Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism


By Nona Willis Aronowitz

By Emma Bee Bernstein

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What do young women care about? What are their hopes, worries, and ambitions? Have they heard of feminism, and do they relate to it?

These are just a few of the questions journalist Nona Willis Aronowitz and photographer Emma Bee Bernstein set out to answer in Girldrive. In October 2007, Aronowitz and Bernstein took a cross-country road trip to meet with the 127 women profiled in this book, ranging from well-known feminists like Kathleen Hanna, Laura Kipnis, Erica Jong, and Michele Wallace, to women who don’t relate to feminism at all. The result of these interviews, Girldrive is a regional chronicle of the struggles, concerns, successes, and insights of young women who are grappling—just as hard as their mothers and grandmothers did—to find, define, and fight for gender equity.

On Sale
Jul 24, 2009
Page Count
320 pages
Seal Press

Nona Willis Aronowitz

About the Author

Nona Willis Aronowitz is a political and cultural critic who has written about women, sex, music, technology, film, and youth culture for numerous publications including The Nation, The New York Observer, The Village Voice, VenusZine, and, among others. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in American Studies, and since has worked for Tango magazine,, Legal Momentum (formerly the NOW Legal Defense Fund), and as a photojournalism teacher for Step Up Women’s Network. She lives in Chicago and is a reporter and editor for the Tribune Company. She is currently working on an anthology of her mother Ellen Willis’s rock criticism, entitled Out of the Vinyl Deeps.

Emma Bee Bernstein grew up in Manhattan. She started taking photos when she was in 8th grade, and continued to hone her artistic craft throughout her life. She earned degrees in Visual Arts & Art History from the University of Chicago, and served as the photo editor for the university’s newspaper. Emma’s writing and artwork have been published and shown in numerous journals and galleries. She took her own life in December 2008, at the age of 23.

Both authors’ relationships to their mothers pushed them to tackle this topic. Nona’s mother, Ellen Willis, who died in November 2007, was a renowned cultural and political critic, a radical pro-sex feminist who co-founded the Redstockings, and the first rock critic for The New Yorker. Emma’s mother has long been a feminist painter, co-edits the art theory and feminist journal M/E/A/N/I/N/G, and was an early member of A.I.R, the first all-women art gallery.

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