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The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World

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We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway. Even in this time of rethinking women's roles, we define genius almo We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway. Even in this time of rethinking women's roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie. Janice Kaplan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today—including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li—she proves that genius isn't just about talent. It's about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated. Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. In The Genius of Women, you'll learn how they ignored obstacles and broke down seemingly unshakable barriers. The geniuses in this moving, powerful, and very entertaining book provide more than inspiration—they offer a clear blueprint to everyone who wants to find her own path and move forward with passion.


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We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway. Even in this time of rethinking women's roles, we define genius almo We tell girls that they can be anything, so why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? New York Times bestselling journalist Janice Kaplan explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses past and present who have triumphed anyway. Even in this time of rethinking women's roles, we define genius almost exclusively through male achievement. When asked to name a genius, people mention Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Steve Jobs. As for great women? In one survey, the only female genius anyone listed was Marie Curie. Janice Kaplan, the New York Times bestselling author of The Gratitude Diaries, set out to determine why the extraordinary work of so many women has been brushed aside. Using her unique mix of memoir, narrative, and inspiration, she makes surprising discoveries about women geniuses now and throughout history, in fields from music to robotics. Through interviews with neuroscientists, psychologists, and dozens of women geniuses at work in the world today—including Nobel Prize winner Frances Arnold and AI expert Fei-Fei Li—she proves that genius isn't just about talent. It's about having that talent recognized, nurtured, and celebrated. Across the generations, even when they face less-than-perfect circumstances, women geniuses have created brilliant and original work. In The Genius of Women, you'll learn how they ignored obstacles and broke down seemingly unshakable barriers. The geniuses in this moving, powerful, and very entertaining book provide more than inspiration—they offer a clear blueprint to everyone who wants to find her own path and move forward with passion.

30 review for The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World

  1. 5 out of 5

    JanB

    “Genius women have lived and died, but if nobody told their stories, it was as if they didn’t live at all”. And just what is a genius? It’s not simply IQ. Genius is a combination of intelligence, talent, and hard work. Persistence, often despite the odds. There’s no question that there are women who have excelled in the fields of music, art, the sciences, and many others. But how many of us can name these women? Worse yet, how many women had a spark of genius that was extinguished because of lac “Genius women have lived and died, but if nobody told their stories, it was as if they didn’t live at all”. And just what is a genius? It’s not simply IQ. Genius is a combination of intelligence, talent, and hard work. Persistence, often despite the odds. There’s no question that there are women who have excelled in the fields of music, art, the sciences, and many others. But how many of us can name these women? Worse yet, how many women had a spark of genius that was extinguished because of lack of encouragement and opportunities? It boggles the mind. One of the strengths of this book are the many, many women whose accomplishments are highlighted. I am humbled and proud of the many extraordinary accomplishments made by women and I’m angered that they have rarely received the recognition they so deserved (or received it too late). It’s impossible to list them all here but it’s worth picking up this book to read about these women. “What counts as great is what those in power say is great.” Throughout the centuries who has been in power? Men. Which is why we hear about more men than women when we think of geniuses. In one study, six-year-olds were asked to pick out the genius in a line-up of pictures of both men and women. In every single case, the children chose a man. Shocking isn't it that bias starts so early? Bias is sometimes overt, but it can also be subtle and there were many instances where I questioned my own assumptions. As the mother of a daughter, and a Nana to three girls, I appreciated hearing many of these accomplished women speak about what it was that made the difference. Why did they excel in what was often a man’s domain? How can we encourage and nurture young girls and women to reach their full potential, to not feel limited in their vision and opportunities? The author gives us the answers in these pages from the mouths of the geniuses themselves. Times are changing, but slowly. Change is made one woman at a time. The first half of the book was riveting. The story starts to lose steam in the second half when the anecdotes and opinions become a tad repetitive. It’s clear the author is passionate about the subject, as she should be, but I started to lose interest and there were a few times I questioned her assumptions. There were times she seemed too prickly, seeing bias everywhere. Also, if an author is going to include women in politics in a non-fiction book, then it should include accomplished women of both political persuasions. Still, despite some shortcomings, this is an important book with a strong message that I’m glad I read and I urge others to pick it up. 3.5 stars. **Many thanks to Dutton Publishing for a copy of this book for review. All opinions are my own. *This was a buddy read with Marialyce, and one we both found enlightening and enjoyable. For the duo review of this book and others please visit https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    3.5 stars Oof. No one is more surprised than I am...I really struggled to finish this, and struggled even more to enjoy the reading experience. Concept: ★★★★★ Actual highlighting of genius women: ★★★ Pacing: ★★ The Genius of Women was a nonfiction book given to me for review, and I immediately was excited to open it up. It's a nonfiction book dedicated to sharing the stories of women overlooked throughout history! Yes! Amazing! Let me learn about these women! The first few chapters of this book got t 3.5 stars Oof. No one is more surprised than I am...I really struggled to finish this, and struggled even more to enjoy the reading experience. Concept: ★★★★★ Actual highlighting of genius women: ★★★ Pacing: ★★ The Genius of Women was a nonfiction book given to me for review, and I immediately was excited to open it up. It's a nonfiction book dedicated to sharing the stories of women overlooked throughout history! Yes! Amazing! Let me learn about these women! The first few chapters of this book got to me—they had valid feminist points, they highlighted several women from history that I had never heard of, and they incited a fire in me to learn more. I wanted to learn their stories, feel their histories, and know where their accomplishments stood today in 2020. I wanted more! But then...the chapters started to feel the same. We'd have a killer chapter title. Then we got a great bite-sized nugget of information about a historical/current woman genius who was terribly under-recognized by the patriarchy. And then, very quickly, we abandoned her. It became a personalized essay on behalf of the author about her experiences and strong (strong!) opinions on repeat about all that is wrong in today's society as it relates to women. This would have been fine-ish—let's be real, I wanted to raise these women UP, not abandon their narratives for opinion promotion, so it wasn't "fine" to me personally—but the opinions and personal anecdotes felt repetitive. I'm a proud woman who promotes female rights and am aware of what's wrong with the world's lens of men first, women second. I didn't need those issues shoved at me at every turn. Maybe, if you're somehow new to gender inequality, it was worth the hammered approach? I guess, if you boil it down, I wanted the lens of this work to focus on the women and their accomplishments as opposed to using them as brief touchstones and a launch pad to discuss the gender imbalance in all things through the highly personable layer of author opinion. This was probably a "me" issue as others have reviewed this work much more positively, but I can't ignore my thoughts. I realize that my review falls into the trap of what the author herself mentions...that when a woman decides to tout accomplishments and opinions, the reaction to that is to say it's not enough, too much, negativity, etc. I agonized with whether to say my feelings on this because I didn't want to become one of the negative voices being part of the problem. But in this case, it's still important to be honest. I didn't love this. Thank you to Dutton for a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram

  3. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    I will freely admit, I consider myself to be a liberated woman. I went to college ( to my father's chagrin), have multiple degrees, became a wife to a man who understood my need to work and learn, became a mother to four daughters who we made sure became free thinkers. Our goal always was to develop strong personalities in them, foster the ability to stand on their own, and be reliant on their own strengths to see them through. In reading this book, I found myself considering many issues I hadn't I will freely admit, I consider myself to be a liberated woman. I went to college ( to my father's chagrin), have multiple degrees, became a wife to a man who understood my need to work and learn, became a mother to four daughters who we made sure became free thinkers. Our goal always was to develop strong personalities in them, foster the ability to stand on their own, and be reliant on their own strengths to see them through. In reading this book, I found myself considering many issues I hadn't thought of before. It never really occurred to me why there was a lack of women in the science field or why we never really heard of any women achieving great heights in the world of academia. I mean my girls were all into science and math and didn't seem to have any particular facet of life holding them back. Surely, we knew of the titans of education and business, the innovators, the thinkers and most of them were males. Why was that and why was it I never thought to question that question? As the author aptly points out you can't know about female achievers unless they are made known. She uses the age old analogy of the tree falling in the woods. It doesn't make a sound if there is no one there to hear it. Can we know of these genius women when no one even mentions their names no less their accomplishments. Janice Kaplan, the author, points to the fact that many women were held back by their male counterparts and existed in a world where male dominance held sway. Women were considered property, had their place in society, and were expected to be seen and seldom heard. A genius woman was overlooked and made to find other places or circuitous ways to let their genius be known or conversely they just acquiesced to the way things were. As I read this book, I found many brilliant women profiled that I never heard of. However, their achievements have been amazing and their contributions are right up there with any male and at times far surpass them. The first half of the book is amazing, riveting, and right on. The author pinpoints the errors in our thinking, the ways in which these women have advanced the sciences, technologies, and thought processes. She focuses on them with a laser focus and draws the reader into their world and how they individually dealt with being in a world formerly populated by men. It's awesome. However, I was a tad disappointed in the second half where I felt the author sent some conflicting views. She mentions Ruth Bader Ginsberg but neglects a mention of Sarah Day O'Connor the first women appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981. She mentions Hilary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren but neglects to mention Nikki Haley or Jeane J. Kilpatrick, who was the first women representative from the US to the UN. I felt at times her agenda was based on a more liberal outlook on the women she chose to profile. Another point that bothered me was her referral to the looks and dress of many of the women she wrote of. I found that a bit off setting as well since I felt we should not be looking at looks but at the sheer intelligence and bravery of these women who stepped into a world where few had dared to be in before. Many men are mentioned who denied women their just accolades for inventions and innovations and then those same men took credit for the achievement. However, there were men who did and have supported and pushed ahead women much to their credit. However, this book has much relevance and I do recommend it to those, who like myself, need a lesson in the ways in which women have gone forward and continue to do so. It has always been tough being a female in a male dominated world, but what must never be denied is that woman have progressed and will continue to do so making our voices, our achievements, our genius known to the world. This will be our new challenge, our way forward into the world of the future. Thank you to Janice Kaplan, Dutton Books, and NetGalley for a copy of this worthwhile book. Name ten women who are considered to be geniuses. No cheating and looking the answer up on google is allowed. Can you name ten women who have won the Nobel Prize in science? Can you name one? Do you know which woman won it twice? If you are honest like Jan and I were, we couldn't name more than a scattering of genius level women of either yesteryear or today. However, we could name quite a few men. Why is that? In this book, Janice Kaplan explores the reasoning why women have been ignored and how things are changing in this the age we live in. To see our duo reviews: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carol (Bookaria)

    This is a book about women who have made great contributions to the world and that, because of the oppressing constraints throughout history, have not been given the proper recognition. It is also a book about women who are positively impacting the world with their ideas and work. Some of the women discussed are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Fei-Fei Li, Mayim bialik, and Oprah, among many others. I enjoyed reading about the obstacles many of these women faced and how they were able to handle it. It was an This is a book about women who have made great contributions to the world and that, because of the oppressing constraints throughout history, have not been given the proper recognition. It is also a book about women who are positively impacting the world with their ideas and work. Some of the women discussed are Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Fei-Fei Li, Mayim bialik, and Oprah, among many others. I enjoyed reading about the obstacles many of these women faced and how they were able to handle it. It was an interesting and insightful read and I recommend it.  ARC provided by Publisher via Netgalley

  5. 4 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    4.25 stars I’m sure that there has never been a book entitled The Genius of Men because it has long been assumed that if someone was a genius then it was surely a man. Most think of Einstein and a myriad of other notables. But women? Sure, we've all heard of Madame Curie but for many people, the list stops. Well, Janice Kaplan will have none of that. And neither should we. The Genius of Women does a wonderful job in bringing awareness to this unconscious bias and presents an impressive array of i 4.25 stars I’m sure that there has never been a book entitled The Genius of Men because it has long been assumed that if someone was a genius then it was surely a man. Most think of Einstein and a myriad of other notables. But women? Sure, we've all heard of Madame Curie but for many people, the list stops. Well, Janice Kaplan will have none of that. And neither should we. The Genius of Women does a wonderful job in bringing awareness to this unconscious bias and presents an impressive array of incredible women who have and are changing the world. In this well researched book, written in an easy, often humorous tone, the author educates us on and inspires us with a group of women who have excelled in science, math, the arts and more. While modern day women of this caliber are starting to get their deserved recognition, most of the amazing women we meet remain unknown to the masses. The tragic part of the book is learning of the women who were either unable to pursue their talents or those who achieved greatness only for their male counterparts to take credit for their discoveries, music and more. Kaplan aptly notes, “The genius of women might be to recognize the genius of other women. Because if we wait for men to do it, we could be waiting a long time.” This book takes a great step in the right direction. Many thanks to Dutton, NetGalley and the fierce Janice Kaplan for an advance copy of this important book which will be published on February 18, 2020. Review posted at MicheleReader.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Katie (never.ending.reading.list)

    The Genius of Women is a very well researched look into why there have been fewer female "geniuses" than male throughout history and highlights the stories of those women who managed to break through. I loved the overall message and style of this one. Society has really been stacked against women throughout history and the tales of women who succeeded despite all the obstacles were truly inspiring. I think this is a good read to learn about some famous, fairly unknown female geniuses throughout t The Genius of Women is a very well researched look into why there have been fewer female "geniuses" than male throughout history and highlights the stories of those women who managed to break through. I loved the overall message and style of this one. Society has really been stacked against women throughout history and the tales of women who succeeded despite all the obstacles were truly inspiring. I think this is a good read to learn about some famous, fairly unknown female geniuses throughout the years. She covers a wide range of women fro different time periods and fields (RBG, Fei-Fei Li, Frances Arnold, Einstein's wife, Mozart's sister, to name a few). My complain with this book was that I think the message came through pretty early and there was a lot of unnecessary repetition. Instead of focusing on the stories of these incredible women, most of the chapters were just the author's opinions and personal stories. We get it, you've met a lot of cool people... Definitely an interesting read, and there are some great stories in here for girls to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lexi (Reads and Riesling)

    I do not know how I feel about this one...the writing was excellent. If I were scoring purely based on Kaplan’s writing, I would give this book between 4 and 5 stars. Additionally, this book was very well-researched. However, I was very frustrated by this book. It sounds like a great premise: showcasing the genius of women who have been forgotten throughout history. However, race and socioeconomic status and the difficulty for women who are not white and well-off to obtain higher education is ne I do not know how I feel about this one...the writing was excellent. If I were scoring purely based on Kaplan’s writing, I would give this book between 4 and 5 stars. Additionally, this book was very well-researched. However, I was very frustrated by this book. It sounds like a great premise: showcasing the genius of women who have been forgotten throughout history. However, race and socioeconomic status and the difficulty for women who are not white and well-off to obtain higher education is never addressed. Kaplan uses the very elitist argument used in academia that the only useful and valuable people are those with PhDs. Perhaps she doesn’t believe that a PhD is a prerequisite for genius (I hope she doesn’t), but she certainly didn’t go out of her way to highlight genius women without PhDs. The ones mentioned without PhDs were the ones who lived during times when women were not awarded degrees. Additionally, the only women discussed were those who attended and/or taught at prestigious universities (Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, etc.). As someone who hated the elitist attitudes of academia, I hated this. Every time I saw yet another woman from Harvard or Yale, I rolled my eyes so far into the back of my head that I genuinely felt they would stay that way like my parents used to warn when I was a preteen. Women in academia are already told their worth is purely based on their school name and is nothing without a PhD. Do we really need a book that reinforces this toxic message? Kaplan goes on a derogatory rant against sororities and the women—or as Kaplan called us “girls”—who choose to participate. Ignore the fact that she implied that we are all dumb airheads who all think, dress, and speak alike. The fact that she called us “girls” in a book purported to tear apart patriarchy shows just how much Kaplan believes there is only one true form of genius women: elitist and condescending. Perhaps you are thinking I am reading too much into this one comment. However, in the chapter immediately prior to this comment, Kaplan claims it is dangerous to state that women are better at collaboration than men, yet it is acceptable to say that sorority women are not capable of being geniuses simply because they partake in an institution designed to foster female friendship and mentorship? Sure, I’ll give it to you that there are some sorority women who are bad examples, but they are the exception, not the rule. In a chapter or two later, she then goes on a rant against women who compete in beauty pageants and women who buy their daughters princess costumes. For a book that says women are multifaceted and should be allowed to work and think and look any way they like, Kaplan holds very strong opinions about what women can and cannot partake in. I love hearing an author’s opinions and voice shine through their work, but when it directly contradicts the argument they are laying out, I find it egregious. I enjoyed learning about the women in this book, but overall, I wanted more diversity and more of the women’s stories. I wanted to hear about the genius women without higher degrees, with “only” a bachelor’s or master’s. I wanted to hear about the women who not only overcame gender-based barriers, but also race and class barriers. I wanted to hear about all genius women, not just the one type of woman Kaplan saw as worthy of the “genius” title. 2.5/5 stars I want to thank NetGalley and Dutton Books for allowing me access to this e-arc.

  8. 4 out of 5

    biblio_mom (Aiza)

    "It's time that we change our perspective, to see and consider woman's talents in a new way". Have we known many genius women? We knew Albert Enstein, Da Vinci and many other men geniuses. But we have not been much exposed to these intelligent women. The author tells stories by using unique mix of memoir, narrative and inspiration. She exposed womens that has contributions without recognitions from all over the world from decades ago throughout history. These women are opressed by gender stereot "It's time that we change our perspective, to see and consider woman's talents in a new way". Have we known many genius women? We knew Albert Enstein, Da Vinci and many other men geniuses. But we have not been much exposed to these intelligent women. The author tells stories by using unique mix of memoir, narrative and inspiration. She exposed womens that has contributions without recognitions from all over the world from decades ago throughout history. These women are opressed by gender stereotypes. Their talents should be recognized, nurtured and celebrated. This book is very insightful, facts stated are mostly unknown for me and it is quite interesting to know these womens, their expertise, capabilities and carriers. In my honest opinion, women are equal to men in many aspects. We are capable of doing, discovering, investing so many things just like men. My favourite facts are of the women authors like the Bronte sisters and J. K. Rowlings that had her pen name sounded like a men name to be accepted. Mind boggling! This book is for your especially if you are supporting feminsm and wanted to know about these amazing genius women that we often look passed through because we are so used to only knowing genius men. Thank You Times Reads Distributor for this review copy! This book is alreadly out last month, February 2020 and available in all good bookstores.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    An interesting and well researched book on women, past and present, who received little recognition for their contributions in fields such as music, science, math etc. Why? This book gives insight as to why women weren’t/aren’t taken seriously in a male dominated world. Women are geniuses!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Courtney M

    As an investigation into women geniuses of history, why they’ve been so overshadowed by their male equivalents (and lesser thans), and the formula behind what makes a genius, I thought "The Genius of Women" may become one of my top nonfiction of the year (yes, already). The first few chapters had me smitten; feminist and fabulously written and researched. Kaplan has a knack for summing up a person in one sentence, both physically and their personality, and for creating some of the catchiest chapt As an investigation into women geniuses of history, why they’ve been so overshadowed by their male equivalents (and lesser thans), and the formula behind what makes a genius, I thought "The Genius of Women" may become one of my top nonfiction of the year (yes, already). The first few chapters had me smitten; feminist and fabulously written and researched. Kaplan has a knack for summing up a person in one sentence, both physically and their personality, and for creating some of the catchiest chapter titles I’ve ever heard. ('The Dark Lord Trying to Kill off Women Scientists' and 'How to Succeed in Business by Wearing Elegant Scarves' being just two examples.) The story is interspersed with just enough personal commentary to provide some humor and give us a glimpse into the woman behind the words but not so much that it takes the story away from the geniuses. Unfortunately, the good parts of this story were buried in a lot of bad. I soon realized that as intriguing as the chapters sounded, their titles had little to do with the figure or issues addressed, which made them overall more gimmicky than anything. Kaplan not only has a knack for naming but for transitions, which were utilized extremely often. Chapters would begin, often, with the mentioned topic and quickly meander through an extensive series of other topics, so that, by the time we were finished, I had no idea where we had begun, which made it difficult to retain any of the multitudes of information. With so much going on, any meaningful quotes and data end up drowning in all the other discussions. Every chapter feels like its own feature story, which isn’t intrinsically a bad thing, but in this case, meant that almost half of every section was conclusion. The reading experience of this is inevitably that the book seems as if it’s ending eighteen times…and yet, it continues, which makes it drag. With so much narration, there ends up being a lot of repetition and overlap, which ensures that the themes of the story are heard loud and clear (many times), but also seems to slight the reader on realizing their own thoughts. The book became so repetitious at times that I truly thought I had skipped back to the wrong section and was re-reading it once more. The even more unfortunate result of so much narration is that it completely trumps the stories of the women that this book is supposed to be focused on. I can be partially to blame for expecting more of a Hidden Figures story, where we finally get to hear the untold tales of these women from beginning to end, following a more story-like structure than an academic piece. But, in comparison to the sheer amount of research that Kaplan clearly did, and the number of interviews she had with these women, there’s very little of it in the final version. We may get one or two quotes from any particular woman, and although they’re well-picked, it seemed minuscule in the scope of things. This book would have been so much better and more memorable if it had just let the experiences of these women stand on their own without all the narration. With all of Kaplan’s research, we get a wide range of genius women in a multitude of fields, but there was one group of people who were left out: trans women, and non-binary folks. I wouldn’t necessarily expect there to be a discussion of non-binary geniuses in a book specifically about women, but then Kaplan includes a discussion with someone (who, understandably, wanted to remain anonymous) where they wonder whether there are so many people coming out as non-binary because women face so much oppression. Clearly Kaplan never interviews a non-binary person to get their take on it, or it would have been obvious that this is not only very much not true, but that people who are non-binary usually face more oppression than cis-gendered people…so it doesn’t even make sense…Even though the argument was suggested as having only belonged to the person Kaplan is talking to (rather than herself), it didn’t seem right that it was included without ever being further explored, which would have been so easy to do, while all other topics in the book are thoroughly investigated. I rated "The Genius of Women" 2.5 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Group/ Dutton for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I recommend that first you read The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates, then read this book. It was so interesting! There have been so many brilliant women whose contributions in art, science, and the pursuits have been overlooked simply because they are women. I appreciate any effort to learn about and clear away the obstacles so that women can shine!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jelke Lenaerts

    I received a galley of this book through Netgalley This book sounded so promising and started of that way as well. Eventually it did end up making some good points but in general I wasn't a big fan of this book. Those good points I talked about were repeated over and over again throughout this book. It just made the book feel very repetitive and therefore boring as well. Besides all that this book just felt very biased and bitter. A lot of things are based on theories rather than facts. Other I received a galley of this book through Netgalley This book sounded so promising and started of that way as well. Eventually it did end up making some good points but in general I wasn't a big fan of this book. Those good points I talked about were repeated over and over again throughout this book. It just made the book feel very repetitive and therefore boring as well. Besides all that this book just felt very biased and bitter. A lot of things are based on theories rather than facts. Other things are just completely based on belitteling men and women who don't conform to the author's idea of what an empowered women is like (which is basically everyone). I also feel like this book barely actually spend time talking about the female geniuses the author claims to want to praise up so much. It mainly talks about the author and the "research" she's done. I think a book like this is very interesting. I just don't think this was the right author to write it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Megan L (Iwanttoreadallthebooks)

    The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World by Janice Kaplan is an incredibly fascinating and well-written and researched book. Even though we tell girls that they can do and be anything, 90% of Americans believe that geniuses are only men. Throughout world history, genius has been defined as the achievement of males. In fact, when asked to name 5 geniuses, most of us (men and women) would name 5 men. But why is that? Why has the talent and genius of women been dismissed or even a The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World by Janice Kaplan is an incredibly fascinating and well-written and researched book. Even though we tell girls that they can do and be anything, 90% of Americans believe that geniuses are only men. Throughout world history, genius has been defined as the achievement of males. In fact, when asked to name 5 geniuses, most of us (men and women) would name 5 men. But why is that? Why has the talent and genius of women been dismissed or even attributed to men? Through her research and countless interviews with women geniuses, Kaplan discovered that talent is only one component of genius. Unfortunately, that talent must be recognized, encouraged and celebrated to be acknowledged and remembered as genius. And when society is based on male achievement, it is incredibly difficult for women to be recognized as geniuses. Through her book, Kaplan travels through history and shows how women geniuses were dismissed into the background, as most men refused to acknowledge that a woman could be as smart or talented. Women had (and still have) certain expectations of them Even when women did break the mold and share their talent with the world, they were often forced to use male pseudonyms or men took credit for their work. And too often, their talent wasn't recognized or celebrated until after their death. Kaplan conducted interviews with women geniuses in fields ranging from physics to music to robotics and showed how they all had to overcome the inherent bias that women aren't as talented or smart. They had to overcome obstacles that men do not and make opportunities for themselves. They had to find a support system that would recognize and encourage their talent. These women had to learn to withstand the critics and learn to think of themselves as geniuses, even when the world was telling them that they were not. This is an incredibly powerful book and another reminder of the bias that affects our society. It was difficult to read about all the women geniuses throughout history that were either never recognized for their talent or only recognized years after their death. But at the same time, it was incredibly empowering to read about the women that Kaplan interviewed and how they have overcome obstacles and provided a path for women in the future. Genius is not limited to men and we should celebrate genius, whether it comes from a man or a woman. One small note: The Genius of Women is nonfiction but is also part memoir and opinion. The author shares her opinions throughout and even explores her own bias that she had prior to writing this book. Some readers may not agree with the author's views on current politics but I do think the author makes good points that tie back to women geniuses and how their talent is often ignored. And while I didn't agree with her interpretation of Frozen, I understand the arguments Kaplan was trying to make. I would like to think we can live in a world where young girls are equally comfortable wearing princess costumes as they are of wanting to be an astronaut, scientist or writer. The Genius of Women is thought-provoking and would be an excellent book for discussion in book clubs. It's a book that I will be thinking about and one that I will be buying so that I can share it with others. Thanks to Netgalley, Janice Kaplan and Dutton Books for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Review can be found on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress... …. Thank you to the publisher, Dutton, for an eARC of this book via NetGalley. …. When you think of a genius, which names comes to mind? Do you think of the usual mentions such as Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci? If you were asked to name a female genius, who would you think of? You might find yourself having to think longer and harder for a name. Many people have previously thought of geniuses as being male… often Review can be found on my blog here: https://booksonthebookshelf.wordpress... …. Thank you to the publisher, Dutton, for an eARC of this book via NetGalley. …. When you think of a genius, which names comes to mind? Do you think of the usual mentions such as Albert Einstein, and Leonardo da Vinci? If you were asked to name a female genius, who would you think of? You might find yourself having to think longer and harder for a name. Many people have previously thought of geniuses as being male… often forgetting female geniuses. I love how Kaplan explores and challenges this way of thinking and bringing to light the fact that geniuses can in fact be women. Men aren’t the only ones who are capable of being true geniuses. Kaplan writes this novel in a very interesting way that grabs your attention and make you question any previous teachings and thoughts about what constitutes a genius. A lot of research went into this novel and was truly an enjoyable read as you read through each chapter. I enjoyed reading about the many women geniuses in this novel who paved the way to their own success in the face of a male-dominated world.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brittany waggingwithwords

    The Genius of Women is slightly difficult for me to review. I’m giving it 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 because it was very well written. It was my first nonfiction book and not my typical genre, BUT:⁣ ⁣ I felt it was a bit too feministic for me.⁣ ⁣ As a young girl, my dad taught me how to play catch, ride a bike, and hit a ball. My mom typically helped me with my homework, went running with me and took me shopping and my grandparents gave us incentive that if we got straight A’s on our report cards we would get $20 and The Genius of Women is slightly difficult for me to review. I’m giving it 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 because it was very well written. It was my first nonfiction book and not my typical genre, BUT:⁣ ⁣ I felt it was a bit too feministic for me.⁣ ⁣ As a young girl, my dad taught me how to play catch, ride a bike, and hit a ball. My mom typically helped me with my homework, went running with me and took me shopping and my grandparents gave us incentive that if we got straight A’s on our report cards we would get $20 and could pick out a book of our choosing to read because being educated was important. ⁣ ⁣ Thank you grandma for making me an avid reader and book lover. ❤️ ⁣ ⁣ Hello, $20 as a kid is A LOT of money. ⁣ ⁣ That $20 a report card gave me enough drive to try and make straight A’s every single report card middle school through my senior year of high school. It also made me a perfectionist, which at times made me completely stressed and insane. My brother, was never that stressed and didn’t care about the $20. ⁣ ⁣ My favorite subject as a girl, was science. I majored in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. I went on to get my Masters degree in Physician Assistant’s studies, which is a predominantly female career.⁣ ⁣ I then started my career as a PA in Orthopedic Surgery which is a predominantly male field. Though the men tend to be misogynistic and condescending at times, absolutely, I do not let them walk all over me, nor do they define who I am. I am ME.⁣ ⁣ I may be a girl, but I cuss like a sailor. ⁣ I may be a girl, but I’d choose pizza over salad.⁣ I have an old soul, and would rather be home reading a book, snuggling my dogs than going out partying. ⁣ I am a dog mom, but I have chosen not to be a mom to a small child and my husband is okay with this. He agrees it is my body to make the choice with. ⁣ I love kids, they just aren’t for me.⁣ I have work life balance.⁣ I am content with who I am. I am supported by those who matter.⁣ ⁣ I was raised as a young girl, to make sure I could always independently take care of myself. I could. I can, but yes I am happily married, to a man who respects me and my foul mouth, independence, and ambition.⁣ ⁣ I freaking loved The Little Mermaid growing up, because Ariel could sing, and her best friend was a yellow and blue fish, and she lived in the ocean and I loved the beach. I never even thought about how she had to give up her voice for a man in the movie, until this book mentioned it.⁣ ⁣ Just like there are men, women, and me; as the book suggests and everyone is multifaceted. Everyone views things differently. I viewed that movie differently as a child, than the writer believes all children will view it as a princess giving up her voice to be with a prince. I just wanted to wear seashells in my hair and swim with the fish.⁣ ⁣ I don’t agree with the past and women being only homemakers and living in the shadow of men, at all. I would’ve personally hated it and would’ve wanted to rebel. ⁣ ⁣ But I have learned, with my rights as a woman, that I can do anything I damn well please (obviously I have morals) and I won’t let a man keep me in the shadows. ⁣ ⁣ “𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸. 𝘉𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴, 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘶𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘪𝘶𝘴.”⁣ -and that’s who I intend on continuing to be❤️

  16. 4 out of 5

    Louise Foerster

    In college, I met with a philosophy professor to discuss the required project for his course: a profile of and analysis of a significant philosopher. When I asked if I might write about a woman philosopher (which would integrate well with other coursework I was doing in other classes), this young man sneered at me, droning that there have never been any women philosophers, significant or otherwise. Chastened, I did the assignment and went to as few classes as possible thereafter. This is where J In college, I met with a philosophy professor to discuss the required project for his course: a profile of and analysis of a significant philosopher. When I asked if I might write about a woman philosopher (which would integrate well with other coursework I was doing in other classes), this young man sneered at me, droning that there have never been any women philosophers, significant or otherwise. Chastened, I did the assignment and went to as few classes as possible thereafter. This is where Janice Kaplan's THE GENIUS OF WOMEN shines: in the accounts of women philosophers, mathematicians, artists of the past and the present day. I loved learning about Ada Lovelace, Fanny Mendelssohn, and so many other forgotten (as in written out of history) thinkers and creators in every field. Were it for the research and the painstaking interviews that Kaplan conducted with luminaries in industry and academia today, I would give the book a 5 star review. However--and this is a major issue with this book -- Kaplan used the women geniuses as a springboard to her own rants and causes. She blew an emotional gasket over how THE LITTLE MERMAID is a story about silencing women--never going back to the original source material of Hans Christian Anderson's story for its more complex, heart-wrenching choices. All too predictably, she has the same reaction over FROZEN. (Possibly, this bright and impassioned person might consider taking a pass on Disney movies.) The heavy-handed and off-key swerves into the author's ideas about genius and what she ate for lunch with eminent scientists and entrepreneurs got in the way of a truly inspired piece of research and thinking. I guess that's the way of it: an impassioned person using women geniuses to her own ends? You're either written out of the history or dragged in for someone else's cause? My hope is that others may pick up the traces of meaningful and significant and write a thoughtful, balanced book that genuinely explores the individuals and their accomplishments, in their own words and in their own complicated reality.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Rodriguez

    I got this ARC from a raffle promo from my local bookstore and thus I'm inclined to give my honest review: Without going to spoiler territories, I found the message of this book conflicting I understand that I am not part of the target audience, however, there are things said that are way too demeaning (and not inspiring) particularly when it's the capacity of the other gender to grasp the concept of feminism and women empowerment is in question. The book suffers from repetitive and unrelentless I got this ARC from a raffle promo from my local bookstore and thus I'm inclined to give my honest review: Without going to spoiler territories, I found the message of this book conflicting I understand that I am not part of the target audience, however, there are things said that are way too demeaning (and not inspiring) particularly when it's the capacity of the other gender to grasp the concept of feminism and women empowerment is in question. The book suffers from repetitive and unrelentless narrative. The author too often make bold claims and speculation on events and psyche of individuals which was detrimental to her primary objective: to inform. The author also often becomes preachy and conceited. As a result, the spotlight for the achievement and genius of women gets overshadowed. The aspects that I liked about the book came from those women interviewed; as to how they cope with the status quo and their acts that warrant applause. I also had to give credits to the author for her thorough research regarding unsung heroes (or heroines).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    The Genius of Women is not easy to review. Janice Kaplan's book, subtitled "From Overlooked to Changing the World" is filled with compelling stories of female artists, scientists, mathematicians who were forgotten, who found a way to overcome the period in which they lived, and women who are overcoming obstacles today. Those stories are compelling. However, as she says, these are only the stories of women whose names we know. What happened to women who did not have opportunities? Even if you don' The Genius of Women is not easy to review. Janice Kaplan's book, subtitled "From Overlooked to Changing the World" is filled with compelling stories of female artists, scientists, mathematicians who were forgotten, who found a way to overcome the period in which they lived, and women who are overcoming obstacles today. Those stories are compelling. However, as she says, these are only the stories of women whose names we know. What happened to women who did not have opportunities? Even if you don't take the time to read all of The Genius of Women, it doesn't hurt to read the preface. In a recent poll, 90% of Americans said that geniuses tended to be male. And, most of them could only name one woman they would have thought of, Marie Curie. Some of Kaplan's comments, based on her research and interviews, are heartbreaking. A male-centered world rejects women who are geniuses. She talks about "The huge potential of women that has been lost over the years, as well as the extraordinary achievements that have ignored."Then, "Women buy into the system...We scare ourselves away from success long before anyone else sends us away." Kaplan carries one thesis throughout the book. When she asked Charles James, a Cambridge University professor what was a genius, he responded, "Genius- where extraordinary ability meets celebrity." Why have there been so few women geniuses? They've had the extraordinary ability. What they have not had is the recognition, the celebrity. Kaplan quotes a refrain from Lin-Manuel Miranda's "Hamilton", "Who lives. Who dies. Who tells your story." For women, their story may not get told at all. Many may have heard of Felix Mendelssohn's sister, Fanny. She was a child prodigy herself, a talented composer and musician. She was brilliant, but when she was fourteen her father sent her a letter saying Felix could go on and have a career in music, but she could not. As a woman, Fanny found a way around her father's earlier statement. She held private parties, and invited two hundred people so she could perform in her own house. It was always suspected that Fanny actually wrote some of her brother's works, but it has been proven to be true. But, how was Fanny able to enjoy and celebrate her gift? "She found a way around her father's earlier statement." Women have been forced to find their own path for centuries, whether it as been in art, or music, theater or comedy, law, politics, math, science, astronomy, computers. Kaplan discusses the role of women and their own careers with Geena Davis and Tina Fay. But, she spends the most amount of time with women in the sciences, women who are professors or won a Nobel Prize. Carol Anderson, a chaired professor of African American studies at Emory University is quoted as saying, "Racism and sexism and misogyny have cut off opportunities and potential and that has weakened the United States. It has hurt our ability to compete economically and destroyed lives." Kaplan enumerates traits that women geniuses have in common, and need - one supportive person, blinkers to bias, seeing beyond gender, a positive approach, a core belief that you belong, a multifaceted life. Her book is inspiring; it inspires pride and anger, though. How can anyone read this paragraph, and not be angry at what has been lost? "Women geniuses throughout history have battled male power issues and structural deterrents that have kept them from flourishing to their fullest potential. Whether we think of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, the women painters of the Renaissance, Lise Meitner, or Hillary Clinton, admiration for what they accomplished is mixed with the wistfulness of what might have been. I am in awe of the women geniuses in the arts, sciences, and politics who are making enormous breakthroughs right now - and I am also stunned by the continued misogyny that dogs them." The Genius of Women is an upsetting, inspiring book. I'm doing what I can. I bought a copy for one of my nieces. She might just change the world.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Kellenberger

    The real issue separating men and women isn't talent or achievement or natural brilliance or hard work. It's being in the position to set the rules. Men have had that power, and women have not... It's time to change our perspective, to see and consider women's talents in a new way."― Janice Kaplan, The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World An engaging presentation of women in history and present day who are geniuses at what they do. Kaplan's goal with The Genius of Women: From Ov The real issue separating men and women isn't talent or achievement or natural brilliance or hard work. It's being in the position to set the rules. Men have had that power, and women have not... It's time to change our perspective, to see and consider women's talents in a new way."― Janice Kaplan, The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World An engaging presentation of women in history and present day who are geniuses at what they do. Kaplan's goal with The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World is to show readers that there are plenty of genius women to be found, if only we'd start including their stories and achievements, and giving them a lift up when they need it. Kaplan explains how women have been erased from history for their genius ideas and how those ideas have been claimed by men. In many cases, these men were family members who thought they were doing their female relatives a favor; and it includes men who simply didn't want to think of women succeeding or outdoing other men in any way. Kaplan disassembles each system and shows how the system is rigged to favor men over women, while also providing many examples of women in the past and present day who went ahead and triumphed with their ideas despite the odds. Learn about: *Fei-Fei li, a Stanford professor and expert on artificial intelligence *Susan Wollenberg, first women professor of music at Oxford *Dr. Frances Arnold, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (She finally has a Wikipedia page and it was updated last month on Feb 21, 2021.) *Linda Gordon, professor of history at NYU *Hypatia, philosopher and mathematician born c.350 *Many other brilliant women! When we think about genius, almost everyone mentions male geniuses. I'm not going to bother mentioning them here because you know them and they've received enough credit. But when people are asked to name women who are geniuses, most people remember Marie Curie and that's it. The default is male! For centuries, men believed that women's achievements couldn't match their own. ..."He once explained that most men have trouble understanding even the simplest truth if doing so would require them to recognize 'the falsity of conclusions they have formed... of which they are proud... and on which they have built their lives.' ―Leo Tolstoy Women around the world are challenging this in every way possible and this book is an homage to powerful women around the world who are shattering barriers that prevent them from succeeding. Kaplan's book covers the extraordinary work of women throughout many fields of study who have been brushed aside or who have used their brilliance to get around gender norms and expectations. From music to science, Kaplan introduces women that are doing genius work, including interviews with neuroscientists and psychologists who haven't even been mentioned on Wikipedia. (Surprise, surprise. You still won't find much there because the people who write Wikipedia are mostly North American men.) Kaplan has raised this question recently and we're starting to see more women included for their genius, but isn't it telling that even women who have won the Nobel Prize haven't been included on Wikipedia until recently. Outrageous! This book tells us about these remarkable women who created brilliant work despite the odds, and you'll learn how they did it. A solid and informative read for everyone. “The bias begins very early. At age six, to be exact. At least that was the finding from another recent study Leslie and Cimpian conducted, where they told little children a story about a person who was “really, really smart.” Then they showed them four pictures—two men and two women—and asked who the story was about. Up until age five, the boys and girls pointed to the grown-up who looked like them—the boys picked one of the men and the girls picked one of the women. But at age six, it changed. Asked to identify the “really, really smart” person, the boys picked a man—and the girls did, too.”― Janice Kaplan, The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World “In other words, even though they might be doing better than boys at school (as is often the case), girls have gotten the message that the boys are supposed to be the smart ones.”― Janice Kaplan, The Genius of Women: From Overlooked to Changing the World

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mirandabythebook

    THE GENIUS OF WOMEN II 4/5 Stars Thank you @Duttonbooks for my free ARC of THE GENIUS OF WOMEN! This novel is NOTEWORTHY- like seriously, get out your notepad and pen + get ready to WRITE. There were so many moments throughout my experience reading this book that I had to stop, digest what Janice Kaplan was saying and then RAGE (+ by rage, I mean write down her points to bring them up in future conversations with (probably men) people regarding WOMEN GENIUSES). In this extremely well researched bo THE GENIUS OF WOMEN II 4/5 Stars Thank you @Duttonbooks for my free ARC of THE GENIUS OF WOMEN! This novel is NOTEWORTHY- like seriously, get out your notepad and pen + get ready to WRITE. There were so many moments throughout my experience reading this book that I had to stop, digest what Janice Kaplan was saying and then RAGE (+ by rage, I mean write down her points to bring them up in future conversations with (probably men) people regarding WOMEN GENIUSES). In this extremely well researched book, Kaplan explores the impressive array of incredible women geniuses both in the past in present. Not only does she highlight extraordinary women, but she shines a light on the darkest corners of our society and tries to uncover WHY more women geniuses aren't immediately recognized or praised (NOT NEARLY AS MUCH AS MEN). I laughed, I was mad, I was sad, and most importantly, I was INSPIRED by the stories that Kaplan shared and analyzed within TGOW. Kaplan's delicate balance between being analytical (of women and men throughout history) as well as writing in a humorous tone is DELIGHTFUL. I love a book that can make me FEEL + this book did just that. Keep reading below for my favorite excerpt while you're on your way to the closest book store to pick up your copy (I know you are). P. 56 "Women and men have had big overlaps in ability and once your try to say that all of women-kind or mankind is good at one thing, you suggest that all the she's and he's are not good at something else. From a global perspective generalizations are just silliness."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Abhinav Kumar

    Our society is al was always biased towards men. It's happening from the past to the present. But the dilemma is that even women equally deserve the position but purposefully they are not given that place. Why Men's contribution to society counts? This question opened the well-researched work the genius of women, the research based on how women contribute to the society demolished or they got nothing for their hard work. Book discusses each point from which someone can make excuse about male domi Our society is al was always biased towards men. It's happening from the past to the present. But the dilemma is that even women equally deserve the position but purposefully they are not given that place. Why Men's contribution to society counts? This question opened the well-researched work the genius of women, the research based on how women contribute to the society demolished or they got nothing for their hard work. Book discusses each point from which someone can make excuse about male domination. It breaks many myths about the scientific researches on both gender and equally gives reasons that how facts are changed to hide the woman character behind the curtains. It's like suppression of talent & giving someone's credit to undeserving one. The book talks about equality particularly but in a critical manner. It's talking about many personality forms ancient time till present & ask some questions about why there are fewer women achievers? Is it not a distrustful fact? Author's research gives solid evidence of patriarchal mentality & how it worked in the professional field. It is the best non-fiction I read this year. It is full of details, explanations & information.

  22. 4 out of 5

    ianthereader

    “The genius of women is to persist even when nobody believes in them.” Looking for a way to celebrate Women’s History Month from the safety of your own home? Look no further! The Genius of Women by Janice Kaplan is an eye opening study on what it takes to be a genius, why so few women genius’s have been enabled to come into the spotlight, and highlights some brilliant women throughout history and the present! As a man, this was a challenging, and very important read. This book reveals the injusti “The genius of women is to persist even when nobody believes in them.” Looking for a way to celebrate Women’s History Month from the safety of your own home? Look no further! The Genius of Women by Janice Kaplan is an eye opening study on what it takes to be a genius, why so few women genius’s have been enabled to come into the spotlight, and highlights some brilliant women throughout history and the present! As a man, this was a challenging, and very important read. This book reveals the injustices of the past, while also drawing attention to the fact that the fight for equality amongst the sexes is far from over. I think that this book is so incredibly important, and that all people should be aware of the information that Kaplan writes so passionately about. I definitely recommend The Genius of Women. Thank you Netgalley, Penguin Random House, and Janice Kaplan for allowing me early access to this book. The Genius of Women is out now!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and let me just say this - you need to read this book! I loved this well-written, at times humorous, very personable and powerful book. Kaplan's book presents personal experience, many interviews and strong data (recent and historical) in a way that is enjoyable and easy to read. You won't want to miss this book! I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and let me just say this - you need to read this book! I loved this well-written, at times humorous, very personable and powerful book. Kaplan's book presents personal experience, many interviews and strong data (recent and historical) in a way that is enjoyable and easy to read. You won't want to miss this book!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maruša

    The main premise is what makes people genious and why are they mostly men. There were any forgotten women, that did not get the attention they deserved. But there was something amiss in the style of writing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caryn

    A very interesting read that highlights women who have helped shape our modern world yet who we have never read or heard about. But this goes even further to explain why that was the case and what we can do about it moving forward. It helped me appreciate the mindset of a lot of our coaching students as to why they might feel they can’t do something or aren’t the expert. My thanks to The Girlfriend for the copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    DNF'ed after 50 pages or so. Did this about a week or two ago DNF'ed after 50 pages or so. Did this about a week or two ago

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Can you name a female Genius? I can name one, Janice Kaplan. "The problem with gender generalizations is that they are a bit like astrological forecasts." There are and have been so many insanely intelligent and successful women in history. Janice fills the pages of this book with the remarkable likes of many unsung geniuses. Janice travels and discusses the struggle for many upper echelon female scientists and educators throughout in a way that is both inspiring and enlightening. It takes a loo Can you name a female Genius? I can name one, Janice Kaplan. "The problem with gender generalizations is that they are a bit like astrological forecasts." There are and have been so many insanely intelligent and successful women in history. Janice fills the pages of this book with the remarkable likes of many unsung geniuses. Janice travels and discusses the struggle for many upper echelon female scientists and educators throughout in a way that is both inspiring and enlightening. It takes a look at so many worthy questions and opportunities we as a society must embrace to move forward as a truly equal community. "We admire the United States Constitution as a great document- and yet the word "women" never appears in it. The equal Amendment never passed. America has thousands of laws, but none of them helps men and women integrate their lives at home and at work."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dizzy

    A great, informative read about the MANY amazing women in history whose accomplishments have been undervalued or overlooked completely in our patriarchal society. I was so happy to learn about all of this, and want to find out about even more genius women now! Thank you Netgalley, the publisher and the author for this ARC.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lace

    I find a book like this really difficult to rate. I mean, how do you rate a book that gives a voice to the powerful, women geniuses of the past and present??? From a description like that; this book should theoretically get a five star rating, but I also have to take into account writing, etc. The author has a tendency to repeat herself and she influences a lot of the fact based work with her opinions. I liked how she told the stories of women of the past and present. And I liked her commentary I find a book like this really difficult to rate. I mean, how do you rate a book that gives a voice to the powerful, women geniuses of the past and present??? From a description like that; this book should theoretically get a five star rating, but I also have to take into account writing, etc. The author has a tendency to repeat herself and she influences a lot of the fact based work with her opinions. I liked how she told the stories of women of the past and present. And I liked her commentary on the patriarchy and how women are always judged on appearance. However, she argues that women are influenced by how they look, but men are not as much. Men are also affected by their body image and eating disorders. In the regard to appearances, insecurities and eating disorders men tend to be overlooked. In a particular section of the book, she describes a friends daughter, an eight year old named Belle who likes to feel pretty. She says that maybe her name influenced her and she’s posing across Facebook with a hand on her hip or whatever. She describes a particular outfit as “Lolita couldn’t do it better”. In this sense, Kaplan has completely misinterpreted Lolita. Lolita is a character from Nabokov’s novel who is targeted by pedophile Humbert Humbert. By Kaplan comparing Belle to Lolita; she is not only arguing that Lolita was asking for her sexual abuse but also that Belle is asking for it too. It’s seriously a messed up world if we are still arguing that people are asking to be raped or harassed based on what they wear. And it’s also messed up that what a woman wears implies whether she is a genius or not. Luckily, one of Kaplan’s friends point out her mistake. Janice Kaplan also argues that Disney Princesses are not feminist, repeatedly referencing The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty. And while she notes that Moana is a feminist movie; I’ve noticed the lack of credit she gives to the twelve Disney princesses. I also noticed that she mistakenly called frozen a Disney princess movie, but that’s just because I would call myself a Disney connoisseur. I would agree that it is hard to see any feminist points throughout some of the earlier Disney movies because there typically wasn’t any; the movies are a product of their time. In Disney’s 1937 depiction of Snow White and 1959, Sleeping Beauty there isn’t any, but that is made up by remakes and new live action films. In Disney’s recent movies Maleficent and Maleficent 2, they portray both Aurora and Maleficent as strong female leads. Maleficent is the embodiment of feminism here. And she is the one to awake Aurora not Phillip. In Disney’s Cinderella it is clear that she never wanted to go to the ball to meet Prince Charming; she wanted to go to have a break, a night out. And ending up with the Prince was just an extra. Cinderella might’ve relied on the Fairy Godmother and remained complacent in regards to her stepsisters and stepmother; she was scared and she needed help. Asking for help is never anti-feminist, in fact it should be encouraged. Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella are also ambitious women who know their goals. Kaplan seemed to have a particular issue with Ariel from the Little Mermaid, because she traded her voice for legs to meet Eric on the shore and only a kiss would reverse it, but the film isn’t as sexist as one would originally think. Ariel thinks and acts both independently and rebelliously. She is ambitious and she wasn’t passive in what she wanted. Yes, she gives up her voice to meet Eric, but also because of her curiosity for the human world. She sings “bright young women, sick of swimming, ready to stand” in part of your world which shows not only patriarchal struggles but also Ariel’s willingness to take her fate into her own hands. Belle from Beauty and the Beast is more obviously feminist and she’d certainly fit into genius category. She trades places with her father to save him and while she does eventually fall in love with Prince Adam; her intelligence along with her kindness is clearly what he finds attractive in her and she in him. Jasmine from Aladdin is clearly here for her people and she escapes the castle to witness her people’s struggles, which is when she meets Aladdin. Her most notable line is “I’m not a prize to be won”, and while she doesn’t do much physically about her situation; her distaste for it is evident. Pocahontas is a film that has a lot of problems but not having a strong female lead is certainly not one of them. She saves John Smith’s life by being brave enough to risk her own. Mulan is certainly a feminist movie; she dresses as a boy to take her father’s place in the army and she faces issues because of her gender but due to her resilience she ends up saving China, practically singlehandedly, because let’s be real Yao wasn’t doing too much, really. Tiana is very clearly a strong female. She inspires young women to work hard and she never gives up on her dreams because she knows that only hard work is going to get her there. And while she does kiss temporary frog Naveen, it is with the goal of finally getting her restaurant. Rapunzel is often argued as not being a brilliant role model for young girls to look up to, but I’d disagree; she has a wide range of talents including STEM related subjects (she charts stars, people. That’s genius level imo) as well as the more creative sides. And while Eugene has to help her escape; she is the one who ultimately saves his life. Merida defends her honour and fights for her own hand in marriage when faced by both oppression and sexist traditions. Merida couldn’t be any more of an inspiring role model in that regard. I’ll give a brief mention to Frozen even if Anna and Elsa are not in the official lineup for Disney princesses. Kaplan acknowledges that Frozen is a progressive movie for young girls, but she fails to acknowledge that Disney is making a mockery out of its past self and more sexist storylines when Anna and Kristoff talk about her recent engagement to Hans in the sleigh. But I’ll give Kaplan credit, Moana is an amazing and feminist movie. Wreck it Ralph two additionally shows a more feminist portrayal of all the Disney princesses. All I’m saying is that little girls and boys can dress up as princesses if they want to because there is some great role models amongst them. It doesn’t mean they are not going to be geniuses if they like Cinderella; those two categories are not mutually exclusive. I’m just saying that it felt like Kaplan berated anybody who enjoyed the Disney princess films. Some girls like Disney Princesses and some boys do too. And some girls like STEM. And some girls like both. Honestly, this just felt a little prejudiced within feminism, not to mention that she hardly touched on the other factors that must be taken into account when genius women are forgotten, ie, skin colour and social class. But I’ve heard that “Hood Feminism” delves deeper into those topics and maybe you should pick up that one too, because I know I’m going to.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    BOOK REVIEW👩🏼‍⚕️👩🏻‍🎓👩🏻‍💼👩🏼‍💻👩🏼‍🎨THE GENIUS OF WOMEN Thank you to @netgalley and @janice.kaplan for the complimentary e-galley of The Genius of Women. I was asked to review this book, and did so voluntarily and honestly. If you were to ask anyone to name someone they think of as a genius, there’s a good chance the person they name will be a man. A few come to mind right away: Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Galileo, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. What about women geniuses? I’ll be honest—I had some troubl BOOK REVIEW👩🏼‍⚕️👩🏻‍🎓👩🏻‍💼👩🏼‍💻👩🏼‍🎨THE GENIUS OF WOMEN Thank you to @netgalley and @janice.kaplan for the complimentary e-galley of The Genius of Women. I was asked to review this book, and did so voluntarily and honestly. If you were to ask anyone to name someone they think of as a genius, there’s a good chance the person they name will be a man. A few come to mind right away: Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Galileo, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates. What about women geniuses? I’ll be honest—I had some trouble with that one. The obvious came to mind: Marie Curie. But...who else? Have you heard of Lise Meitner? I hadn’t. She was a scientist in the 1930s who fought for her place, despite being banned from science labs where women were not allowed. For all of her work, there is now an element in the periodic table named after her—Meitnerium, the first element to be named after a woman. There are also Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, who both were revolutionary in helping to launch the computer era. Grace Hopper was a rear admiral in the Navy in the 1940s, and she helped to develop computer programming languages that are still in use today. Back to Albert Einstein—everyone knows what a genius he was. His name is practically synonymous with the word. But did you know his wife, Mileva Maric, was also brilliant in physics and math, and that papers Einstein wrote indicate she collaborated with him in his discoveries? Yet—the general public has no idea who she was. Henrietta Swan Leavitt made discoveries about the brightness of stars, which helped to accurately measure distances in the universe. Edwin Hubble used her work to measure galactic distances. Hubble? Sound familiar? Yeah, the same guy the Hubble Space Telescope was named after—he got there because of Leavitt’s discoveries, which were not credited to her at the time. This was an interesting collection of stories and anecdotes on the prejudices women have faced, and continue to face, and the brave women from our past that broke barriers to create names for themselves. With histories of these great women, and interviews with current women geniuses in widely varied fields of expertise, Kaplan explores the biases women face on a daily basis. I’m a firm believer in that women can do anything, but the book kind of lost me when the author recounted leaving a movie theater, years ago, furious over the message The Little Mermaid sends to little girls. I found the histories of women very interesting, but the overall tone of the book seemed rather condescending and preachy. I found a lot of the parts in between the histories and interviews to be rather repetitive and somewhat speculative. Instagram: @wethermomreads

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