PDF In the Company of Women: Contemporary Female Friendship Films (Womans Film Precedents)

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Mar 06, vanessa rated it liked it Shelves: listened-on-audiobook , nonfiction , It was a charming book that related the importance of female friendships and made me think of my own friendships. There is nothing mind-blowing here though, but the audiobook was a nice listen. An examination of the importance of female friendship, Text Me When You Get Home is sure to inspire a reflection about the role of female friendship in your life.

Part memoir and part social history, Schaefer's stories and illustrations show the many ways female friendship has evolved over the years.

In the Company of Women: Contemporary Female Friendship Films (Woman's Film Precedents)

It's to make sure our friend is safe or because we want an update on the cute guy they met at the bar or because we simply don't An examination of the importance of female friendship, Text Me When You Get Home is sure to inspire a reflection about the role of female friendship in your life. It's to make sure our friend is safe or because we want an update on the cute guy they met at the bar or because we simply don't want the conversation to end.

The phrase grounds this work and offers a place for Schaefer to start her exploration. The author and I have had drastically different experiences with friendship. The arc of Schaefer's story of how she came to appreciate female friendship is well worth reading. In the second chapter, she examines the prevalence of the myth of mean girls, a myth she bought into. I never thought girls were mean- I thought there were kids who are mean.

I lucked out. In fact, I've lucked out regarding female friendship throughout my life. While my local community hasn't always been as big as I've wanted, I have always, always had at least a few close friends. As I've grown older, I've stayed connected to a large number of friends, not only across the US but around the world. So often I'd finish reading a chapter and be awash with gratitude for the women in my life. Don't be surprised if you feel a deep need to call or text your friends to tell them how wonderful they are. As I read my advance copy, the MeToo movement had started to emerge and it made for quite the backdrop to my reading experience.

The book illustrated the many ways women look out for one another and support each other. The book offers mostly the perspective of white straight women and this is a missed opportunity. I did appreciate Schaefer's examination of class and how this affects the way we approach friendship. The history of friendship over the ages could have been more in-depth but if you're not aware of the history, as say presented in Bachelor Girl or All The Single Ladies, it's a good place to start.

One of my favorite parts of the book was the way pop culture factored in. That was such a good show. Just thinking about Leslie and Ann's friendship makes me happy. I hadn't thought about the way friendship was presented on shows like Golden Girls or Designing Women—this made me appreciate even more how groundbreaking they were— or how they paved the way for shows like Girlfriends and Sex and the City. I'm really glad I read this.

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My female friends mean so much to me and I hope there will continue to be more discussion about and appreciation of the importance of friendship. Disclosure: I received an advance review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I had really high hopes for this book and I was so looking forward to reading it. I think it was a case of the subtitle overselling whatever the book was attempting to do. For one, she seemingly implies that female friendships didn't exist before the s, or maybe the s?

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Or at least she starts the book talking about how women in her mother's generation didn't h I had really high hopes for this book and I was so looking forward to reading it. Or at least she starts the book talking about how women in her mother's generation didn't have female friends.

She interviews two other people about this, Judy Blume, one other person, and reads the transatlantic letters Julia Child and one of her friends sent back and forth to each other? This is apparently enough for her to include that female friendship didn't exist during this time period, which seems like quite a claim. Perhaps it's because I went to an all women's college, or because my mother is passionate about the history of Greek letter organizations, and I belong to one of those organizations myself, but I think that the strong, close, female friendships Schafer is interested in existed before , even if they weren't communicating via text message.

Perhaps the "modern" in the subtitle gives her a reason to pretend they didn't exist and lets her off the hook from investigating them. Don't get me started on the chapter about joining a sorority, not trying to make friends, assuming everyone else is just there to meet boys, then drop out said sorority once she meets a boyfriend. For another, she basically strings random anecdotes from her life, coupled with a discussion of television shows that prove her point.

These seem to exist to give her a reason to talk to television show creators and writers? She just doesn't seem interested in talking to people who aren't already famous, have already written on the topic so they are easy to find , or she isn't close friends with or related to. I mean, that's fine, but then you need to call this a memoir with some interviews.

And I think cut the long oral history on Beaches. Oct 22, Marjorie Elwood rated it it was ok Shelves: relationships. This started out promisingly, celebrating the benefits of friendships between women and the love and affection that women can have for each other. They are supportive, enthralling, entirely wonderful, and, often, all we need.

Where things got a little problematic This started out promisingly, celebrating the benefits of friendships between women and the love and affection that women can have for each other. As a result, much of the book felt like a defense — rather than a celebration — of female friendships.

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While making a good point, spending as much time on it as she did felt as though we were focusing on males yet again, even in a book about female friendship. It is in the description of her personal relationships that Schaefer shines: she captures the energy of an all-girlfriend gathering and the love and support that we receive from our friendships with other women. Jun 27, Kathy Denker rated it liked it. I'm not sure if my moments of enjoying the book were the text itself, or the opportunity to reflect on my friendships. The premise is solid, but I'm not sure it needed the length that it took.

It was all pretty surface-level stuff. Plus, even though it was published this year, it felt a little Like, some of the references weren't super relevant, and I think the way the author views female friendship is vastly different in some ways than the way my friends and I-- and other younger Millenials TM -- view it. For me, the book could have benefited from more structure, because the ideas felt disorganized, and the disjointed structure made it hard to discern what, exactly, the author's point was. Overall, this was disappointing. Jul 24, Lydia rated it did not like it Shelves: non-fiction , feminism , borrowed-from-the-library.

Jan 11, Kelsey rated it really liked it. Rarely in recent memory have I had such strong feelings about a book, both positive and negative. While reading, I kept texting a friend of mine to tell her about the various anecdotes and stories laid out in this book, sometimes in frustration, and sometimes in joy. If nothing else, this book is compelling.

The author, Kayleen Schaefer, does an excellent job of weaving her own memories and stories of her friends in with an exploration of female friendship in the 20th century although shoehorned Rarely in recent memory have I had such strong feelings about a book, both positive and negative. The author, Kayleen Schaefer, does an excellent job of weaving her own memories and stories of her friends in with an exploration of female friendship in the 20th century although shoehorned in at the end is a discussion of 19th century Boston marriages, which I feel deserved more attention and context.

Starting with her time in high school as a "mean girl," Schaefer describes her journey from internalized misogyny to recognizing the importance and criticality of women in her adult life, which was a nicely explored storyline and did culminate in the close group of friends she now has. She ties in interviews with women she has known throughout her life, including her high school "Queen Bee," her mother, and her current best friend, as well as media examples, such as the movie Mean Girls and the book it was based on. We also examine her first job in the professional world, which was at Details magazine.

I found it interesting to see the perspective of a woman who worked at a men's magazine because she despised the frivolous content of women's magazine's, only to later realize her hypocrisy at writing articles about the same kinds of things she thought were frivolous when about women. Slowly, Schaefer overcomes her internalized misogyny and begins forging friendships intentionally, recognizing how important they are to her. The book does stumble here at times, taking much too long on some things and not enough on others, but there's a lot of good information tied in with Schaefer's anecdotes.

However, I found the second half of the book, which focuses more on other women's experiences and media examples of friendships, much more compelling than the first. Here, Schaefer starts doing what I had hoped this book would do from the beginning, which is posit a new way to situate friendship within our society. Instead of earlier in the book, when she and her friends would go to bars specifically to meet men or would date the same man and fight about it, this section actually starts to push the boundaries of heteronormativity, and challenges the notion that romantic relationships take precedence over friendships.

The anecdotes from women whose best friends are their emergency contacts, the ones who got them through chemo, or their true "soulmates" over their romantic partners were absolutely the best part of this book. The notion that your "best friend" should also be the person you marry is deconstructed, and that is to Schaefer's credit- I think that notion is unhealthy and it's wonderful to see it challenged here.

However, this book struggles in two areas; diversity and heteronormativity. When exploring why women psychologically need friends, Schaefer cites a study that suggests women are psychologically wired to nurture, which made me cringe. Evolutionary psychology really shouldn't have had a place in this book. I would much more interested in a historical contextualization of women working together as a community, and how that idea has changed over time post-industrial era.

In addition, there was very little challenging of heteronormativity here, including a shockingly small mention of the LGBTQ community, who have traditionally been at the front of the found family concept.


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Where was a mention of The L Word, which revolves around a group of female friends just like Sex and the City? Even when discussing a straight and lesbian best friend pairing, little exploration was done into the context, which was surprising. Most of the sources in this book are also about white women, which was glaringly obvious. There are about 10 pages towards the end that incorporate a number of more diverse media sources, but the bulk of this book deals with white women- in fact, in the conclusion section when Shaefer is tying up all her loose ends, the only women quoted are white women.

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This was a glaring oversight and a little unfortunate. More historical context about non-white female communities would have been a nice addition. Overall, this was a book I am very glad that I read. There is a lot contained in it, but at times I think Schaefer could have gone a little further with her analysis. It is a very timely and important book, however, and one I'm so glad was published.