New review: Click!

// 17 October 2010

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Did you have a ‘click’ moment, a sudden realisation that “I am a feminist”? Or was it more gradual? Sian Norris reviews an anthology of stories about coming into a feminist identity

clickcover.jpgIt’s that moment when something happens in your life and you realise you are a feminist. The moment the light bulb switches on and you realise who you are, the moment that everything falls in to place and goes ‘click’.

This is the premise of the Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists anthology published by Seal Press, and edited by Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan. They have collected a wide range of inspiring, moving, funny and political memories from US feminists.

The women and men featured vary in age, background and political sympathies. They are mothers, daughters, partners and singletons, working in a range of careers, retired or even still at college. But they all have a click story to tell.

One thing that strikes you as you read the collection is the intensity of the memories. Some are instantaneous, some are a long build-up of confused anger and uneasiness that explodes in to a click moment. But all of them are defining for the teller.

Some click moments inevitably come from traumatic experiences. One of the most moving stories in the collection comes from Marni Grossman, who writes: “Sometimes it feels as though feminism was my consolation prize for surviving an eating disorder.”

Her honest and brutal portrayal of how she survived, and how feminism has come to her, is both sad and uplifting. Uplifting I think, because it reminds you of how women suffer, but how women also triumph. We survive.

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