Thursday, May 14, 2015

Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge

genre: adult graphic novel biography

Margaret Sanger.  I'd never heard this name, but at the library, the cover caught my attention.  What I know about her now: that she was a pioneer in the birth control movement, an advocate for the poor and an outspoken champion of women's rights.  I forget, sometimes, that birth control is a very (historically speaking) recent advancement.  I forgot what a miracle it is that we can have a say in when we become parents - that is so huge.  Life-changingly huge.  Margaret wasn't a saint, the book makes that very clear, but you do get the sense that she gave up a "normal" life in order to help women all over the world have choices.  The illustrations themselves are very...rubbery.  Floppy. The style is very old-school newspaper-type comic and I mostly liked that (note: it's NOT for kids, Margaret was actually a proponent of free-love and so there are a couple sensitive scenes). Sometimes it felt a little too - raw, maybe?  Ugly?  Maybe it's just caricature at it's finest, but I didn't always love the look.  It's hard to read about how women were devalued, how their opinions and causes were so much harder to get support for than anything a man would propose.   One heck of a life is within these pages.   I need to give three cheers to Margaret and others like her for paving the way for us.

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