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Letters of Intent: Women Cross the Generations to Talk about Family, Work, Sex, Love, and the Future of Feminism

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Frustrated by the standoff between both camps of the feminist generation gap, twenty-somethings Anna Bondoc and Meg Daly decided that it was time to bring women of all ages together. What could young women learn from their foremothers, who had fought for sexual freedom, educational opportunity, and equality in the workplace? What did older women need to hear from the young women who now struggle with the day-to-day difficulties of life after the sexual revolution and the women's liberation movement? In order to find out, Bondoc and Daly invited twenty of their "third-wave" peers to identify an admired older woman and, in the form of a letter, pose the question she has always wanted to ask. The older "second-wave" women then responded in kind. The result is a wholly original exchange and one of the most remarkable books about the experience of women to appear in years.

The forty women whose original essays appear in Letters of Intent have left labels like Do-me Feminism, Girl Power, and Conservative Feminism at the door to talk in a personal and intimate way about real life for women in the nineties. Among this book's many surprises are exchanges in which Jennifer Baumgardner asks Judy Blume about being a feminist, a mom, and a writer rolled into one, to learn that the famous children's writer felt more imprisoned by her marriage than by her kids; Eisa Davis writes to Ntozake Shange to ask, "is poetry enuf?" and receives a poem in response; Starhawk reveals the influence of her Jewish roots on her goddess worship to a young Jennifer Hunter; Amy Richards shares her complicated feelings about abortion with a sympathetic Gloria Steinem; Katha Pollitt begs Emily Gordon to show passion and rebellion, asking, "Why so wistful, pierced and tattooed ones?"; and Tayari Jones implores Pearl Cleage for advice about negotiating the tension between work and political ideals. Sports, homophobia, racism, identity, food, and cancer are among the other topics addressed in these intimate exchanges, by writers who include Angela Davis, Susan Faludi, Mariah Burton Nelson, Liza Featherstone, Christine Choy, April Martin, and many others.

Letters of Intent is a celebration of the importance of forging connections. By turns funny, angry, reflective, and passionate, each woman shares a little piece of her self through the story she tells. This inspiring and enlightening book will delight women of all ages, who will discover in it an affirmation of the strength to be found in women's sense of shared community: an idea that is as old-fashioned as a pen-and-ink letter and as new as an e-mail.

About the Author

Anna Bondoc is a first-generation Filipina American who has worked as an advocate for young women's reproductive health, a chef, and a food writer. Her writing has appeared in A. Magazine: Inside Asian America, the Asian/Pacific Journal, and the anthology To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism. She lives in Los Angeles.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments
Editors' Disclaimer

Letters of Introduction

Anna Bondoc and Meg Daly

PART ONE: RADICAL NOTIONS

Intergenerational Approaches to Activism and Social Change

How are our experiences with abortion and feminism similar?

Amy Richards and Gloria Steinem

Does your generation resent up-and-coming young women?

Emily Gordon and Katha Pollitt

Which come first, our paychecks or our principles?

Tayari Jones and Pearl Cleage

If feminism has been absorbed by the larger culture, what purpose do feminist and lesbian projects serve?

Catherine Sameh and Suzanne Pharr

In an interracial world, is choosing a white partner denying your heritage?

Marie Lee and Elaine Kim

PART TWO: GRRRRRLS KICK ASS!

Women Prove Themselves on Male Turf

How do we respond to pseudo feminists trashing the feminist movement?

Jennifer Gonnerman and Susan Faludi

Why would a woman want to serve in the military, anyway?

Sara Hammel and Arie Taylor

Are there sports in which women beat men every time?

Emily Jenkins and Mariah Burton Nelson

PART THREE: OFF THE PEDESTAL

Younger Generations Take Their Foremothers to Task

What happened to your generation's promise of "love and revolution?"

Eisa Nefertari Ulen and Angela Y. Davis

Why is there so much tension between feminist bosses and their female assistants?

Liza Featherstone and Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Do you feel responsible for opening doors for young women in film?

Nisha Ganatra and Christine Choy

Why aren't you angrier about homophobia?

Lisa Springer and Betty Millard

PART FOUR: BODIES AND SELVES

The Politics of Health, Healing, and Spirituality

Why do so many women have unhealthy relationships with their bodies?

Anna Bondoc and Annemarie Colbin

Can we regain the traditions and beliefs that made our ancestors strong?

Lisa Tiger and Wilma Mankiller

What do young women need to know and do about breast cancer?

Meg Daly and Sandra Butler

How do you reconcile being pagan and Jewish?

Jennifer Hunter and Starhawk

What did you wish for me?

Karin Cook to her mother, Joan Carpenter Cook, who died of breast cancer

PART FIVE: WHERE TO FROM HERE?

Women Pass the Torch to Coming Generations

If we've gotta live underground and everybody's got cancer/will poetry be enuf?

Eisa Davis and Ntozake Shange

How did you manage a writing career while raising kids?

Jennifer Baumgardner and Judy Blume

How are you preparing your daughter to face racism?

Patricia Wakida and Yeong hae Jung

What do you love about being a lesbian mom?

Catherine Gund Saalfield and Dr. April Martin

Contributor Biographies

Copyright Acknowledgments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780684856247
Subtitle:
Women Cross the Generations to Talk about Family, Work, Sex, Love, and the Future of Feminism
Author:
Bondoc, Anna
Author:
Daly, Meg
Publisher:
Free Press
Location:
New York, NY :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Marriage
Subject:
Feminism & Feminist Theory
Subject:
Love & Romance
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Middle aged women
Subject:
Intergenerational relations
Subject:
Feminists
Subject:
Feminists -- United States -- Correspondence.
Subject:
Middle aged women -- United States -- Correspondence.
Copyright:
Publication Date:
19990305
Binding:
HC
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.79x5.90x1.20 in. .91 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Relationships
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » General

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