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.
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
· 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
· 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,
Gifts for a Cause
signs of an improvement in the economy, non-profits are a particularly worthy
place to focus your year-end attention
Parenthood. They provide low-cost health care to women who wouldn’t
otherwise get it and are on the front-lines in every state.
SisterSong – Women of color uniting for
Attendants – Doulas in Washington who provide free services for
incarcerated, pregnant women.
Lydia’s House works to end domestic
violence by providing a place of healing and a voice of hope for abused women
and their children. Lydia’s House is Missouri’s largest provider of confidentially-located,
furnished apartments for abused women and children for up to 24 months, and is
one of the largest programs of its type in the United States.
Network of Abortion Funds provides funds for women seeking abortions
who cannot afford them.
– A hotline for women considering how to respond to pregnancy.
One by One
– prevents and treats obstetrical fistula in women in developing nations.
Katrina Women’s Response Fund – Helping women of
color affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Advocates for Pregnant Women – Advocates for health and civil rights
of vulnerable pregnant and parenting women.
- Organizations that empower young
women like: Bella
Abzug Leadership Initiative, Girls Initiative Network, Teen Voices,
Leadership Project, The Young Women’s Project and more!
Fun Gifts and Clothing
with gifts that won’t prick at your conscience.
Global Exchange offers
"fair trade and socially-conscious" gifts, including some beautiful
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".