Spiritual Midwifery, by the famous pioneer of midwifery in the U.S., Ina May Gaskin, is one of the lesser known parenting guides. Though many may have heard of Gaskin's other famous works, such as Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Spiritual Midwifery is another classic that promotes a rare and beautiful celebration of womanhood in the spirit of home birth in particular. This book especially touches on logistics and procedures that might not be considered in typical family planning, offering well-rounded support and resources for those expecting or for interested midwives, nurses, doulas and more.
Adapted from her recent Ted Talk, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses her self-discovery as a Nigerian feminist and the stigma associated with the controversial topic. Faced with a unique form of gender discrimination having grown up in Nigeria, Chimamanda's lecture touches on the internalized sexism faced day-to-day, and the method in which it becomes ingrained in society. Her perspective and observations first-hand in how she is addressed, ignored, and disrespected offers much insight for those new to feminism, or unfamiliar with its intersectionality.
What do lie detectors, Margaret Sanger, and a strange yet functional ménage á trois have in common? Each is part of The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Knopf, $29.95). As expertly presented by Harvard historian and The New Yorker writer, Jill Lepore, this account centers on William Moulton Marston (1893-1947), a psychologist and developer of the lie detector, a crank and a charmer, who, by the mid-1930s had lost progressively less distinguished university positions, been fired as a consultant, and gone broke in the 1929 crash. Only a superhero could save him, and with Wonder Woman, his future was assured. Marston saw his Amazonian vision into print in 1941; though he declared that the comic was part of “a great movement underway, the growth in the power of women,” his feminism, like much else about him, was sketchy. With many talented women comic artists to choose from, he worked with a man. Meanwhile, his wife supported him through extended unemployment and his mistress—Margaret Sanger’s niece—stayed home with his children, her own and those of Mrs. Marston; all lived under one roof. The biography is sensational, but Lepore deftly integrates it into her chronicle of comics and the controversies that rose with their popularity, as well as her insightful tracing of 20th-century feminism, from the 1910s and woman suffrage to the 1970s, MS magazine, and Wonder Woman’s bold leap to TV.