Quotes: Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley on Women and Life

Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley on Women and Life

Below are some notable things that Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter, Mary Shelley said and or wrote when they were alive. These two women were so similar in their ideals and personalities that the attributions for these quotes are often confused and inaccurately attributed to the Mary who didn’t actually say or write it. Or perhaps… Mary Shelley said or wrote similar things, often copying or emulating her mother.

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What Do You Know About Women and Philosophy?

What Do You Know About Women and Philosophy?

As I work on this week’s writing prompt: Write a Dialogue With a Notable Woman in History, I find myself finding more and more things to read, to get a firmer grasp on what a dialogue between Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley would have looked like if they had known each other once Shelley was grown. It’s interesting how there is so much out there about these two women that isn’t as well known or regarded in history or philosophy books. 

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Write a Dialogue With a Notable Woman in History

Write a Dialogue With a Notable Woman in History

Have you ever read an autobiography or biography of someone famous or notable in history and wondered what it would be like to have a conversation with them? Or wondered what questions you would ask them if you were able to talk to them one-on-one? If given the opportunity, what would you ask women in history like Ada Lovelace or Hypatia or Harriet Tubman or Eleanor Roosevelt? 

For the second week of women’s history month, and to honor International Women’s Day today, I want to imagine what it would be like to have a dialogue, or conversation, with a notable woman in history. Or to imagine what it would be like to witness a dialogue between two notable women in history who have never met. For instance, what would a dialogue between Dorothy Vaughan and Harriet Tubman look like or entail?

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Writing Draft of Chick Lit

Chicks on a Plane

Below is my draft of this week’s writing prompt: Write a Few Paragraphs or More Of Chick Lit or Women’s Fiction… After Learning More About Each Genre. It’s been a while since I’ve written a piece of fiction. So in that regard, this was a different and enjoyable writing exercise. But as I was writing this piece (and thinking about writing this piece) I continually struggled with whether I should incorporate what I thought of as stereotypical chick lit tropes in it, as I was also discovering more about the history of this genre (For more on that read: What Exactly Is “Chick” Lit” or “Women’s Fiction”? Are Their Designations Sexist? and A Conversation About Chick Lit and Women’s Writing Work). Or if I should make this piece more satirical, or dark…

Ultimately I’m not sure if I glorified stereotypical chick lit tropes in this piece or not, or if that was what I was even trying to do while I was writing it. But here is the draft anyway. I might come back to it at some point in the future. Or I might not. 

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Writing Process: Chick Lit

Writing a Few Paragraphs of “Chick Lit” or “Women’s Fiction”

Completing this week’s writing prompt offered an unexpected reckoning of my own biases around what’s usually called “Chick Lit,” a subgenre of women’s fiction. 

To be honest, I’ve avoided this genre my entire life (both intentionally and unintentionally), as it was always presented to me as subpar or fluff or unimportant, uninteresting, or simply not serious writing. It was writing work that was easy to discard and discredit, just like much of women’s work typically is… And I also avoided it because I thought I had to be a diehard fan of fashion or makeup or weddings or gossip in order to enjoy it. But after diving a little deeper into conversations around chick lit and women’s fiction, I became more intrigued by what I discovered.

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Dialogue on Writing: Chick Lit or Women's Fiction

What Exactly Is “Chick” Lit” or “Women’s Fiction”? Are Their Designations Sexist?

Before I began writing a draft for this week’s writing prompt, Write a Few Paragraphs or More Of Chick Lit or Women’s Fiction… After Learning More About Each Genre, I needed to learn more about what exactly “Women’s Fiction” and “Chick Lit” are first. And what I discovered wasn’t too surprising. But did prompt some important questions that need to be asked.  

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Writing Prompt: Chick Lit or Women's Fiction

Write a Few Paragraphs or More Of Chick Lit or Women’s Fiction… After Learning More About Each Genre

As we begin the first week of Women’s History Month, I’m interested in understanding more about Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction, and their histories. I don’t typically read either genre… I don’t think… so I want to know more about both of these genres and what exactly it is that designates a piece of writing as “Chick Lit” or “Women’s Fiction.” And what better way to do that than by attempting to write a sample of one or the other (or both?) myself. After learning more about what each genre entails, of course.  

I’m hoping this week’s writing prompt (Write a Few Paragraphs or More Of Chick Lit or Women’s Fiction… After Learning More About Each Genre) will help me check my own likely subliminal and subtle yet not-so-subtle passive-aggressive, misogynistic assumptions and biases about what Chick Lit and Women’s Fiction are— at the very door to the vault of our “literary canon,” where only what’s deemed as “valuable” in society and academia is let in, revered, saved, and preserved.

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Musings on Reading Four Hundred Souls for Black History Month

Musings on Four Hundred Souls

Below is my journal entry about Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America 1619-2019 edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, for this week’s writing prompt

If I’m being honest about my experience reading this book, I should say that I’m still processing and reflecting on a lot of what I’ve read from it. 

I’ll try to keep the journal entry below brief because I don’t want to spoil the reading and learning experience for those who haven’t had the chance to read the book yet, as this book should be required reading for everyone. 

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