Sunday, October 1, 2017

Grrrl Gang Manila: Book Club

Since I'm just now trying to get back to blogging regularly, this is the first time I am writing about one of the important things that has been keeping me occupied on my downtime: Grrrl Gang Manila.

Grrrl Gang Manila aims to create a safe, non judgemental space for women in the Philippines
to discuss the issues that affect them.

Saab Magalona, who invited me to the first meet, wrote about it on her blog, including a tidbit from me!

Since its first ever meetup which was held last March, I have tried to be as active as I can. But given the personal circumstances that have happened in the last few months, I am also just now picking up the slack -- by doing self-promotion hahaha.

One of the projects we have for Grrrl Gang Manila is our very own book club! We don't have a fancy name, as you can tell from the title, but we are committed to come together and discuss feminist literature.

Wikipedia defines Feminist Literature as:
"Feminist literature is fiction or nonfiction which supports the feminist goals of defining, establishing and defending equal civil, political, economic and social rights for women. It often identifies women's roles as unequal to those of men – particularly as regards status, privilege and power – and generally portrays the consequences to women, men, families, communities and societies as undesirable."

The last book we read with the book club is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's We Should All Be Feminists, which I really loved. (If you're familiar, you'd probably recall that BeyoncĂ© featured excerpts of this book (which was adapted originally from Adichie's TEDx speech in 2012) on her song ***Flawless.

One of my favorite excerpts from the book:

The first time I taught a writing class in graduate school, I was worried. Not about the teaching material, because I was well prepared and I was teaching what I enjoyed. Instead I was worried about what to wear. I wanted to be taken seriously. I knew that because I was female, I would automatically have to prove my worth. And I was worried that if I looked too feminine, I would not be taken seriously. I really wanted to wear my shiny lip gloss and my girly skirt, but I decided not to. I wore a very serious, very manly, and very ugly suit. The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to appearance, we start off with men as the standard, as the norm. Many of us think that the less feminine a woman appears, the more likely she is to be taken seriously. A man going to a business meeting doesn't wonder about being taken seriously based on what he is wearing—but a woman does. I wish I had not worn that ugly suit that day. Had I then the confidence I have now to be myself, my students would have benefited even more from my teaching. Because I would have been more comfortable and more fully and truly myself. I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all my femaleness. Because I deserve to be.

Here are our previous reads:

Our new title for the month of September: Bad Feminist (Essays) by Roxane Gay!

If you want to be part of the book club, click here to find us on Facebook! :)

Follow Grrrl Gang Manila on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest updates / meet schedules!