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My First Feminist Book Club Meeting

March 26, 2011

Seattle Space Needle 3/26/11

One day while searching on the internet I found the site meetup.com and came across a feminist book club for the Seattle area …

Today I went to my first book club meeting ever.  It was a feminist book club meeting in Seattle where we discussed The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  First let me tell you that I have severe social anxiety so this was a very big step for me.  My fiance was a huge help and was so supportive that he drove me there and waited for me.  I have never been to a club meeting of any sort outside of college and I had no idea what to expect.  I have never been a part of a book club or literary club of any kind.

We met at a local pub in downtown Seattle and the atmosphere was really relaxed and quite fun.  There were several women and one man who joined in in our discussion on The Handmaid’s Tale.  It was an amazing group of people who had some really fascinating perspectives on the book.    We talked about the historical context of the book, favorite aspects of the book, and the parts that rang true to society now.  We talked about the isolation of women in today’s society among other things.  One of the best questions that came from the meeting was what lesson should we come away from this book with.  The answers were all similar and that was not to be complacent.  To look at what we have and realize how easily things can be taken away and to not just sit aside and let our rights be removed.

The hardest part in any group meeting is dealing with the one negative voice.  There was one woman who thought the book was a terrible choice for a reading selection, but she could think of nothing constructive to say in the meeting.   She would speak over other people who were talking and tried to dominate the discussions with conversations about how she disliked the internet and how porn was disgusting.  I’m not sure what this all had to do with the book.  I suppose with every group there is always one person who has to be negative and bring down the extremely constructive and great group dynamic.  Aside from her every person at the meeting was great.

Several women in our group volunteer for Planned Parenthood and I found that it was an appropriate organization to go along with a book that discusses fertility issues.

I was pleased with my first adventure into the world of book clubs and am really excited that this one is on feminist topics.  I’m not the most outspoken individual and I feel that I didn’t contribute as much to the conversation as I would have liked, but I did enjoy listening to other people talk about a book I loved.  It reminded me much of the great conversations I have had in the blogging community only on a much smaller level.

Our next book is Delusions of Gender: How our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine.   So look for a review of that book before the end of April.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 27, 2011 8:41 am

    First, congratulations! It’s a real accomplishment to conquer social anxiety, and even if you didn’t talk as much during the meeting as you would like, you contributed with your presence. That’s fantastic!
    There are no book clubs in my area, since it’s sparsely populated, but I think it would be great fun to go to the meetings.
    I’ve not read The Handmaid’s Tale, but I keep seeing it on “best of” lists, so I’ll add it to my TBR list.
    I started following you through Bookblogs, and i hope you’ll visit my blog and follow at
    http://rachel-whitley.blogspot.com

    • March 28, 2011 9:37 am

      Thank you! I would highly recommend reading The Handmaid’s Tale it’s a great book. I will definitely visit your blog.

  2. March 27, 2011 7:01 pm

    Wow I’m so jealous! First of all congratulations on going to it! It souds like a really great group to discuss books with. Also, I’ve heard great things about Delusions of Gender as well.

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