"I don't want to be the neck!" And other ways women resist what they are told is their destiny

Deborah Solomon teaches a class on women's literature in Abu Dhabi, that draws students from around the globe - many from countries with traditional gender norms. One Eastern European student was told by her grandmother that men are the head and women are the neck - "It makes me so mad" she said, "I don't want to be the neck." Others were discouraged from seeking a higher degree because of the damage it would do to their marriage eligibility, or said they knew if they didn't get married they would have to become caretakers for their parents. She says they all found common cause with a 17th century nun who took her vows so that she would be free to study and write. And for them, unlike many of the author's students in the US, feminism was not an outdated notion of angry man-haters but was about saving the world. Read more via the NY Times.

January 23, 2017 by Megan Reilly Cayten