RHRC’s Third Annual Gift Guide!


For the third year in a row, we present a
holiday gift guide for those who want to bestow seasonal joy and support
reproductive justice and positive progressive values, all at the same time.
Some of these gifts you’ll recognize from last year; some are very much
specific to 2009, a year of ups and downs for women.

But before you indulge, the absolute best gift you can give yourself and other
women this year is to join in the struggle for decent health care. See this
page at the new "Not Under the Bus" site for a comprehensive list of actions to take–none of which involve money–to keep the
momentum going and make sure that women don’t lose out in the health care fight,
either in this round or the next.

Books

Here are some
light and less light reads from 2009: whether you choose a gripping
woman-penned novel or a stirring political treatise, book-buying will both
edify your loved ones and help keep the publishing industry afloat this year.

·      Earlier this year, we did a roundup of some
fabulous feminist books
that took the
bookshelves by storm this spring: Jessica Valenti’s The Purity Myth, which tackles the sexual double standard from
virgin to slut, Kathryn
Joyce’s Quiverfull which goes
deep into the heart of a new ultra-right fertility trend, and Michelle
Goldberg’s  The Means of
Reproduction
, which demonstrates the way women’s bodies have been fought
over in foreign policy battles for decades. The anthology of women’s political
playwriting, Front Lines, edited by Alexis Greene, and Shirley Lauro would
also make an amazing gifts for the damatic feminist intellectual.

·      Gail Collin’s When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from
1950 to the Present
may be a mainstream title, but it’s a perfect gift: but
you can’t lose with a fun, witty and positive history of 20th century
feminism.

·      Courtney Martin, who writes the
"Not Oprah’s Book Club" feature at feministing has a few holiday book
suggestions at feministing.

·      I compiled a longer list of 2009
women-penned literary feats here at Women’s eNews including all the  major female
prize-winners.

·      Looking for children and young
adult books that won’t send young women running into the arms of the
patriarchy? Check out the Bloomer awards, which honor kids’ books with
feminist heroines and messages.

 

Thought-Provoking Magazines and Women’s Media

New Moon Media, a fantastic and
empowering publication aimed at young girls, need your help! Check out their site here and donate or get a gift subscription for a
young woman in your  life.

·      
Want a quicker read? Send your
favorite friend a subscription to one or more fun, feminist magazines. Anna
Clark at Isak has a compilation of 
magazines
of the
thought-provoking essays and literary variety to give as gift subscriptions.

·      
At the top of the list are the
uber-feminist trio of Bitch; a feminist look at pop-culture; Bust the quirky
women’s magazine; and Ms the stalwart feminist publication; they are
all always looking for new readers. But don’t forget other indy pubs like Hip Mama, East
Village Inky
, Make/Shift, or arts magazine Venus Zine.

·      
Give money to women’s media! Any
of the above magazines, plus websites like Women’s eNews and a host of other progressive publications
always need help from readers, and they all sell gear like mugs and t-shirts,
too.

Gifts for a Cause

With no
signs of an improvement in the economy, non-profits are a particularly worthy
place to focus your year-end attention


Fun Gifts and Clothing

Indulge yourself
with gifts that won’t prick at your conscience.

·      
Global Exchange offers
"fair trade and socially-conscious" gifts, including some beautiful
holiday-specific crafts.

·      
Get sweatshop-free, union-made
clothes embossed with a totally awesome punk-rock Rosie the
Riveter
design at No Sweat.

·      
The Union Shop has still more
union made clothing, including eco-friendly and organic lines.

·      
A DVD box set of our favorite TV show, Mad Men–will lead to feminist discussion
galore and a lot of addicted viewers. Another great show that’s a timeless
gift: The Wire.

·      
This is what a feminist looks like gear. You can’t lose.

·      
Two "American Masters"
DVDS: "How Sweet the
Sound" DVD
about awesome
singer and activist Joan Baez, and a new documentary and book pair about Louisa May Alcott: The Woman
Behind "Little Women"
.

·      
New CDs from feminist or
feminist-enough/feminist-friendly artists:  Ani DiFranco, St. VincentSonic Youth and Lady Gaga–or an IOU for tickets to next year’s Lilith Fair.

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Follow Sarah Seltzer on twitter: @sarahmseltzer

  • wendy-norris

    Great list, Sarah.

     

    I’d like to suggest a gift from Pigtail Pals, a woman-owned business that produces T-shirts with affirming messages for little girls to combat the pink princess/purple diva clothing design mafia.

     

    I profiled Melissa’s company in a story on gender stereotypes a few months ago. She also donates a portion of sales to charities that support girls and women. 

  • lisa-weingarth

    Sarah,

    I am thrilled that you mentioned Lydia’s House as a great place to make a gift during the holidays. I work for the organization, and want to make sure your readers have the info they need to make a gift, if they’d like.

    Folks can make a secure donation online to Lydia’s House via PayPal or by mail: Lydia’s House, PO Box 2722, St. Louis, MO 63116.

    For more info on Lydia’s House, visit our website at http://www.lydiashouse.org or find us on Facebook (Lydia’s House St. Louis) or Twitter (Lydia’s House).

    Thanks, again, and happy holidays to all!

  • everysaturdaymorning

    Every year for New Year’s I give my little sister (she’s 27) a package of Emergency Contraception. This will be the 4th or 5th year in a row that I have done this and I think it is one of the best gifts I have ever given. I feel really good knowing she has it to use herself if she needs it or to give away to a friend in need.