What does it mean to have strength and individual freedom as a woman? Several years ago, author Katie Roiphe found herself contemplating this question as she navigated single motherhood, divorce, and new relationships all at once. Roiphe joins us for a livestream conversation to communicate her findings with a blend of memoir, history, and feminist study from her book The Power Notebooks, exploring how women, strong women in public especially, experience and handle their power.
Looking at her own life and the lives of famous female writers, Roiphe reconciles the strength and character of these women with the realization that many of them subjugated their power within their own lives. She writes, “Why did Mary McCarthy have to ask her husband for a nickel to make a telephone call? Why did Sylvia Plath fall in love with, as she put it, the only man who could boss her around?” Roiphe invites us to question how power manifests, examining the lives of these women who were strong in public yet weaker in private, comparing moments from their lives alongside her own. Join Roiphe for a bold, essential discussion of contemporary feminism and female power, performativity, and vulnerability.
Katie Roiphe is an author and journalist writing about feminist issues. She is the author of The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism, and In Praise of Messy Lives. She has contributed articles to prominent publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper’s Magazine, Esquire, The Paris Review, Vogue, and Slate.
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