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14 Reasons Why Women & Children First is an Awesome Bookstore

By MerylWilliams 02/23/2015

Chicago News

The gem that is Andersonville's feminist bookstore, Women & Children First, has been in business since 1979. Nestled in a Chicago neighborhood known for its diversity, queer-friendliness, women-owned businesses and community spirit, the store employs artists, students, writers, political activists, and poets. Their purpose is to promote the work of women writers and to create a place in which all women would find books reflecting their lives and interests.

The store recently underwent some major renovations in their space at Clark and Farragut, and the public was invited to check out the changes at their Feb. 21 open house. Here's why you should stop by:

It's a safe space for women, and they champion them

There are not many feminist bookstores left in the country. Women & Children First has been providing a space for women for more than 35 years.

They have their own honorary street in Andersonville

In October, the corner of Clark Street and Farragut Avenue was designated Honorary Women & Children First Way.

Portlandia maybe borrowed their name for the show

Portland's fantastic real-life feminist bookstore is called In Other Words, and Portlandia films there. Maybe Fred Armisen was inspired to name the fictional version Women & Women First after living in Chicago? Who can say?

Author/Fellow Bookstore Owner Anne Patchett Loves Them

When the original owners of Women & Children First sold the store to two of their devoted employees, State of Wonder author Anne Patchett wrote a postcard to the new owners to congratulate them. Patchett owns her own store in Nashville, TN. 

They support children as well as their caregivers

Their children's book section is astonishing. The space hosts events for kids and children's authors, too.

They're political

“We are committed to intersectionality," said Sarah Hollenbeck, one of the store's owners. "We know we cannot fully address sexism without talking about racism, ableism, classism, etc.”

They love women who write

Issa Rae (left) and Samantha Irby (right) did an event in partnership with the store earlier this month.

Especially local women who write

Local treasure Irby left behind some goodies, too.

Also Roxane Gay, who is basically a rock star

For real. Just follow this "Bad Feminist" on Twitter, you'll see.

They know how to rock an ampersand

The pretty purple punctuation has become a symbol of the store (including its place on these delicious cookies at their open house last fall).

They successfully raised $36,000 to renovate the store

The store's fall Indiegogo surpassed their $35,000 goal in under 30 days. 

Including a new events space and updated layout

It was tough work, from the looks of it.

They showed it off at their recent open house

Tons of folks came to see how the renovations turned out. 

Missed it? Check out their events in the future

In the afternoon on Saturday March 21, celebrate W&CF's history and Women's History Month. The co-founders of the store will give speak, and original art commemorating all of the fabulous women authors who have read at the store will be unveiled. Check out their events page.