Saturday, March 11, 2006

Feminism is passe here

So for a few weeks now I've been visiting the giveaway tables downstairs, happy with my Dickinson finds, the poetry anthologies, the poetry craft and comment books. But the other day when I checked the tables, it was a dreary experience.

Looks like they've cleared out the women studies and feminist titles with the newest batch of free books.

Now I'm wondering who makes these choices and what are the reasons? Is it some arbritrary choice on the library manager and his staff? Or is there some objective criteria - a print-out of books that have not been checked out in four years or whose copyright date is 1960 or before or whose author/title has never appeared in the NY Times Review of Books or WHAT?

Other ism titles put to pasture: books on marxism, fascism, communism, capitalism.

Almost forgot to mention my circes. What an odd situation: I might have filled my shelves and yet, doing so would have no better utility than the possibility that a student might pick up one of these books, read it, and have her eyes opened. So I chose frugality. Just two books.

THE FEMINIST PAPERS: From Adams to de Beauvoir, Alice Rossi, ed.
A hefty, feels-go-in-your-hand anthology of monographs and representative essays by a respected Western sociologist. Nowhere near comprehensive and with a publication date of 1973, only the beginning of the story. Subjects covered: Abigail Adams, Judith Sargent Murray, Wollstonecraft, Frances Wright, Harriet Martineau, Margaret Fuller, John Stuart Mill, the Grimke sisters, Elizabeth & Emily Blackwell, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Engels, Bebel, Red Emma Goldmann, Margaret Sanger, La Follete, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Jane Addams, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Mead, de Beauvior.

I wanted to refresh my perception of the differences between the latter two systems.

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