Thursday March 1, 2018

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Library Resources

By Ione Damasco

Since 1988, the United States has celebrated Women’s History Month each March. To honor the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, Roesch Library shares some resources that highlight women who have inspired change, overcome adversity, created new opportunities and shed light on problems.

The Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better Future

In this groundbreaking collection, more than 50 cutting-edge voices — Melissa Harris-Perry, Janet Mock, Sheila Heti and Mia McKenzie, to name a few — invite us to imagine a truly feminist world. An abortion provider reinvents birth control; Sheila Bapat envisions an economy that values domestic work; a teenage rock band dreams up a new way to make music; Katherine Cross rewrites the Constitution; and Maya Dusenbery resets the standard for good sex. Combining essays, interviews, poetry, illustrations and short stories, The Feminist Utopia Project challenges the status quo that accepts inequality and violence as a given. It inspires us to demand a radically better future.

Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women

Susan Burton's world changed in an instant when her 5-year-old son was killed by a van driving down their street. Consumed by grief and without access to professional help, Susan became addicted first to cocaine, then to crack. As a resident of South Los Angeles, a black community under siege in the War on Drugs, Susan was eventually arrested and spent more than 15 years in and out of prison. Never offered therapy or treatment for addiction, she eventually found a private drug rehabilitation facility, and once sober, she dedicated herself to supporting women facing similar struggles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, operates five safe homes in Los Angeles that supply a lifeline to hundreds of formerly incarcerated women and their children — setting them on the path to education and employment rather than returning to prison.

The Madame Curie Complex: The Hidden History of Women in Science

This work gives insight into the barriers and successes for women in science and sheds light on the way cultural ideas of gender have shaped the science professions. Why are the fields of science and technology still considered predominantly male professions? This work moves beyond the most common explanations — limited access to professional training, lack of resources, exclusion from social networks of men — to give historical context and unexpected revelations about women's contributions to the sciences.

Women, Race & Class

Political activist and scholar Angela Davis presents a powerful study of the women’s liberation movement in the U.S. from abolitionist days to the present. It reveals ways the movement has been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.

Films on Kanopy Streaming

Growing Up Female

Originally produced in 1971, this is one of the first films of the modern women’s movement. At the time it was created, it caused controversy and exhilaration. It was widely used by consciousness-raising groups to generate interest and help explain feminism to a skeptical society. The film looks at female socialization through a personal look into the lives of six women ages 4 to 35 and the forces that shape them — teachers, counselors, advertising, music and the institution of marriage. It offers a chance to see how much has changed — and how much remains the same.

GTFO: Women in Gaming

Sparked by a public display of sexual harassment in 2012, GTFO pries open the video game world to explore a $20 billion industry riddled with discrimination and misogyny. Although half of all gamers are women, females are disproportionately subject to harassment and abuse from other gamers and are massively underrepresented in the video game design world. Through interviews with video game developers, journalists and academics, GTFO examines the female experience in gaming and begins a larger conversation to shape the future of the video game world.

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