Re: Opening EDEQUITY Dialogue on "Answering Back"
Fri, 13 Nov 1998 12:52:05 EST

Colleagues --

I'm surprised and disappointed at the quiet . . . perhaps not too many members
have read this book yet. Let me give some additional impetus to do so.

For the past five years I have developed and conducted inservices for
educators, parents and youth workers on the topic of girls' education and
healthy development. I have recently expanded my focus to include boys'
education and healthy development. So this book appealed to me because it
acknowledged an impact of our focus on girls (perhaps detrimental to boys), at
the same time it gave real world experiences in addressing gender reform in

I admit to getting lost in the theory discussion -- but I gained new
perspectives on the big picture of gender reform, its history, its messiness,
its impact. The book validated for me my own experiences of being met with
resistance when I focused solely on girls. It is truly challenging to work in
this social change arena! While the book gives us only a taste of how boys are
not faring well, it at least gives us a heads-up to make course-correction in
our own work -- to go out and delve deeper into the attention that is needed on
boys' issues so that we truly walk our talk about creating gender equity.

Perhaps as Janet Smith said the book does not live up to its title. For me it
provided a welcome critique into our current gender reform efforts. Perhaps a
better title might be Taking Stock (but it's not nearly as marketable). The
book is useful as one of the many resources we are gleaning through this
important work. . . always in progress.

Judy Gordon, Consultant to Community Organizations

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