In 2017, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) partnered with the Steinem Sisters Collective, a group named in honor of Toledo native and trailblazing feminist Gloria Steinem, to facilitate learning and discussion. Along with the Steinem Sisters Collection of feminist literature housed in the Main Library, the partnership also led to a discussion series with recent topics like “‘Baby It’s Cold Outside:’ Feminism and Cultural Safe Spaces,” focusing on feminist literature from the collection. Two upcoming books for discussion include Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly and Equality for Women=Prosperity for All: The Disastrous Global Crisis of Gender Inequality by Augusto Lopez-Claros and Bahiyyih Nakhjavani.
Rage Becomes Her
Wednesday, February 6 | 6pm-7pm
Chemaly’s book of essays relies on a combination of interviews, research, and personal experiences. The latter includes an account of 15-year-old Chemaly watching her mother quietly and methodically throwing the family’s wedding china from a second-floor veranda and, as a mother herself, realizing she would have to broach the subject of harassment and cat-calling with her young daughter in order to allow her a solo trip for ice cream.
Rebecca Stanwick, an adult services librarian in the Main Library’s Humanities Department, and the head of the Steinem Sisters Collection, says, “I chose Rage Becomes Her because it talks about the psychological effects of suppressing rage— the depression, acting out, and violence enacted upon women when they themselves don’t enact, or feel, their own rage.”
The collection is all about women channeling rage instead of succumbing to societal expectations. If you’ve ever been told to “smile,” to “calm down,” or to “cheer up,” then you will connect with Chemaly’s message: a commentary on how women are taught not to be hysterical or overly emotional, while men who show anger or discontent are deemed assertive.
Perhaps Steinem said it best in her review of the Rage Becomes Her: “How many women cry when angry because we’ve held it for so long? How many discover that anger turned inward is depression? Soraya Chemaly’s Rage Becomes Her will be good for women, and for the future of this country. After all, women have a lot to be angry about.”
Equality for Women
Wednesday, April 3 | 6pm-7pm
As the foundation for a discussion of equal pay,Equality for Women illustrates that unequal pay is not only a human rights violation, it’s a bad practice economically. The book devotes time to violence against women and how culture and religion play a role in discrimination with data gathered from 173 countries around the world. The book explores the roots of gender inequality worldwide and how to overcome it through policy change.
“It talks about not just the woman gaining when she’s paid more,” adds Stanwick, “but how the community is stimulated when women are paid equally and looked on as an equal commerce partner.”
Sanger Branch Library, 3030 W. Central Ave. Meeting Room A. 419-259-5370 | toledolibrary.org | Discussions for ages 18+.
Future Book Discussions
Dates & Times TBA
Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
The Girls by Emma Cline
Other Steinem Sisters Events
HerStory: Intersectional Feminism
2pm-4pm, Saturday, March 9
Talking with Steinem Sisters Collective
6pm-7pm, Wednesday, May 1