The Feminist Ideal (Bookshelf, That Is) October 20 2016


Ideal Bookshelf 974: Feminists by Jane Mount
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 24"x30" ($1,200) | 30"x40" ($2,400)

It’s been an amazing year for feminists. It’s been a terrible year for feminists. Both these things are true, and that they are has made passions run high in real life and (especially) online. Optimism has been tested, sleep’s been lost and relationships mightily strained by recent events, but throughout it all I’ve found comfort in a magical little online world full of feminist frenz.

Ideal Bookshelf 974: Feminists is the brainchild of my dear friend, longtime 20x200 artist and books-as-art impresario Jane Mount. It’s not meant to be the ideal feminist bookshelf, but rather a compilation of must-reads sourced from the well-read denizens of a club to which we are both very pleased to belong called The She-Woman Misogyny Hater’s Club.

The books featured in today’s edition were chosen from a very long list of tomes that our feminist-minded members recommended. Jane subsequently organized those recommendations into a huge list that was opened up to club vote, resulting in the gorgeous assemblage I’m so proud to introduce today.

What exactly is The She-Woman Misogyny Hater’s Club? Glad you asked! The SMHC is a private Facebook group that I started on a whim about six months ago and was amazed to see it become A Thing with lightning fast speed. What began as a place to grouse about misogyny and take refuge from the Bernie Bros and Trump-loving uncles in our lives has evolved into something much more. Today it’s over 1000 people—not just women!—strong and brimming over with all kinds of interesting conversation. (Including plenty of that aforementioned grousing!)

That Jane’s narrowed-down list is stacked so high is a testament to our members’ varied tastes and their prodigious accomplishments. It includes classic texts like The Second Sex and Women, Race & Class, influential fiction like The Color Purple and The Handmaid's Tale that empowered and emboldened us in years past, and alongside those titles are several newer books written and/or illustrated by members themselves: Rad American Women A-Z, In The Company of Women, The Gutsy Girl and The Women Who Made New York are recently published books that place women front and center in our past, present and future.

Ideal Bookshelf 974: Feminists is just one of many Ideal Bookshelfs we’ve been proud to release with Jane over the years, but it’s truly a standout. Jane took a great idea and made it amazing by tapping into our incredible community. The whole thing’s been a wonder to watch unfold. If you’re half as inspired with this hanging on your wall as we were watching it come together, then we’ve done our job right.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman