Phyllis Chesler is one of the pioneers of the second wave of feminism.
After spending a half a century in the movement, she has learned a thing or two. In her 1997 book, Letters to a Young Feminist, she is not only writing to the up and coming generation of feminists, but she is also breaking down the movement into digestible ideas. In the book, the list of topics she writes about includes parenthood, marriage, why the right to choose important, the cattiness that often occurs between women, etc.
I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed it because what Ms. Chesler is writing about needs to be talked about openly and honestly. While she writes with authority, her writing does not come off like an adult scolding a child. She is using her experience to guide the women who will one day pick up the mantle of feminism and continue what Ms. Chesler and her colleagues started decades ago.
I absolutely recommend it.
Life is made up a variety of experiences. Sometimes these experiences take our lives into new directions previously not thought of.
In the early 1960’s, second wave feminist and author Phyllis Chesler was young and in love. Ms. Chesler was born into an Orthodox Jewish family from Brooklyn, New York. The man she fell in love with was the son of a devout Muslim family from Afghanistan.
Deciding to take a chance on love, she put aside her family and her ambitions to marry this man and live with him in his native country. Her experience is chronicle in her 2013 memoir, An American Bride In Kabul. When the plane landed in Kabul, her American passport was taken away from her. She was no longer an individual, but property that was part and parcel of her husband’s family. The charming, educated, open minded man she fell in love was soon replaced by a traditional man who clung to the old traditions and expected his wife to do the same.
What I very much enjoyed about this book was that it opened my eyes to a world that I know really nothing of. Many of us who live in the West, unless we have visited countries like Afghanistan, truly have no understanding of what it is to live in that world. One of the points that Ms. Chesler makes is that those of us in the West may pretend to understand what it is to live in Afghanistan and other countries in that region, but the truth is that we do not.
I highly recommend this book.