Review: Women & Power

Hello readers!

There is a fascinating and often overlooked connection between power and language. We think of power as being a physical thing–strength and weight. But the strength and weight of words and the words we choose to use has an influence on our culture that Mary Beard explores in Women & Power, her recent collection of lectures that dives into the structures of language that have shaped society.

Tara’s review of the book says it better than I could:

Mary Beard does a wonderful job of giving historical context to current cultural attitudes. The first essay is essentially the history of men telling women to shut up. She examines how the simple act of speaking is, in point of fact, gendered. I found it revelatory that in many cases it isn’t what is being said that is offensive to some, it is simply the fact that a woman is the one saying it. The second essay ties together with the first and examines how women occupy spaces in power, and how power is also gendered. How women in traditionally powerful roles become masculinized, and how much of the power held by women is not recognized as important or innately powerful. There is a lot to chew on in here, and I highly recommend it. If nothing else it’s fascinating to see where certain behaviors, such as harping on the sound of a woman’s voice, go back thousands of years. In studying the roots we are better prepared to pull out the weeds.

–Tara

You can order Woman & Power online here, or call the store to reserve a copy today.

Happy reading!

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