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Women doing stuff

January 5, 2013

I have naturally drifted toward reading as many books by women and about women, as by men, and about men. They are not typically books about feminism, or women’s history, but just about women doing stuff. So here goes.

Janet Wallach has written Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia, about the drawing of the borders of Iraq in the early 1900’s. She has also written The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age about the expansion of the railway in the USA, and about New York City during the panic of 1907.

Janet Soskice has written The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels about one of the greatest manuscript discovery of the 19th century. She also wrote The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language.

The economist, Sylvia Nasar wrote Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius. Marvin Lowenthal has translated The Memoirs of Glückel of Hameln about a Jewish widow at the turn of the 17th century who carried on the family business.

In all of these books we learn about the carrying on of business and scholarship. I don’t mind reading books specifically about women’s history, but sometimes I like to have the same experience as men have when they read. I like to read about people of my own gender just doing the things that come naturally, running businesses, being involved in politics and academia, and so on.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2013 2:16 pm

    I like to read about people of my own gender just doing the things that come naturally, running businesses, being involved in politics and academia, and so on.

    Yes, Janet Soskice does her own fellow gender a particular service by researching for and in writing The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language. I have to say that she’s done those of us of the Other gender a service too; the very intelligent and compelling chapters that have helped me the most are “Calling God ‘Father'”; “Trinity and the ‘Feminine Other'”; “The Kindness of God: Trinity and the Image of God in Julian of Norwich and Augustine”; and “Friendship: love thy neighbor.” (In the penultimate of my list, she notes how Julian looks to Jesus’s language and conception of “Father,” and that touches on some very personal and familial things for me.

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    January 6, 2013 8:25 pm

    Hi Kurk,

    Thanks for reminding me of that chapter in Soskice, Calling God the Father. I just went back and read it through. Its a book I need to read over and over, and think about.

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