Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged women

Both Before I’m Gone

Nas says hip-hop is dead, but after checking out rock trio, Girl in a Coma’s debut CD, Both Before I’m Gone, rock fans can relax. After the dismantling of Sleater-Kinney and Le Tigre, devoted fans of female rockers have been waiting for an act that follows the legacy of these two pioneers, but doesn’t sound overproduced. While other bands (who shall rename nameless) sell out by featuring their songs on over-hyped summer movies, there are still bands with a woman at the mike that scratch and claw and kick for their independence.

Georgia's Frontier Women : Female Fortunes in a Southern Colony

I found this book difficult to read. I am not used to the academic tone Marsh uses. His sentences seemed to go on for several lines, and I had trouble following the thread of his ideas. However, this book is worth reading for anyone interested in Georgia history. The information presented is important. The book shows women's economic contributions and status, and how the things early settlers did have affected the state up until the present day. Georgia was founded in 1732 by a charter of King George II. He appointed a group of trustees to supervise its settlement.

Friendly Fire: The Remarkable Story of a Journalist Kidnapped in Iraq, Rescued by an Italian Secret Service Agent, and Shot by U.S. Forces

In the United States, Giuliana Sgrena is known as the Italian journalist who was kidnapped in Iraq, held for a month, and then, on the day of her release, shot at by American troops on her way to the airport; the Italian secret service man escorting her was killed and Sgrena herself was severely injured. In the weeks following, while the U.S. military insisted that Sgrena’s car had failed to stop at a checkpoint, Sgrena claimed that the shots had come without warning. In Italy, where Sgrena is known for her long career of courageous reporting, she became a national hero.


Malene Choi Jensen’s InshAllah impresses with its muted visuals and quiet background score. Sabha Khan is a Danish Muslim girl, struggling to create an independent life. She is devoted to her family, has wonderfully supportive friends. She is obviously intelligent, but is unable to find work because of her religious identity and her decision to wear a head scarf. Interspersed with interview footage are sequences depicting Sabha’s home and social lives. She reads to us the countless rejection letters from potential employers—all attempting to conceal their blatant racism and xenophobia.

On My Own: The Art of Being a Woman Alone

In today’s society, there’s no shortage of dialogue from women about the downfalls and loneliness of being single. Romance and the stability and reciprocal affection it brings is arguably one of the most fundamental desires for many. On My Own reconstructs what is means to be a woman alone, and emphasizes the value of solitude.

Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan

Usually when I read a memoir, I don’t really expect to learn anything. I might laugh or cry at the writer’s personal tragedies, but my expectations for experiencing some profound level of enlightenment is absent. After reading Kabul in Winter, I will now only read memoirs that are as thoughtfully written, educational and eye-opening as Ann Jones’s account of her time spent in Afghanistan. Even though this book will probably be found in the “Current Events” or “Politics” section of any radical bookstore, Jones’s account of her travels is better written than most memoirs.

Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy

Who hasn’t done it? Who hasn’t bought that extra cup of yogurt or that pink scarf that matches nothing in the closet just to show support for the breast cancer cause? Most women have seen what breast cancer can do in the lives of real women, whether we have endured it first-hand or watched a loved one struggle to survive. I have always felt that sweet inner glow after making a purchase if I knew that a small percentage of the proceeds would go to support breast cancer research. As a consumer, I felt that I was doing my part.

Emergency Contact

If there is a politic of poetry at stake in Emergency Contact, it stems as much from the a politicized urban landscape, as it does from the poetic representation of that setting. Against the familiar backdrop of a neighbourhood in the process of an irrevocable gentrification, Ziniuk records the objects, people and small hi-stories―perhaps otherwise unregistered―of Toronto’s west end neighbourhood Parkdale.

Venus Zine (Spring 2007)

Venus has come a long way from its inception more than a decade ago. In its current form, it bears little resemblance to the average zine. Instead, Venus is a refreshingly sophisticated publication — glossy enough to tempt more mainstream consumers into giving the pages a once-over, while still maintaining a feminist perspective. The latest issue is packed full of everything one might expect from a woman-centric publication, sans skeletal models and hetero-focused sex tips.

Aqua Beats and Moon Verses: Volume I

Chicago based performance artists camil.williams and veronica precious bohanan (a.k.a. AquaMoon) explore womyn-centered issues, such as rape, molestation, incest, and women in hip hop from an African American perspective. These themes are interpreted through the use of choreopoems (poems intended to be acted out on stage), and there is also a CD that comes with the book.


Rakasa is a documentary about the lives of three Palestinian women who dance for joy, expression and sometimes money. Certain images come to mind when an American says, “I’m a dancer.” However, the dancing found in Rakasa _(Arabic for “bellydancer”) comes from an irrepressible urge to rebel, to be free, and to be wholly and utterly a _woman in a culture that would have one deny that Goddess-given gift. This form of dancing also crosses religious barriers, bringing Israeli Jews and Arabs together to dance.

The Last Empress

An ancient sage once foretold, “China would be destroyed by a woman.” Historians described Empress Tzu Hsi of the Qing Dynasty as an evil leader hell-bent on the usurpation of power. This much-documented image later served to affirm the age-old prophecy. The Last Empress by Anchee Min is the sequel to the acclaimed _Empress Orchid _(2004). Set towards the end of Imperial China, Min continues the heartbreaking tale of the country’s downfall at the hands of merciless foreigners.

Regaining Control: When Love Becomes a Prison

Sad to say, I wasn’t really too surprised by Tami Brady’s intended bombshell statistic that only 1% of the world’s assets are in the name of women. It has been my personal experience that I’ve met very few women who aren’t either overt or covert aggressive, control freaks, or - at the other end of the extreme - fearful and dependent. Both types are insecure.

ARTitude Zine (Issue #23: Winter 2006)

Sweet and sincere, ARTitude Zine includes well-written articles by and about artists and their processes, nifty project ideas with full instructions, and full-color pages displaying readers’ work.

Ms. Films DIY Guide to Film & Video, Third Edition

This anthology of DIY film techniques and ideas is nothing short of inspiring. It takes what I had thought of as a corporate and very difficult to break into medium and brings it to the level where anyone can become a filmmaker. Comprehensive and fascinating, with a lot of spirit, Ms. Films DIY Guide to Film & Video looks and feels like a zine, but is bound durably as a book. Geared toward women and girls, as women and girls are under-represented as film-makers, this book serves a meaningful purpose. I had never felt the desire to make films, but _Ms.

One of the Guys: Women as Aggressors and Torturers

Are there lessons to be learned from the interminable nightmare in Iraq? Was more heartbreaking instruction needed, even after My Lai and William Calley and Zippo raids? The media, with its relentless blather about heroism, simply can’t accommodate the postmodern ambiguity in the story of Private Jessica Lynch or the fragging death of Pat Tillman.

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters

Jessica Valenti is a part of the feminist blogger elite, and for good reason. The blog she helped to establish, Feministing.com, receives a significant amount of web traffic and is well-known among young, internet savvy, hip feminists. Full disclosure: I read Feministing every now and then. Having read Valenti’s writing on the blog—which tends to be oversimplified and, quite frankly, bratty—I was hoping her analysis in book form would show a tad more depth.

Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for Our Planet

The year is 2007. We can still see the impressive footsteps of Betty Friedman, Margaret Sanger, and Gloria Steinem in the sands of time, yet women, as a whole, seem more concerned with which pop icon has fallen from grace, or how their Coach bag stands up against the other soccer moms' Gucci one. I don't carry a handbag, and I don't watch much TV, yet this book was a sobering and gentle call to action.


Norwegian Aud Torvingen was born into a life of wealth and privilege. The former police officer gives back to the community by teaching women self-defense. The new women in her latest course cross all social and financial lines so that a southern society belle is on an even footing with a housewife. The women savor each other’s triumphs until one day one of them has to put into practice what she learned. After dealing with officials following the woman’s act, Aud flies to Seattle where she owns property that she must clean up as her property manager violated OSHA and EPA rules.


I don’t often say that something I bought has changed my life, but the pStyle has done just that. This 7¾ inch plastic device lets female-bodied people urinate while standing up and without dropping their drawers, which means I can urinate discreetly while working in my garden without worrying that my exposed butt will offend the neighbors.


This inspirational memoir traces the life of an extraordinary woman. Wangari Maathai was born in 1940 in a small Kikuyu community in Kenya. Throughout the memoir we watch Maathai’s life change and progress alongside Kenyan society. The memoir unfolds with stories of Kikuyu traditions and beliefs as a young Maathai plants crops alongside her mother.

The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border

I have always assumed that every feminist knows about the murders in Juarez, Mexico. I have been obsessed with the murders and available news reports (or lack there of) for the past couple of years. So when I saw that the first non-fiction book to be published about the Juarez femicide was coming out, I was incredibly excited to see that these events would finally be discussed in an accessible format. As I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. I carried it with me everywhere, as these women's stories filled my head and my heart.

Did I Wake You?

In her book Did I Wake You?, Beth Lapides gives a modern spin to the 5-7-5 syllable pattern of the Japanese poetry form of haiku.

Zaatar Days, Henna Nights: Adventures, Dreams, and Destinations across the Middle East

Pakistani-American Maliha Masood needed a change in her life. She resigns from her lackluster job, cashes in her savings and books a one-way ticket to Paris. While in Europe, her strong desire for adventure and self-discovery propels her to hop on a flight to Cairo, Egypt, but the journey does not stop there.

Full-Time Woman, Part-Time Career: Launching a Flexible Business That Fits Your Life, Feeds Your Family, and Fuels Your Brain

As an independent woman who has considered on more than one occasion the seemingly pie-in-the-sky idea of starting my own business, I tore through Karen Steede Terry’s Full Time Woman, Part Time Career with as much élan as I tear through anything chocolate. I hoped to uncover a treasure-trove of secrets that could set me on the path to a great new career beginning. I was not disappointed, but after reading, I am acutely aware of the energy and persistence necessary to start up a small business.

Cupboards of Curiosity: Women, Recollection, and Film History

Caught between the somewhat clichéd “fleeting moment of stardom” and the somewhat fatalistic blow of having images captured on film for what could be an eternity or lost to everyone forever, to be a celebrity means cultivating and wearing a Janus-faced mask.

Uncoded Woman

Anne-Marie Oomen’s first book of poetry, Uncoded Woman, is a narrative collection centering around a displaced Southern woman finding meaning and direction in a resort town on Lake Michigan. The “uncoding” in the title refers to a persistent theme throughout the book. The prologue very simply defines the International Code of Signals—the maritime form of communication that involves flags and pennants with shapes.

Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics

In Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics, Jennifer Baumgardner, co-author of third wave bestsellers Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future and _[Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0374528659?ie=UTF8&tag=feminrevie-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=03745286

Return to the Land of Wonders

I was riveted by Maysoon Pachachi’s documentary about her homeland: Return to The Land of Wonders. She returns to Baghdad after a thirty-five year absence, soon after the U.S. invasion. The Baghdad she brings to the viewer is not one seen on CNN; she offers a rare insight into the committee (headed by her father, Adnan) working on the drafting of a temporary Iraqi Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The Secret Lives of Lawfully Wedded Wives

More than just an anthology of essays about marriage, The Secret Lives of Lawfully Wedded Wives is a collection of unique perspectives on committed relationships and the human condition - more specifically, the female condition.