Review: “If You Lean In, Will Men Just Look Down Your Blouse?” By Gina Barreca

  
I’ve been reading Gina Barreca’s columns in my local newspaper for years. I love her brash attitude that reminds me so much of my own, her exasperation at injustices that no one should allow – no one!, and her talent for capturing just the right facet of a social issue to make a difference. 

 The dozens of essays in this book are tied together by section headings such as “I’m not needy; I’m wanty” and “If you met my family, you’d understand,” but more importantly woven together by the exploration of feminism.  

Barreca doesn’t bash men or bash women who like men. She doesn’t tell me I can’t wear pantyhose or I have to be pro-choice or I shouldn’t read smut. What I think Barreca says is that women should do what they do for themselves. For themselves! What a concept. If cooking for your husband makes you happy, do it. But don’t do it because he tells you to, because you feel worthless to him if you don’t, or because society tells you that’s all you have to offer if you’re a housewife. Get it? Read the book. You’ll get it. 

For me, it was nice that someone put a bunch of my thoughts into rational written form and then published it for all to read. For others, Barecca might not echo your exact thinking, but she will give you some food for thought. 

-calliope

Buy ‘IF YOU LEAN IN, WILL MEN JUST LOOK DOWN YOUR BLOUSE?’

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

*1***Spoilers without spoilers***

yea…you read that right…..

So I won’t go into the whole entire picking the novel apart bit by bit….there’s really no need for that….it’s been done waaaay too many times…..This book is studied in schools, banned in schools, made into an opera, a film and is on so many book lists it’s just insane….is it deserving of all of that hype? yea…I reckon it is….I read a quote funny enough whilst reading this book….A story came out in The Guardian and it went like this…

“Some books haunt the reader. Others haunt the writer. The Handmaid’s Tale has done both.”

Yea….I reckon I can see that too….it certainly has haunted me and I can see how Atwood would feel haunted as well….

So I am gonna skip all of that and just tell you….read the book. If you love it…well, you’ll be glad you did….but this is one you can hate and still be glad you read as well….there is so much to ponder here…I can’t see how you would regret not trying this one out….

I would just like to briefly touch on the ending…

Here is the spoiler not spoiler bit I mentioned at the start…..

So many people hated how it ended….I for one loved it….but I often do love those types of ending….

but further than that…..why did it end like that?

This is what I have pondered the most about….obviously Atwood wrote all of her musings AFTER the fact…so why did she stop…..we know that she must have survived at least for a bit after the novel ends, right? She cared enough to write what she did….why? Did she have hope? For Luke? The child? Mankind? Women? Herself???? Was she offering hope? Was she trying to tell everyone that there wasn’t hope? Why…why…why…..more importantly….why did she stop writing?

I wonder if she stopped because she lost all hope…..if without the slim light that her hope offered…well…if it all just extinguished for her…her writing…her hope….even her life….

or was that hope realised and she just chose to walk away from the memories of the past….

I’m pretty sure it’s one of the other….I don’t think in my mind there is any other way….I don’t believe she died in the midst of her writing…I don’t believe she lost the book….

I believe she walked either into that light…or away…

So it leaves me ponder….is there life if there is no hope?

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood