National Organization for Women Book Club

Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Mad World

By: Leslie Kern


Feminist City is an ongoing experiment in living differently, living better, and living more justly in an urban world.

We live in the city of men. Our public spaces are not designed for female bodies. There is little consideration for women as mothers, workers or carers. The urban streets often are a place of threats rather than community. Gentrification has made the everyday lives of women even more difficult. What would a metropolis for working women look like? A city of friendships beyond Sex and the City. A transit system that accommodates mothers with strollers on the school run. A public space with enough toilets. A place where women can walk without harassment.

In Feminist City, through history, personal experience and popular culture Leslie Kern exposes what is hidden in plain sight: the social inequalities built into our cities, homes, and neighborhoods. Kern offers an alternative vision of the feminist city. Taking on fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, and the joys and perils of being alone, Kern maps the city from new vantage points, laying out an intersectional feminist approach to urban histories and proposes that the city is perhaps also our best hope for shaping a new urban future. It is time to dismantle what we take for granted about cities and to ask how we can build more just, sustainable, and women-friendly cities together. (Review: )

Chapter Reading Schedule:

  • 5/26 – Chapter 1: City of Moms – The Non-Sexist City
  • 6/02 – Chapter 2: City of Friends – Friends ’Til The End
  • 6/09 – Chapter 3: City of One – Women Taking Up Space
  • 6/16 – Chapter 4:City of Protest – Protest Lessons
  • 6/23 – Chapter 5: The Female Fear – Intersectionality and Violence

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