Book Review: “No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power” by Gloria Feldt

Win a free copy of No Excuses – see details below!!


Reading Gloria Feldt’s fab new book No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power is like sinking into a book-length letter of inspiration from a much-needed mentor. Feldt, a veteran of the second-wave fight for reproductive justice, reminds us of how many battles the women’s rights movement has already won and implores us to forge ahead with feminism’s “half-finished revolution”.

But Feldt isn’t saying that the second wave has worked their butts off and now it’s time for the younger generations to pick up the slack alone. No. Instead, “No Excuses” is a book of mentorship. Feldt shares the lessons she’s learned throughout her career as well as concrete steps each of us can take to create an even stronger feminist movement. I was particularly struck by her belief that we are each capable of changing the world – and not just in little ways, like voting for progressive candidates, either. (Although that’s very important, too!) Feldt profiles women like Michelle Robson, who founded the women’s health information portal, EmpowHER, and Beth Terry of Fake Plastic Fish, who started a successful campaign to get Brita to recycle their water filters.

Reading this book encourages you to think big. What are you passionate about? What are you ticked off about? What can be done about it? What can you do? Feldt makes the case that if we band together with other women (and males allies), anything is possible. We just need a lot of hard work and even more persistence.

This is a must-read for feminists, male allies and other progressives (who should call themselves feminists – ahem!). Get your copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or IndieBound.

Win a copy of No Excuses!
I have one copy of the book to give away – yay! To enter, ust drop me an email (danine@danine.net) or leave a note in the comments, and tell me how you are changing the world right now. Hurry, don’t delay! Contest ends this Friday, Nov. 19, at 5 PM CST.

Book Review: Peel My Love Like An Onion

This summer been wacky. I haven’t been writing a lot lately as I’ve been traveling pretty much nonstop since the end of July. When I haven’t been on the road or spending time with family and friends, I’ve been recovering from having all that fun.

I haven’t even been reading much, unlike the beginning of the summer, when I read fourteen books in June and July. Still, I did just finish “Peel My Love Like an Onion” by Ana Castillo, and since this is a blog about feminism and disability (well most of the time), I thought I’d tell y’all about it

“Peel My Love Like An Onion” is the story of Carmen, a Mexican-American flamenco dancer from Chicago, and her long-running love affairs with two men, Augustín and Manolo. Carmen’s stage name is Carmen la Coja, which is Spanish for Carmen the Cripple, as she had polio as a child. Carmen wears a brace on her leg, walks (and dances) with a limp and, as the story progresses, begins to experience the effects of post-polio syndrome.

And yet, Carmen’s disability is not the focus of this novel. It is not about how she “overcomes” her disability to have a dancing career. Instead, “Peel My Love Like An Onion” is about the never-ending saga of the torrid love triangle between Carmen, Augustín and Manolo. It is about Carmen’s relationships with her parents and her brothers. It is about her identity and heritage as a Chicagoan, Chicana (Is tht the right word?) and American.

I’m not saying that disability, pain and illness are not crucial to this novel. They are, as they form the core of who Carmen is. But this is not just a disability novel. It is the story of Carmen’s dancing career, love affairs and family life. It is also the story of a woman who happens to have a disability.

If you need something good to read, “Peel My Love Like An Onion” by Ana Castillo is worth a look.

P.S. I have received absolutely no compensation for this review. I actually got the book out of the library.