Are you familiar with Ms. Magazine? Nooo? Tss tss, don’t wait. The last issue is available and waiting for you to read it! Oh, did I hear a ‘yes’? My bad. Let’s then talk about the Fall issue. You read well, I typed Fall. Because when a book or article is GOOD, there’s no expiration date.
First, let’s get properly introduced Ms. Magazine. In their words: “Ms. was the first national magazine to make feminist voices audible, feminist journalism tenable, and a feminist worldview available to the public. Today, the magazine remains an interactive enterprise in which an unusually diverse readership is simultaneously engaged with each other and the world. The modern Ms. boasts the most extensive coverage of international women’s issues of any magazine available in the United States.”
I’ll add that I don’t know many feminist magazines as complete as this one (and if there are that you’d like to suggest, please share with us in the comments). I’m enjoying a periodical that covers everything from politics to arts and health, and does so in celebrating women of all shape and colors (“I Have Big Thighs”, by Tami Winfrey Harris). I applaud the writers that do not shy away from controversial topics (As an example, see article “Culture of Rape”, by Natalie Wilson), and who give us updates centered on those leaders women of ours.
Now rewind to the Fall 2010 issue, “Click Lit”. Among the articles, you have:
-“ Afghan Women Rising“, by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon; It’s a wonderful piece on Afghan women entrepreneurs, midwives, civic leaders and military officers.
– “Learning to Dance“, by award-winning author Alice Walker. The piece features the two new poems.
– A variety of book reviews, and of course much more.
Today we focus on the Jessica Stites’ article “Kick-Ass Girls and Feminist Boys: Young Adult Fiction Offers Fabulous fantasies of How the World Should Be“. As the title suggest, Jessica gives us an analysis of the state of strong female characters in YA, complete with a historical overview of the phenomenon. What are some of the notable empowering female characters? How were they received both by publishers and by the public? What do teenage girls look for in YA novels?
I’m sprinkling below a few of the gems shining in the article, not only to wet your appetite but also to share some of the quotes that still haunt me.
“For girls of color, marginalized by the triple whammy of age, race and gender, YA can provide a thrilling moment of self-recognition.”
“With science fiction and fantasy, race is kind of transformed into people from different planets, which is a ‘safe way of dealing with it,” comments Nancy Pearl, author of Book Crush: For Kids and Teens—Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Interest (2007). “Interracial dating is now seen as going out with a
“Writers to meet this audience are out there, everyone agrees; it just requires a powerful editor willing to take a
chance on a new voice.”
Kick-Ass Girls and Feminist Boys is complete with a selection of the magazine’s favorite, introduced by category (action hero, gay/lesbian, masculinity, Civil Rights, Angst, War, etc…). If you’re looking for recommendations of YA with empowering females, this article will quench your thirst and give you a starting point.
For more information on the 2010 Fall issue of Ms. Magazine, click here!
Have a wonderful week and happy reading. 🙂