Review by Booklist Review
Hernandez and Rehman, self-described as a "Catholic Cuban-Colombian girl from New Jersey" and a "Pakistani Muslim girl from Queens," offer various perspectives--their own and others--of life lived as young feminists of color, exploring commonalities and cultural differences and examining macho cultures and American capitalism. The collection takes its title from an essay by Cristina Tzintzun, whose Mexican mother and white father personified the colonial experience. The essays explore four major themes: family and community; mothers; cultural customs; and talking back to white feminists, men, mothers, liberals, and others. These women express a more radical, racialized feminism that broadens the movement beyond its early incarnation. An established voice on racism and feminism, Jordan offers a collection of essays that criticizes our reluctance as a nation and as individuals to examine our own moral stances even as we discuss the immorality of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. She declares that Americans are not hated because the nation is free and just, but because it fails to respect the self-determination of others. The collection includes a letter to a friend of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and several essays on a wide array of subjects, including reversals of affirmative action, breast cancer, rape, O. J. Simpson, racial and sexual identity, and bisexuality. All of the pieces are aimed at provoking readers to adapt a larger, more global perspective. Vanessa Bush
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
Ms. magazine columnist Hernandez and former Muslim poet Rehman, both feminist activists, have assembled a broad collection of essays by young women writers, academics, and activists from a range of cultures and sexual orientations. A few essays have a very specialized focus, describing such experiences as a Chicana with HIV and a Native American woman participating in the typically male War Dance ceremony. More often the contributors look more generally at their lives and families and consider how these experiences have influenced their understanding of feminism. Several writers critique "white, middle class feminism" for failing to take into account the impact of classism and racism on women of color. One essay discusses the impact of gentrification on poor, single mothers; another tells of the author's immigrant mother turning to sex work to support her daughters. Cultural and religious customs are discussed by a Nigerian woman who comes to the United States for college and by an Indian American woman who is expected to pursue an arranged marriage. These are very personal, interesting, and readable essays. Recommended for large public and academic libraries. JDebra Moore, Cerritos Coll., Norwalk, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
An uneven mix of essays from third-wave feminists of color. "What is it about the word 'feminism' that has encouraged women of color to stand apart from it?" queries one contributor. Feeling that the topic of race has been given short shrift in women's studies (and, conversely, that the study of gender is ignored in ethnic studies), these young essayists tackle the ways in which race, class, and gender intersect and define their lives. Their voices are distinct (the writers identify as Puerto Rican, Mexican-American, Nigerian, and Sri Lankan, among other ethnicities), and the pieces cover a wide territory. Taigi Smith offers a wry look at neighborhood regentrification: she resents the practice on her childhood block in San Francisco's Mission District, but is grateful that her current Brooklyn neighborhood is undergoing the process. Activist Stella Luna describes how her HIV-positive status helped transform her from a directionless young woman into a health-care advocate. (When asked if she would choose to be cured or to retain the strength, compassion, and empowerment she's acquired since being diagnosed with the disease, Luna admits she would chose to remain as she is.) Most of the essayists agree that the personal is political; hence the tales of eating disorders, sexual harassment, rape, and abortion. The two strongest sections focus on the inclination of these young women to see their mothers as practicing feminists-even though their mothers might reject the label-and on the process of negotiating traditions. These women construct a different feminism, one that allows them to retain their culture and customs, as well as question traditional gender roles. There's an unfortunate cringe factor in some sloppy prose ("She likes long walks in the park and vanilla cookie-dough ice-cream from Hdagen-Dazs and gets exhilarated from tap-dancing at fast speeds"), but trenchant perspectives are sprinkled throughout.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.