The Holidays are Coming - Don't Forget Your Feminist Loved Ones

BlogHer Original Post

With a modicum of luck, the 2008 election season will end tomorrow. That said, I've been wondering what on earth I will do to fill the time formerly consumed by election obsessing, and now I have the answer: I can obsess over the holidays. Whether there's a certain special conservative feminist or liberal feminist in you life, what are the perfect gifts in these economically challenging times?

Of course, with retailers ever more desperate for the hard-earned cash of consumers, the 2008 holiday season is already in full swing. (It began on Oct. 31, when retailers declared Halloween to be "so over" and began putting up Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa displays. I'm sure that there would also be Buddha's birthday, Diwali, and Ramadan displays if those holidays fell in November and/or December.)

The pressure to come up with gifts began for me last week, when my mom casually asked me what I wanted for Hanukkah and my birthday (Dec. 27). Since I am extremely lucky, I generally have what I want and need, so I told my mom that it would be great if she could make a donation to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice or the National Network of Abortion Funds instead of buying me anything. When my husband asked me what I wanted, I asked for a Jody Davis or Leon Durham Cubs jersey. And when it came time to devise a gift guide for BlogHer, it was obvious that no one should ever look to me for advice on what to give other feminists, so I asked the feminist readers of my blog what they wanted to receive and planned to give for the holidays this year.

Here are what the experts suggest, and really, this list illustrates the diversity of feminists, so there is something for everyone:

  • Sexorcism wrote, "I'd love to try Yes! organic lubricant and the Newf Brand Venereous Shaving Trio."
  • Prin offered several ideas, "Mandella Glass--I love artsy craftsy stuff and this guy takes it to a whole new level; Northland Poster Collective--these people, well, I love their humor!; Sock Dreams--i know, like ties for me but these are way cool and they have plus sizes too!"
  • This is What a Feminist Blogs Like said she already began shopping and is buying, "my sister Women in Journalism: A New American History. I hope it inspires her. I'm hoping to find a feminist-oriented gift for my mom as well, although if all else fails, I'll get her some more Beatles-related memorobilia.

    I'd be thrilled to get a gift certificate to BookWoman, Austin's resident feminist bookstore. The list of books I want is endless. I could use a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves; I also want to fill in the gaps of my Mary Oliver collection. My want-to-read list is pretty much endless. I also would like some good vegetarian cookbooks, since as of yesterday I'm officially meat-free.

    I'd also love some yoga props, including a bolster and some blocks. And, on a slightly related note, I've asked my partner for a Zen alarm clock. I also want one of those fancy $300 KitchenAid mixers. Doubt I'm going to get it, though.

  • May asked for, "carpets for my apartment, because the carpets there are skeezy and I don't like walking and sitting on them all the time like I do.
    I want a potted tiny cedar tree to be my "live christmas tree." And I want a couple of T-shirts from the guy at QuestionableContent."
  • Mar requests, "a wii fit... some new bras & undies from vicky's or bare necessities for christmas. and a matt murton cub's jersey, even if he's no longer on the team
  • The Midlife Gals "would love to receive a tee shirt with the following, "I slept with a Lesbyterian...and all I got for it was this TEE SHIRT! The back of it would read, "Have bush, camel toe or particularly protruding mound of Venus...move on." [Note: One could probably create a shirt like this at CafePress.]
  • Alex Elliot wrote, "Honestly I keep on telling hubby that what I would like is warm pjs. None of the lacy/short/flimsy material pjs/nighties that the pj industry seems to assume every woman wants. I'm talking nice thick flannel or fleece (he got me a great fleece pair from LL Bean last year) particularly now that we're trying even harder to conserve oil.
  • So Sara Said wants, "a photo booth."
  • Hecticmom Undone's request must be completed on Nov. 4th in California: "I want the people of California to vote NO on Prop 8."
  • Anna provided a nice list and offers a trade: "Etsy gift cards! Boots. A day off and/or a really long nap. My daughter to potty train already! A new digital camera. To live closer to my partner. To get rid of the damn law that prevents me from living closer to my partner. (My kid's dad, 100 mile radius, etc.)

    I do have some sex toys (brand new in package) y'all can have though.

  • My friend Mara, who does not blog but is a kick ass feminist, suggested an item she found on the blog We Move to Canada - natural handcrafted bath and body products from the Stella Marie Soap Company.

If I may throw one shamelessly self-promotional item out there, I am sure that feminists who love New York City and/or ecclectic museums, monuments, and other attractions would adore a copy of the book Off the Beaten (Subway) Track: New York City's Best Unusual Attractions. It's a funny account of 101 places that I visited in New York City. As the author, I am obviously biased, so don't take my word for it: skeptical New Yorker Julie Schwietert named it one of ten "indispensible NYC guidebooks" and Denise at Flamingo House Rules noted, "The penis jokes in the book - awesome."

Seriously, my plug aside, this is one hell of a gift guide, covering everything from sex toys to technology to home products. I hope that these awesome feminist bloggers gave you some ideas about what to get that special feminist in your life. And, if you leave a comment indicating what you are giving and/or hoping to receive this holiday season, we can inspire a lot of other gift givers. Sort of like Pay It Forward, but without the sappy acting. Whatever you decide, here's to a happy and healthy holiday season.

Suzanne also blogs at Campaign for Unshaved Snatch (CUSS) & Other Rants. As noted above, she is the author of the excellent book, Off the Beaten (Subway) Track: New York City's Best Unusual Attractions.

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