Local editors Marcia Meier and Kathleen Barry, Ph.D. have a new book out this month, Unmasked, Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty, an anthology of personal essays and poetry by women from around the world (Weeping Willow Books, 2017).
The book focuses on women over 50, stressing that they are “the invisible women” of American culture. Unmasked is meant to bring sex for women out into the open. It proclaims the importance of sex, asserting that it is natural, healthy and absolutely necessary for many women of all ages. This is a deeply vulnerable and insightful collection of 33 poems and 20 essays.
Unmasked, Women Write About Sex and Intimacy After Fifty, is raising eyebrows and awareness across the country, and it surprises, informs and encourages all women to (re)discover their sexuality.
Gloria Steinem, renowned feminist activist, declares that “sex for women after 50 is invisible for the same reason that contraception, abortion, and sex between two women or two men has been forbidden: sexuality is supposed to be only about procreation. This lie was invented by patriarchy, monotheism, racism and other hierarchies. Sexuality is and always has been also about bonding, communicating and pleasure. Unmasked helps to restore a human right.”
Sexuality and intimacy are the key themes connecting the essays and poems. The pieces range from erotica to musings on love—both heterosexual and lesbian. The writers also represent a full spectrum of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
Unmasked features work by women who are published writers and also mothers, grandmothers, playwrights, professors, teachers, psychotherapists, copywriters, city council women—the list goes on and on!
Their ages range from 50 to 87 and they come from incredibly diverse backgrounds in a variety of places, including Australia, California, Delaware, Iowa, New Hampshire and more.
“In a society that reveres youth—and particularly young, sexy women—little attention is paid to sex and intimacy among women in later life,” says Unmasked co-editor Marcia Meier. “Unmasked gives women from around the world an opportunity to share their stories.”
Unmasked readings, discussions and book signings led by a variety of the 53 participants are scheduled in several locations, including one in Santa Barbara this month on Thursday, October 11 from 5:30-8 p.m. at Carr Winery (414 N. Salsipuedes St.) Santa Barbara residents have the chance to meet with the editors and book contributors, as well as take part in an enlightening discussion and reading.
Additional readings and book signings are being scheduled in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, Nashville and elsewhere.
For more information about Unmasked and the book discussion in Santa Barbara, please visit here.