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The Group: A Novel | Mary McCarthy
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#GalsAndPals, thank you all for participating in our #Galentine weekend. We we are now starting our #BestBuddyread discussion👯‍♂️👯‍♀️👯‍♂️

This is question 1 of 6 about The Group.

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KVanRead I‘m only about 40 percent done but really loving it so far. It‘s definitely dated in terms of the casual racism but she also seems critical of that - ie with the maid with the Washington cake. It‘s an excellent snapshot of a certain class of people in a certain time and place. For the time period I think it is feminist, albeit white rich feminism 2y
TrishB I don‘t think it‘s feminist by today‘s standards, but probably then, although the author always refuted that claim. 2y
BarbaraBB I think it was quite outspoken about female sexual behavior but that‘s about it regarding feminism I think. The women mostly ended up in traditional roles, behaviour and mindset. 2y
Cuilin I think they would have considered themselves forward thinking women. They thought they were different from their mothers. However they were not able to use their education which prevented the agency they needed to be fully in control of their lives. 2y
squirrelbrain I agree with @KVanRead - it was only looking at one section of society so can‘t really be seen to be a truly feminist book. 2y
Cinfhen I agree, I wouldn‘t call this a feminist piece of literature but I feel like women today are STILL dealing with sexism, the burden of protection and the never ending pull/battle of career over motherhood. The expectations haven‘t really changed all that much, unfortunately. 2y
Simona Definitely it‘s a feminist story ... from the different times, but still. Some aspects of the story are dated, but basic problems of the women‘s roles are relevant. 2y
Cinfhen @Cuilin how sad and true, though they attended university and earned a degree most were expected to get married and make babies 2y
KVanRead @squirrelbrain I actually do think it is feminist but in its limited context. You are making me think, though...and I‘ll add that I think feminism has evolved to encompass equality for all and by that definition it‘s not truly feminist. 2y
Cinfhen Such an interesting point @squirrelbrain @KVanRead I admit to not picking up on that idea as well. 2y
TheBookHippie It‘s dated, however necessary to read to see life then. Feminist no, I do believe the author was quite adamant about that I can‘t remember where I read it at the time. It is how it was for certain women and complex for them. I heard once that they still couldn‘t really make a bad choice in this pretext because all their choices were still good. When I read this the first time that was the huge discussion topic. 2y
AmyG I think it could have ben considered feminist at the time....all the talk about sex and the diaphragm. I found the breastfeeding issues fascinating. And yes, you only see one class of people. I am just wondering if that was what the author “knew” or was comfortable with. Definitely dated....I found that amusing. (edited) 2y
squirrelbrain I don‘t know enough about the feminist movement at that time @KVanRead @Cinfhen , but I wonder if it started in the higher levels of society and trickled down? But, if feminism to them meant being different to their mothers, primarily by getting a job, then where does it leave those women who HAD to work for a living? 2y
TrishB @AmyG it was written based on the authors own experiences, so I guess that answers her knowing about that class of people. Though they all disowned her on publication of the book. (edited) 2y
TheBookHippie @TrishB great insight 2y
vlwelser I agree with @TheBookHippie this doesn't seem feminist at all. 2y
DebinHawaii I think it has feminist leanings but not truly a feminist novel for many of the reasons stated above. And as @KVanRead said, from a decidedly WASP perspective. Dated, definitely, but as @Cinfhen said, many of the issues & expectations that face have not changed that much. And great points @thebookhippie (edited) 2y
vlwelser I do think it's pretty dated but definitely an important read. 2y
BarbaraBB Agree @Cuilin , they were so progressive and had so many chances, but they didn‘t grab them 2y
JennyM I agree with all these comments. It was a book about the issues women were facing in the 30s, but it wasn‘t a book about feminism. It did feel dated to me - but I think the detail, although a bit much at times, was necessary given the time it was published 2y
CarolynM Definitely dated but still relevant because it is important for us to understand how life was lived before our own times. I don't think it's feminist in an academic sense, but any story that highlights the realities of women's lives has some claim to feminism. 2y
Cinfhen Good point @CarolynM and good morning to you and @JennyM 💚💚💚 2y
Centique I felt that McCarthy showed some of the horrible situations even the most privileged and “intelligent” women of the period found themselves in. She may have intended that only to be salacious or to show the darker side of what had seemed to be glamorous lives - but I think a feminist analysis of this now would be really illuminating. The personal manipulations and societal pressures going on! Dated - yes, the casual racism is awful. 2y
Centique @CarolynM we were writing at the same time! Good morning Carolyn 😘 2y
Cinfhen Hi @Centique I agree about the casual racism and I was a little taken aback on a few occasions when Mary McCarthy dropped really anti Semitic comments about Jews. 2y
Cinfhen It didn‘t sit well with me. 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen I find there‘s a lot of writing from this period that does that 😞 2y
Cinfhen I had the same reaction @TrishB not about Jews but the treatment of African Americans in Gone With The Wind - it was really uncomfortable to read 2y
i.besteph It doesn‘t necessarily seem like a feminist book to me. I‘m all for gender equality but there was a lack of that considering the time and era (if you will) that it was written in. Tbh I couldn‘t digest a lot of the parts in the book 😅 (edited) 2y
Centique @Cinfhen I felt awful when I read that. I‘ve only ever seen anti Semitism in books and I was shocked that it was treated as a commonplace comment in the US in the 50s. I‘m sure it must still be an issue and I obviously need to get better read about it. 😥 2y
Centique @Cinfhen re: Gone with the Wind - me too, it really unnerved me those remarks. 🤯 2y
TrishB @Cinfhen agree 😢 but good that we call it out now! 2y
Kalalalatja It definitely deals with issues related to being a woman, and in some ways that is what feminism is about, for me. However, it is a very, very narrow version of problems related to being a woman, and so dated, that I don‘t think of this as a feminist book. Forward for its time, but very WASP‘y and privileged 2y
rubyslippersreads I wouldn‘t call it feminist; the women are all well-educated, but aren‘t really expected to get much use out of their degrees, especially not after marriage. I‘m sure it was considered quite shocking at the time it was published, but it‘s not the tedious descriptions of birth control or Lakey‘s relationship that bother me. As many others said, it‘s the casual racism and anti-Semitism that I find upsetting now. (edited) 2y
rubyslippersreads @BarbaraBB @Cuilin I think society‘s expectation of them was to grab a husband. 😏 2y
Cuilin @rubyslippersreads Yes, they had no role models to show them anything different. 2y
BarbaraBB @rubyslippersreads You are probably right, it was their most important goal indeed. 2y
emilyhaldi In my opinion the book feels dated bc of how naive the girls were re: boys, sex, relationships... it‘s indicative of the time period but still very different from women of that age today. Dolly & Dick come to mind- even Kay‘s marriage. Things just weren‘t talked about in the same way back then and it left a lot of larger issues in the dark. 2y
peaknit @emilyhaldi I have only read 4 chapters but agree with you. Dick was aptly named. 2y
LeahBergen I was going to scream if I had to read the words “douche bag” one more time so yeah, it felt a little dated to me. 😂😂 2y
batsy Great question. I think it's both dated & relevant. I guess that's why second-wave feminism was about "the personal is political" because there are massive differences in personal experiences women have even within the same family/milieu/society. There can be lots of knowledge & awareness about gender rights, but behind closed doors all manner of oppressive relations still take place. So the book is feminist, in that sense? If that makes sense ? 2y
batsy @Centique Excellent point. I think this novel needs to be critiqued from an intersectional standpoint; looking at class & race. The casual entitlement & antisemitism & racism all jarring, even while we acknowledge how stifled/oppressed those same women were within their own social class or society. 2y
Cupcake12 Relevant as it provides some contemporary discussion points especially with the current pandemic and women being at hone more but dated in the sense that men were superior and help the power in every facet of life. Great question! 2y
Centique @batsy you put that so well! I was trying to parse for myself how it had feminist meaning even without the author necessarily intending it. But yes also so much there to analyse about race and class. I would love to go to a really good lecture on this book! 2y
rubyslippersreads @LeahBergen Although it could be applied to some of the male characters. 🤣 2y
Cinfhen Hahaha @LeahBergen 😂😂😂😂and agreed @emilyhaldi @peaknit 2y
Cinfhen Hi @batsy so glad you chimed in with your wonderful insight!!!! This book while not a favorite really provides for great discussion @Centique 2y
batsy @Centique @Cinfhen A lecture on this would be so interesting! #nerdingout 😁 I'm still only at only 40% in and I'm mainly struggling with her style; but it's interesting enough to keep going. A real glimpse into an era. 2y
Cinfhen There are spoilers ahead @batsy so don‘t peek at questions xx 2y
Crazeedi @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen I would call this a feminist book. The writing is definitely 60's with the references to the things important to mothers and wives 2y
Crazeedi Also women in the 30s were just coming out of the roaring 20s so they saw some liberation in certain aspects. But the pull of social norms I think made the time confusing. Along with the depression that the country was experiencing played a role in their lives I'm sure 2y
Cinfhen That‘s true @Crazeedi it was only a few years after the market crash of 29 2y
39 likes2 stack adds57 comments
Milestone: The Collected Stories | Kealan Patrick Burke
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yay finally got 1000 litfluence wooot 🥳 #milestone #nerdingout lol

Permanent Record | Mary H. K. Choi
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So excited that I can connect directly to Libby in my car! #nerdville #nerdingout Rushing to finish this book before my loan ends.

Bookwormjillk Nice! 3y
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See All 7 Comments
Louise I can relate to rushing to finish a book before the Libby loan ends! I whiz through some books, but others take ages. 3y
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Louise Whew! That was close! 3y
Cedricsmom Wow! Cool! I wish my car did this! 3y
98 likes7 comments
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When the author of the book you‘re reading gives a shout-out to your book club!! 🤓🤓 #NerdingOut #BooksOnTap #Bardstown #Kentucky #NCPL #NelsonCountyPublicLibrary

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What better way to start off the morning than with a Kelley Armstrong book and some coffee.

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#kelleyarmstrong #nerdingout #marvel #r2d2 #empireofnight #caffeineaddict

4 likes1 stack add
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Rachbb3 That is the best bookmail! 6y
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