My name is Michelle. I am a writer, but long before I was a writer, I was a reader and a lover of stories. Real, fantastical, or, as with most stories, somewhere in the middle, I didn’t care. I absorbed everything I read like a sponge.
Somewhere around the age of 12, I first heard the word “feminist”. For the past 18 years I’ve considered myself one, but the definition of the word changes the more I grow and change. The basic framework is always the same: I believe in the social, economical, and political equality of women.
As a child, this meant that I wanted all the opportunities for myself that would be available to a boy. As a young woman, I wanted to be rid of the disadvantages of living in a patriarchal society while female. As an adult, feminism has become a driving force for outward change, and we are enjoying a pop culture moment in the spotlight, and greater emphasis is placed on the need for intersectionality.
White feminists often conflate feminism with according women all that the patriarchy concedes to men. Intersectional feminists seek to fully dismantle the structures that have been systemically used to oppress based on race, gender, gender identity, ability, sexuality, class, etc.
Much of what we consider “normal” in patriarchy is steadily reinforced from birth. It is normal that white, cisgender, able bodied, straight, middle class and upward men are the ones who create not only our public policies, but our art, our music, our collective voice.
Last year I came upon this post: K.T. Bradford for XOJane. As a society, the words we value become the voice we shout to the world to let us know who we are. And for too long, that voice has been a sheer monolith.
Don’t get me wrong, two of my favorite writers are Christopher Moore and Neil Gaiman. Both men create brilliant work.
But I won’t be reading them from September 17, 2015 to October 20, 2016. This is my year among women.
One year. One hundred plus novels/short story collections/memoirs/essays/non-fiction/graphic novels told solely from the female voice. From white women, from women of color, from women with diverse abilities, from straight and queer women, from transwomen. One year of experiencing only the words of women.
Everything I read will be reviewed in no specific order, and a definitive list will be provided for everything I read. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do.