Thursday, September 1, 2016

My Feminist Beef

Today I was looking through the new offerings of the Literary Guild (which took over the Book of the Month Club) and this book caught my eye:

In 1942, social worker Irena Sendler was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist, and began to understand the fate that awaited the Jews who were trapped there. At staggering personal risk, she began smuggling children out of the district, convincing friends and neighbors to hide them. Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis—but she also kept a secret list buried in a friend’s garden containing their names, so their families could find them after the war. She could not have known that more than ninety percent of their relatives would perish.

Ok, so far so good. I always like reading about brave women who did remarkable things, but the little description concludes with:

Irena’s Children recounts the incredible story of the “female Oskar Schindler” and her heroic tale of survival, resilience, and redemption.

So here's my beef: why do women always have to be described in relation to a man? There was some Olympic medal winner who was described by (I think) the LA Times in a headline as "Wife of NFL Player Wins Gold."  I get that maybe it was an easy way to describe Irena... but I think we get it... she saved people. So I am changing this to Oskar Schindler being "the male Irena Sendler."

1 comment:

Amy Laboda said...

I'm with you, sister!