Speaker: Debora Spar, President Barnard College. Author of “Wonder Women: sex, power, and the quest for perfection”
Time: Thursday April 10, 5:30PM (reception to follow)
Debora Spar spent most of her life avoiding feminism. Raised after the tumult of the ’60s, she presumed that the gender war was over; she swore to young women that yes, they could have it all. “We thought we could glide into the new era with babies, board seats, and husbands in tow,” she writes. “We were wrong.”
Spar should know. One of the first women professors at Harvard Business School, she went on to have four children and became the chair of her department. Now she’s the president of Barnard College, arguably the most important all-women school in the country, an institution firmly committed to feminism.
Wonder Women is Spar’s story and the culture’s. Armed with reams of new research, she examines how women’s lives have — and have not — changed over the past forty years. The challenges confronting women are more complex than ever. They stem from breast pumps and Manolo pumps; from men whose eyes linger on a woman’s rear and men who rush that same rear out the door. They’re problems that come inherently and inevitably from being female. Yet they’re falling on generations of women who grew up believing that none of these things are supposed to matter now.
Wonder Women gives us an important voice in an increasingly heated debate. In this wise, often funny, always human, and smartly conceived book, Spar asks: How far have women really come? And what will it take to get true equality for good?