Women, War and Peace issue of On The Issue Magazine
As the U.S. approaches a decade of war, what are feminist writers and artists thinking? On The Issues Magazine Summer 2011 probes peace activism and war reality.

Books of Note: War and Peace
by The Feminist Press


War and peace is a rich topic for contemporary writers, who have used their observations and gender experiences to explore the subject in memoir, documentary nonfiction and theatrical forms. Described here are recommendations of current books on the subject of women, war and peace. "Books of Note" also marks a new collaboration with The Feminist Press, where the staff has pooled ideas to create a list of suggestions from its own catalog and those of other presses to guide readers to books that will expand their horizons.

Dreaming of Baghdad

"Dreaming of Baghdad" by Haifa Zangana

The story of resistance and revolt against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, before the shock of the U.S. invasion. "Written with passion and commitment, Dreaming of Baghdad invoked my own dreams, and the joys and pain that memory can bring. A must-read." —Nawal al-Saadawi


"Ruined" by Lynn Nottage

An alternately harrowing and humorous drama, Lynn Nottage’s Ruined presents a world in which war, gender, rape, and nationhood are in constant play in daily life. Set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- a country that is currently being viciously torn apart by civil strife -- Nottage’s female protagonists share a particular experience that makes them vividly distinct from the men: victimization by rape as a weapon of war. Also see lexis Greene’s preview of the play in the Summer 2008 On The Issues Magazine, including photographs from the playwright.

The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing

"The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing" by Darina Al-Joundi

Coming of age in the midst of war-torn Lebanon, Darina Al-Joundi’s journalist father encouraged her and her sisters to defy taboos of sex, religion and womanhood. She was raised on Baudelaire, A Clockwork Orange and fine Bordeaux in a lively household where musicians and poets were welcome, and where fasting and praying were staunchly forbidden. In this compelling true story, Al-Joundi is defiantly passionate about living her life as a liberated woman, even in the midst of raging war and a clash of fundamentalisms, and even if it means leaving everyone and everything behind.

Hiroshima in the Morning

"Hiroshima in the Morning" by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto

In June 2001, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto went to Hiroshima in search of a deeper understanding of her war-torn heritage. She planned to spend six months there, interviewing the few remaining survivors of the atomic bomb. Then the September 11 attacks changed everything. The survivors' carefully constructed memories were shattered, causing them to relive their agonizing experiences and to open up to Rizzuto in astonishing ways. Hiroshima in the Morning includes the stories of the survivors of the first atomic bombing, told in their own words. Rizzuto weaves these into a personal memoir of awakening about how we choose our identities, how we view history, and how we use memory as a story we tell ourselves to explain who we are.

War Is Not Over When It’s Over: Women Speak Out from the Ruins of War

"War Is Not Over When It’s Over: Women Speak Out from the Ruins of War" by Ann Jones

On behalf of the International Rescue Committee, Ann Jones spent two years delivering cameras to women in Africa, East Asia, and the Middle East to help them tell their stories. "Gripping....This searing exposé on war’s remnants convincingly makes the case that gender inequality may be one of the greatest threats to peace." — Kirkus Reviews

The Feminist Press, established in 1970, is an independent nonprofit literary publisher that promotes freedom of expression and social justice.

Also see Finding Hope: Reweaving -- Then and Now by Pam McAllister in this edition of On The Issues Magazine.

See A Feminist Looks at Masculine Rage and the Haditha Massacre by Kathleen Barry in this edition of On The Issues Magazine.

See The Poet’s Eye in this edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Read the Cafe for new and updated stories.

Yudhae posted: 2013-01-02 20:42:26

great post! Also belongs a lltite in the we needed to spend money to prove this ? category. But obviously its good to have it in writing, so to speak As a pretty big mouth feminist myself I found even those who would be inclined to resist feminist thinking but are fathers to girls, are often more interested in my nagging because they see how it can effect their females. I don't mean that is conscious or subconscious even sort of power trip, but it may at times relate to old country thinking. These men feel a more personal stake in it, and I would bet its generally not about power over protecting what is theirs but rather sincere care for their daughters. However, as a woman raised by parents from Iraq I will attest that as sexist (and proud to call himself such) as my father is and as much as he doesn't mind seeing women dress, act, etc. to please men, as his daughter he wouldn't have me caught dead like that. Of course my situation was much different than most American dads and daughters, but I think this is part of the conversation. The fact that men know that they think of us as less when we treat ourselves as such and maybe my father just didn't want his property to be seen as in poor taste and condition whereas more progressive western fathers may want their daughters to know their value for themselves ,there is still a common thread. That thread is failing to see other women as daughters and mothers and women and girls who should be treated with respect. I would make a bet that many of the fathers who, with feminist thinking, would hate to see their daughter treat herself as an object, make few objections to those women who do when it isn't aimed at their daughters. Our consumption of media and the often similar sexist themes don't par up with how many good intended (and not those treating daughters as property ) fathers who would probably never want to see their daughters treat themselves or be treated as such. We need solidarity among women as well as men, we need men to show women they don't want to see women treat themselves as less than human and that its not sexy. I think this is important. The problem of sexism is much deeper than letting women be what they want to be, its about treating them as humans all around and changing society's attitude towards that which has been deemed feminine . For example, how many women have the career and the family and feel like they basically just have a double load now because society told us we can be what we want but didn't set up resources to get there or protect us or figure out how to really help women be what they want-without regretting it ?

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