: the broken relationships, the struggles with her sexuality, that animated—and undermined—her writing. And it shows her attempts to respond to the cruelties and absurdities of a country that had lost its way, and her conviction that fidelity to high culture was an activism of its own.

Utilizing hundreds of interviews conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo—and featuring nearly one hundred images—Sontag is the first book based on the writer’s restricted archives, and on access to many people who have never before spoken about Sontag, including Annie Leibovitz. It is a definitive portrait—a great American novel in the form of a biography.

Benjamin Moser was born in Houston. He is the author of Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector, a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book. For his work bringing Clarice Lispector to international prominence, he received Brazil’s first State Prize for Cultural Diplomacy. He has published translations from French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch. A former books columnist for Harper’s Magazine and The New York Times Book Review, he has also written for The New Yorker, Conde Nast Traveler, and The New York Review of Books.

Sontag
Her Life and Work
By Benjamin Moser
Hardcover: 832 pages
Illustrated
Language: English
Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers
September 17, 2019
ISBN-10: 0062896393
ISBN-13: 978-0062896391
$39.99.

Benjamin Moser:
Sontag – Haar leven en werk.
Uit het Engels vertaald door
Koos Mebius en Lidwien Biekmann.
De Arbeiderspers;
816 pagina’s;
€ 49,99.

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Susan Sontag
Biography

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Susan Sontag: Debriefing. Collected Stories

‘Debriefing’ collects all of Susan Sontag’s shorter fiction, a form she turned to intermittently throughout her writing life.

The book ranges from allegory to parable to autobiography and shows her wrestling with problems not assimilable to the essay, her more customary mode. Here she catches fragments of life on the fly, dramatizes her private griefs and fears, lets characters take her where they will.

The result is a collection of remarkable brilliance, versatility, and charm. Sontag’s work has typically required time for people to catch up to it. These challenging works of literary art―made more urgent by the passage of years―await a new generation of readers.

This is an invaluable record of the creative output of one of the most inquisitive and analytical thinkers of the twentieth century at the height of her power.

Susan Sontag (1933–2004) was the author of numerous works of nonfiction, including the groundbreaking collection of essays, Against Interpretation (FSG, 1966), and of four novels, including In America (FSG, 2000), which won the National Book Award. She died in New York City on December 28, 2004.

Benjamin Taylor is the author of his family memoir, The Hue and Cry at Our House, as well as Proust: The Search in the Yale Jewish Lives series; Naples Declared, a travel memoir; and the award-winning novels, Tales Out of School and The Book of Getting Even. He edited Saul Bellow: Letters and There Is Simply Too Much to Think About, Bellow’s collected nonfiction. Taylor is a past fellow and current trustee of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Susan Sontag;
Debriefing.
Collected Stories
Edited by Benjamin Taylor
Publ. Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardcover
$27.00
Publ.date: nov. 2017
ISBN: 9780374100759
336 Pages

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